Designing Our New Cottage - Preliminary Plan Cottage #1

Greetings Cottage Friends.

To those of you who left comments on my last post Designing Our New Cottage, or on my Facebook page, thank you.  Your kind words are a big encouragement to me.  I appreciate them and your interest in our cottage-to-be more than you'll ever know. 

Some of you have mentioned that you want to follow our project to gain insight for your own future home build.  I hope what I share will help you in some way. 

As I mentioned before, My husband "Captain", a retired architect, drew up the plans.  To date we have designed three  different cottages.  
Cottage #1

Exterior Elevations

This is a 1,250 SF story and a half cottage.   The front door overhang has decorative scalloped shingles and brackets.  Shutters to the right of the door are purely decorative -- there is no window there.  The shutters mimic the look of closed shutters on a cottage window, adding character as well as symmetry to the front of the house.


More scalloped shingles adorn the gables on the sides of the cottage. 


This is the back of the house.

The main floor is 840 SF.   An L-shape kitchen is open to the living and dining rooms.  The side entrance is just off the dining area.  A corridor houses a pantry and guest closet, and leads to the laundry, full bathroom, and Captain's art studio.  Just outside the studio is a clean-up sink.  Across from the sink is the stairs to the upper level. 

The 410 SF second story is a simple design of two bedrooms and a full bath.

The Kitchen

This is the long section of the "L".  The range is banked by cabinets in a hutch fashion.  To its right is a farm sink.  The window over the sink looks out on the future garden.

Traditional Spaces by Morrow Kitchen & Bath Designers The Workshops of David T. Smith
This cottage kitchen photo is my inspiration for the "hutch".

The section on the south wall completes the "L". 

The kitchen cabinetry we specified in this plan is Homecrest Bayport in white.  I chose it for its beadboard doors.  Here's a photo from their kitchen gallery.


And this is another view of Bayport from their Bathroom Gallery.


The Living Room

There are three windows facing south.  This gives lots of natural light to the room. 

 A gas fireplace with mantel is on the west wall.

We put this plan out to two contractors for bids.  You'll see carpet and vinyl flooring noted.  Originally we specified hardwood floors throughout, but revised our plan after we saw the cost. 

What I like about this plan:
  • The exterior has a strong traditional cottage look.
  • Two full baths.
  • Fireplace
  • Second story gives us a view of the mountains in the distance, which we don't have from the ground floor.
  • Placing the stairwell in the back of the house keeps it from interfering with the layout in the living room.
  • The stair railing is open on one side and can be seen from the side entry.  Nice look.
  • The large windows in the dining room.

What I don't like about this plan:
  • The front door opens into the living space. 
  • Not enough natural light in the kitchen.
  • The proximity of the sink to the range -- not enough workspace between them.
We scrapped this plan and started over for the following reasons:
  • The preliminary cost to build was too expensive for our budget. 
  • There was no cost advantage to building a story and a half.  Since this was the case, we decided to go back to the drawing board and design a single level home.  Eliminating stairs seemed like a smart move for the future.  That whole aging thing, you know.
This preliminary plan was a good starting point.  The estimates we received from the contractors gave us critical information needed to design a cottage within our budget constraints.

In my next post I'll show you Cottage #2. 

Thanks for dropping by.

I'm sharing at these lovely parties:
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings
Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House
You're Gonna Love it Tuesday at Kathe with an E
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life

Share Your Cup Thursday at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage




  1. Wonderful to be able to follow along and see your plans.
    I liked this plan, although I agree, one level might be a better plan as you look toward the future.
    Looking forward to seeing a Cottage Plan, #2.

    1. Thanks, Lynne. Since we're planning on this being the home where we live out the rest of our days, a single level makes more sense. I did like the idea, though, of a second floor "escape". :)

  2. Ok, I am dying of envy. I love this plan. Can't imagine it getting better, but will be looking forward to cottage 2.

    1. There are big differences between this plan and Cottage #2. I'll be interested to know your thoughts after you've seen it, Betty.

