When the nest is empty, many homeowners find it to be the perfect opportunity to find a smaller and more efficient home. Downsizing, however, doesn’t have to mean lifestyle-altering. Many who have spent years building a life that includes a home gym, beautiful outdoor spaces, a chef’s kitchen and even a wine cellar aren’t keen on “going back.” They are simply looking for more manageable space for a couple and an occasional guest or two. These active empty nesters, as many call themselves, are looking for a new kind of modern cottage.
Welcome Home to Active Living
Active empty nesters Christopher and Rachel Franco fueled their passion for transforming historic properties by purchasing the iconic Harbor House Inn in Greenwich, Connecticut. They transformed the 14,000-square-foot property into six stunning residences designed specifically for active empty nesters. Each home includes three bedrooms and three and one-half baths.
Surround Yourself with Things You Love
To satisfy the lifestyle and aesthetic that the Francos wanted for themselves, they designed beautiful shared spaces throughout the building. A rooftop relaxation deck offers sweeping views of the ocean and surrounding landscape. Its styling is reminiscent of a widow’s walk with architectural details seen in seaside homes when the original Inn was built. A grand hallway and staircase meet residents as they enter, while the lower level offers a Wine Room, complete with a dining area for 12 guests, adjacent to wine storage for each resident.
Designed for Your Lifestyle
“The Wine Room can be reserved by residents when their entertainment plans require more space,” said Franco. “We also have a small, well-equipped gym so that couples don’t have to worry about changing their fitness regimen.” The intent was to create the ultimate in comfort and convenience for those wanting to downsize without sacrificing the advantages of a larger home.
Small Spaces Transformed by Windows
“This building is all about the windows,“ said Franco. “We wanted big windows and high ceilings to give the feeling of grand Paris apartments. We wanted to replicate the intricate cottage-style windows that were a signature of the building from hundreds of years ago, while creating environments where homeowners were excited to live.”
Marvin windows were chosen for their energy efficiency and historic replication capabilities, a powerful combination for restoration projects such as this. Along with the signature look on the outside, the windows were essential to creating light-filled spaces that would appear larger than their square footage. The windows are pivotal to designing a gracious environment in which active empty nesters feel excited about their new lifestyle. While the new windows are a reminder of the original grandeur of the building, they are now also energy efficient and easy to maintain.
Your Modern Cottage for Every Stage of Your Life
Harbor House @ Greenwich Point is a wonderful reminder that there are innovative ways to create modern cottage living for every stage of life.
Photos courtesy of Hastings