Real cottage style

flgargoyleAugust 16, 2008

We just got back from a relaxing weekend on Anna Maria Island Fl, and enjoyed some real cottages. 'Cottage Style' is all the rage these days (I like it, too) but then I read about the square footage of these 'cottages'- yikes! When I was a kid, cottages were small, informal vacation places. We had one- probably 600 square feet, with no insulation, wallboard, or electricity. Everything was painted planking or beadboard. The cottage we rented was about the same size as our old one, and not much fancier, although it did have electricity. We had a great time riding bikes around the island, and taking pictures of the wonderful old cottages, dating back to 1912. Maybe the real 'cottage style' will come back into vogue some day. Here's a picture of one of the old cottages, although it's not the one we rented.

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Those are darling cottages! And MY idea of what a cottage should be in style and size.

My in-laws had a beach cottage for many years; it was the former post office for an Air Force base nearby. The floor boards had empty spaces between them, so my MIL only had to sweep the beach sand down into the spaces to get it out of the house! They built a newer home in the 60s.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 9:26AM
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Here's something strange -- I spent a chunk of my childhood on an island off the coast of Maine that had been a summer getaway for the super-rich from the late 1880s on, with its heyday in the first couple of decades of the 20th century. We're talking Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Astors kind of rich. Any of us ordinary folks would call their summer houses mansions - and I'm talking real mansions - but they were invariably referred to as "cottages". While they were indeed luxury homes (albeit considered very simple compared to the primary residence!) the main reason they were so large was because entire extended families and guests to boot would spend weeks on end and even the whole summer there to get away from the heat of Boston, New York and Washington, which was considered very unhealthy especially for women and childen. (Some say the combined advent of air conditioning and air travel actually killed off the summer colonies.) One relative of mine did cooking and cleaning in some of the cottages still owned by the original family when I was a child in the early 1970s and sometimes she would take me along; I remember playing in the large, dim, silent rooms with the furniture draped in sheets, pretending I was one of the people who summered there decades before. ;-) So when I hear the word "cottage" that is the first thing that comes to mind, isn't that odd? Terminology can be such a strange thing.

What you folks depicted/described above as "cottages" are frequently referred to as "camps" in much of Maine and New Hampshire.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 12:55PM
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johnmari: camps is the term used in Vermont as well.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 10:45PM
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Darling cottage flgargoyle. Love all the charming angles on the roof. Would be a nightmare here with the snow but it is cute to look at. Thanks for the picture!

When I was a little girl living in Brooklyn we took vacations in Connecticut and would spend a week or two in a little cottage. Was on the beach. Do not remember the town it was in. I think we also called it camp. I fell in love with that little house. It was small. Two bedrooms one bath the old knotty pine red counter tops. It was in the 50's and it was not new.

My Grandmother also lived in a darling cottage in Long Beach,Ca. Another dream home of mine. Years later when we were house hunting we found the EXACT house as my grandmothers in Halfway Oregon and I wanted it so bad. Hubby said it was really too much work to bring it back. It had not had the care my grandmothers house had had. The remodel job they did on it sort of ruined the charm by opening the glassed sun room to the living room. Made a nice large living room but the glass sun room was so cute as it was. Was sort of nostalgic as soon as I walked in the front door and recognized the house I could almost hear the glass doors at my Grandmothers house on the sun room opening, smell her pies.

I know the house we have is a manufactured home but I am calling it Canary Cottage and will make a sign for it when I have time. There was a tiny house here years ago and I keep finding bits of china and glass from it as we create the new yard. I will incorporate that old glass and china with some new for the mosaic sign. Can't wait, just need the time. Come on winter!!! It might not be a real cottage but I hope to make it look as much like a cottage as I can.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 12:52AM
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Here's a slightly bigger one, built in 1912.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 5:36AM
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Great little cottages. I have a book 'Mary Emmerling's American Country Cottages'. Some of those cottages are huge. This is a great little book if anyone is interested in reading it and looking at the pictures. One thing she said is "In some ways, the cottage is more a state of mind and a life-style than a set of physical characteristics."

Our little cottage was built around 1950 and is about 750 sq.ft.

Chris ~ I look forward to seeing your mosaic sign for 'Canary Cottage'. It will be beautiful just like the rest of your mosaic work. We call our place 'Plum Cottage'.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 2:06PM
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I love these cottages. I think that is what the developers were going for when they started building Seaside near Destin, FL in the early 1980s. Of course the smallest "cottages" there now go for about $900K. Not my kind of cottage.

While we're talking about smaller homes and semantics . . . we have been sort of halfway looking for lake property near us in Alabama, and I have found an interesting new use for the word "cabin." Apparently it is not only used to describe a rustic, wooden structure. Folks seem to think if there has been something added on to a mobile home, and if said mobile home has been in one place for 20+ years, and if said location is near a lake, then it transforms into a "cabin."

As advertised: "Lovely 2/1 cabin on leased lot on XXX Lake."

As found: "Mobile home from the 1970s with the tongue cut off and aluminum siding wrapped around it, with large deck. Third wide spot on the right past the large Confederate battle flag."

Must keep looking.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 5:14PM
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The cottages on Mackinac Island, Michigan are just like the ones that johnmari describes - Huge! I think it's a shame that the vinyl siding salesman found these cute little cottages. To me, they look so much more natural if the siding is wood. And, yes, then the owner has to maintain it.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 7:26AM
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Ha! We were just at Mackinac last week! Lovely area!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 8:22PM
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