  3. So cute! But I agree, I think it was a good decision to nix the stairs.

    1. There are so many good reasons not to have stairs at this age, Sue. One very important consideration is hauling furniture up steps. And then there's the reality of taking clothes and linens from the laundry up the stairs. I agree that it was a good decision to eliminate the stairs.

  4. Looks like you have a distinct advantage, having a retired architect husband. I love the way this cottage looks. Can't wait to see the upcoming ideas take shape.

    1. Oh, there's no doubt, Latane, that having an in-house architect is a distinct advantage. Especially one who's as talented as Captain. His attention to every detail is amazing.

  5. so exciting!!!!! I love the drawings, this is the best stage (next to moving in, of course!)


    1. I agree, Anne. To have an idea and see it come to life on paper is exhilarating. And it's pretty nice to be able to take an eraser to it when something's not working. :)

  6. I'm finding this so very interesting. As we look for a new-to-us house I find myself being very critical about layout, knowing that this will be 'the place we'll live out most of the rest of our lives. I don't know if I'd have the courage to build from scratch!

    1. I will admit that in the beginning I spent many sleepless hours lying in bed wondering if I'm making the right decisions about almost everything. And, of course, I won't know if I did until it's built and we live there. I will say, however, that I sleep very well now that we've decided on a final plan. And I'll be sharing more about that in the future. I'm glad you're sharing your thoughts, as it tells me I'm not alone in mine. :)

  7. Wow, there's so much to think about when starting from scratch! I am a huge ranch fan, Nancy, so I can't wait to see the next plan! I have to say that I am very partial to the white cabinet look and the gas fireplace! We did one in our home and I LOVE IT! We just use the remote to turn it on whenever we get that "fire" urge! Even if we are only home for an hour and want a fire, it's so easy - click on and then off! :) Have a great weekend!

    1. We had a little red gas heating stove in our Colorado cottage, Kim. It actually heated our entire home. Of course, it was only 640 SF. :) I love your white kitchen. It's very distinctive. xx

  8. Nancy, first let me say thank you for your sweet comment about the exterior of our house. If you've never heard me say this, we picked this house hastily and then when we moved I didn't like all. I've grown to love it over the last two years as it has become more us. We aren't movers like some people are but we already know that we will move again to something more like you and your hubby are working on. I've always dreamed of a cottage and my husband dreams of lower taxes. :)

    Can't wait to see what you two decide on.

    1. Thanks, Stacey. I hate to tell you how many times I've moved in my lifetime. Actually, I can't tell you because I don't remember the number. But it's a lot. My work required relocations, and then there were aging parents that needed help, etc.. . .so more moves. I'm looking forward to setting down in this home, which we hope will be our last. Enjoy the weekend and your beautiful home. :)

  9. Love your plans! That hutch is amazing! I can't wait to see it all come together!

    1. Thanks, Marie. The hutch in the photo is part of a total custom kitchen by David T. Smith. I'd love to be able to hire him to do a kitchen for me, but that's not something I'll ever be able to afford. However, photos inspire us, don't they? And we can take ideas and make them our own within our own budgets. I like that. :)

  10. This is a beautiful cottage. But, I am with you I would opt for a single level too. Thank you for linking with Home Sweet Home!

    1. My pleasure, Sherry. I look forward to your weekly party. :)

  11. Nancy, love looking at your plans and taking in you and your hubby's vision! The kitchen hutch is fabulous! At my age I would probably opt for the cabin all on one level. But must admit that the two story ones always attract me more. We have a small upstairs with two bedrooms, two baths, and a bonus room. I wanted a home all on one level when we were looking, but couldn't find one that I liked both inside and out. There were things I would have different with this home, but more my taste than anything we could find. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Your home is lovely, Jann. Of course, you've put your own personality into it, and that's what makes it so special. We looked at dozens of homes before deciding to have a house built. I have to admit it's a bit challenging with material costs so high. I appreciate your kind, encouraging words, my friend. xxx ~ Nancy

  12. Oh, how exciting! Great plans and wonderful inspiration - such a delight! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

    1. Thanks, Kathy. Hope you have a wonderful July 4th. :)


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