There is a classic beauty and elegance to this entry stair hall.  What about it it makes us feel good? What did the designers do to create a timeless presence, while at the same time make us feel at home today? As with most great designs, it starts (and ends) with the details.

The Warmth of the Past

This modern cottage, which also happens to be a beach home, was designed to evoke a sense of the past.  The homeowner is reminded of summers spent during youth.  The warm wood paneling is a direct play on the classic summer homes of Newport and Long Island – an homage to days gone by.  A sense of nostalgia can also be seen in the front entry doors and the intricate detailing of the side windows.  These nostalgic design elements evoke happy memories of the past, helping to create a sense of contentment today.


We love things that are well-crafted.  The idea of people crafting our homes is fading. It’s very much in short supply these days. Knowing that someone took the time and care to create a beautiful object makes us feel good.  We begin to connect personally with our space.  Find things you love and that are handmade, and put them in your homes.  The detail of this newel post was created by a millworker in a local shop, not mass produced. However, do this sparingly as going custom tends to increase the cost.

Light  from Above

The designer of this space placed windows at the top of the stairs.  The light from above shines into the entry hall and makes us feel welcome to “come on up.”  Strategically situating light sources (either windows or artificial light) help create movement in space. People are drawn to the light.

Design by Point One Architects (Old Lyme, CT)

All photos by  Warren Jagger Photography (Providence, RI)


Design Exploder is a “tool” used by Your MODERN COTTAGE to help explain why we like (and don’t like) the homes that we live in.  It explodes design elements into their basic form and gives us insight into how designers think.  We hope that this tool will empower you to understand your own homes and give you the confidence to make the changes that you need in order to improve your life.

We look forward to your comments, questions, and continued conversations!