Home Plan Detail

A Forest Cottage

By: R W Knight
Knight Architecture


Square Footage

Total living area: 1540'
Basement: 2279'
Main Level:844'
Upper Level:696'
Footprint: 38' 0" W x 29' 0" D


Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.0
Master suite location: Upper Floor


Levels: 2
Foundation: Crawlspace
Lot type(s):
Modifiable to:
Modifiable to:
All others


  • Central Fireplace
  • Entry Foyer
  • Vaulted Ceiling
  • Screened Porch
  • Library Alcove
  • Generous Balcony


This cottage was built on a shore, but it was designed for a forested site with more of a vertical component. The clients had a heavily forested rocky site with an opening to the south, and great views to the west and northwest. A short way up the hill was a little glade with some old apple trees, a sure sign that a house had been there before. The architect thought that it felt right for a compact house like this one. It is a home that feels very solid and simple, with few surprises inside.

Approaching from the east you see a simple cape, with a dormer on the back side that is over the stairs. A little entry porch is cut out of the volume to draw you in (and keep you dry while you find your keys). You enter into a small foyer with the back wall of the fireplace in front of you and the woodstove close at hand. On the right is a little alcove, which may be used as a library/study, or a place to keep a small desk and computer. As you wander to the west– drawn by the windows and the sense of more space– you come into the two story space that lets you look up to the balcony upstairs, and realize that there is another gable on the west side of the house. Both can be seen from inside this surprisingly big space.

Just under the balcony is a dining area with access to a screened porch and a very efficient U–shaped kitchen beyond it. In order to get the kitchen to have a view to the north and west, and look south into the dining and living space, the architect put most of what would normally be overhead storage into a pantry across the hall. This is often a good strategy to open up a kitchen and to keep cabinet costs down.

Upstairs are two bedrooms and a bath. All the rooms are under the eaves of the 45 degree roofs, but they all have part of the gable ends to look out of as well. Bedroom 2 has a flat ceiling height of 9'4" and slopes down to 4' at the end wall. There is a generous balcony that looks over the living room that can be used as an overflow sleeping space, alternate living room, or kids' play area. Or you could enclose it and get a much bigger primary bedroom, or a third closed off room, paying the price of the house feeling much less spacious. Of course, if space is tight the entire two story space can be floored in at a later date.

Although this house was designed with a forest surround in mind, it would do well in an open site because of its strong cohesive form.

Please Note
Due to licensing agreements, this home may not be built in Hancock County, Maine.

Floor Plans