Overlooking Casco Bay, this gambrel-roofed cottage is one of the oldest remaining homes on Cousins Island. Built in 1905, this historic home was once where Sir Henry Worth Thornton, president of the Canadian National Railways, spent his summers. The current owners came to us with two priorities—they wanted to preserve the character of this cozy cottage while expanding it to create a year-round getaway for their family.
Before we got going on this project, the existing cottage and garage had already undergone several additions over the years but were still in poor shape. In redesigning the main cottage, we started by creating a softened gambrel roofline that ran straight through to the bayside of the cottage. Maximizing water views, we added a deep, covered wraparound porch to the first floor of the house. Minimal changes were made to the interior as our clients wanted to preserve the high ceilings and beadboard walls of the original structure—what we did adjust was for the sake of modern amenities.
With year-round livability in mind, many of our renovations included energy-efficient upgrades that would remove the limitations of a standard seasonal cottage. We incorporated closed cell spray foam in the walls, ceilings, and floors, and all windows were replaced with low-emissivity versions. The existing heating system was also replaced with high-efficiency heat pump units.
With the existing garage dating back to the 1980s, we removed it completely and replaced it with a gambrel-roofed carriage house that emulated the design of the cottage itself. This structure is connected to the main house by an extension of the wraparound porch.
This location offers breathtaking views of Casco Bay from dusk till dawn, and these homeowners have one of the best seats on the island, taking it all in right from their porch.