AFTER RENTING VACATION HOUSES for many years, our client, a young couple with small children, came across this beautiful property on one of Martha’s Vineyard’s main streets in the historic district. Under the strict eye of a town famous for protecting the character and style of its architecture, we designed a new home while keeping the original one-story structure, which was an old tool shed at the turn of the 20th century. We incorporated it into the new building and let it inspire the rest of the exterior design.
As is always the case with vacation houses, it was important to provide ample, varied sleeping arrangements, to give both the owners and their guests comfort and privacy, and to create spaces for gathering together. The site is long and narrow, so we had to use every square foot we could and make sure there was an easy flow from the street to the back of the property. The front of the house sits right on the sidewalk, so the master suite and family room, as well as a large balcony and deck, face the more-private rear side. We used some of the property’s precious width to add a covered walkway, which provides crucial access to the rear terraces without entering the house.