Unique cottage design


Our cottage was built in 1969. The original owner was inspired by a spread in a 1965 Better Homes & Gardens magazine and built his cottage in a very similar fashion. After a bit of research I was able to find that vintage magazine online, and was able to purchase it. 

I found the architect’s name in the article, and was able to connect with him by phone. He’s 90 years old now, and was interested in my story about the cottage.  I’ve sent him photos. He too built this model which he described as having elements of an A-frame and Chalet design. He used his for 30 years as a family ski house in Vermont. 

Nov 24, 17 10:05 am

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Am I misreading, or are the above commenters (Chris and Marc) misreading?

The house in the magazine is an architect-designed cottage. The house with the clapboard siding is one that some dude built after seeing the architect's design in a magazine. 

They are both cool little houses, but this is a good example of how very subtle individual choices make a *universe* of difference in the overall final product.

Nov 24, 17 2:09 pm

As pee magazine? Chris you and I are reading very different periodicals.... ;-)

Good catch. Thanks, Donna.

Wood shingles are for door stops & starting fires, and in a pinch, one can make sketches on them with a dullish pencil or even a nail.

Nov 24, 17 2:22 pm

The magazine spread is architect Robert Burley’s work (Incidentally, he was the designer in charge of the St. Louis Gateway Arch.) The photos that follow are of our family cottage. 

Originally (before us) our cottage had the cedar shingles & a franklin stove in the alcove (see 1970’s photo). The cedar shingles were difficult to maintain according to a previous owner who said they had trouble keeping up to the moss that would grow on them. I’m not sure the reason for removing the franklin stove and going with the pellet stove in the corner. 



Nov 24, 17 7:28 pm

I love cedar shakes. My next door neighbor recently replaced cedar shake cladding on their house - they looked a little ratty, but they were over 50 years old, so $ well spent, IMO.

The original railing on this cottage looks cool (visible though the sliding glass door on the "before" picture above).

It seems the 1969 version is missing the two-story space above the dining room that the 1965 version had.

Nov 25, 17 9:22 am

Yes, the plan was modified by the original owner to allow for 4 bedrooms up, instead of 3.


Here's an exterior from the 70's with the railing (as Donna mentioned) and cedar shingles. 

Nov 25, 17 1:28 pm

contemporary home with shingle siding. Different, and it works.

Nov 25, 17 1:50 pm

Painted / stained, high maintenance.

That's a lovely house.



Nov 25, 17 3:05 pm

Corrugated corten sheet.


It starts red-orange, then black-ish, then green, you can stop it at any point.

that pile of "pigment" really ties the room together


sometimes I wish I could understand everything you write, but then I keep working.

Is that snow or pigment? I never schedule meetings until after 10am PST.


ah that pile, looks like sawdust but it could be just dirt.

Oh, I forgot Zinc. Zinc is dope. And one could pull the trim and zinc shutter those windows for a more seamless look.

Nov 27, 17 2:26 pm
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Put the cedar back on...moss is great.

Nov 28, 17 8:38 am

Yeah, I am prejudiced against wood shingle, I grew up in the desert.


wood shingles banned even in roofs here, too much uv makes it perfect kindling.


That will most likely be the way we go. The cedar that was removed by a previous owner had been on there for 30+ years, it may have been it's time.


Previous owner dug up a better photo displaying the original cedar shake. Apparently they were stained/painted at some point. Before he replaced with vinyl siding he priced out cedar shakes, he said just the cedar shakes alone were going to be $12,000 (both sides), without labour to install. That would have been around 2010 or so. 

Dec 14, 17 8:05 am

To clarify $6000 per side.

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