Details, details, details! Creating an authentic cottage involves lots of details! However, we never expected that one of the most time-consuming challenges in building This New Cottage would be designing a seemingly minor bathroom detail!
When original Cape Cod cottages were built, they were often the result of owners piecing together low-cost materials. Many cottages were built with materials taken from buildings set to be demolished. Owners were happy with small but efficient living areas and tiny bedrooms and baths. The result was a cozy, family-friendly vacation home.
At This New Cottage, the goal was to recreate the same charming feeling, especially in the bedrooms and baths. Reminiscent of cottages of the past, its second-floor rooms have sloped ceilings, dormers, and scaled-down closets. In one bedroom, these unique angles and lines allowed for a few built-in bookshelves and a reading nook, similar to what defined the owners’ inspiration cottages.
In the powder room, the owners mimicked retro styling by choosing a reproduction apothecary sink. In other bathrooms, they incorporated tile and decorative accents reminiscent of the period.
The second-floor bathroom did pose an interesting challenge due to the sloped ceiling. To meet current code, we chose a corner of the room with sufficient head height for the tub and shower. The back of the shower wall was sloped, following the roof line. Everything fit well and would function as intended. Well, almost everything. The problem was a shower curtain! It would need to follow the line of the sloped ceiling but with an opening wide enough to allow the user to open and close the curtain. Finding a solution took a bit of research to balance cost and the desired retro aesthetic. A shower door with a custom, sloped piece of glass was an expensive option and did not meet the mark for the retro look. A custom-made, curved stainless steel tube following the line of the shower would cause the shower curtain to slide down the sloped portion during a shower. Finally, we designed a hinged connector that could be set to any angle between standard shower rod parts. The result is exactly the owner’s vision, and the costs were minimal. We never thought that one of our most time-consuming challenges in building a retro cottage would be a shower curtain rod! That being said, years of experience have taught us that with a little diligence and a lot of creativity, there is a solution to almost every problem imaginable!
~ Matt Teague – REEF, the Cape Cod Builder
This New Cottage, written by its homeowner and its builder, is a tale of color, nostalgia and the challenges of rebuilding a Cape Cod cottage. Watch for it in bookstores soon! Enter your email to the right to be notified when the book is available.