Waterfront Ranch Shelter Harbor, RI

When the owners of this Shelter Harbor, Rhode Island property first bought this summerhouse they described it as a boring old ranch with a series of small, dimly lit rooms off a long hallway. We were hired to transform the house into a light-filled beach house that captures the views of Quonochontaug Pond and Block Island Sound. It also needed plenty of outdoor living space. All this had to be done on a tight budget and without changing the building's footprint or adding a second story.

The addition of a deck and pergola on the waterside of the ranch house became a central design element. Many of the interior walls were removed, creating one large room that opens up onto the deck and waterfront landscape. The attic ceiling was removed in the main living area, creating an 11-foot vaulted ceiling. Double hung windows run down the waterside and wrap around the sides of the home, framing views of the pond in three directions. Today when the homeowners stand in their kitchen they see water in every direction, giving them the sense that they are living on a boat.