Glossary Terms Archive

Coastal style homes

Coastal style home plans reflect a casual resort atmosphere with exteriors that recall the cottage style with pastel colored siding, white trim and standing seam metal roofs, or a Nantucket feel with grayed split shake siding and wood shake roofing, or even a Mediterranean coastal villa with golden hued stucco and terra cotta tile roofing. Most feature informal great rooms that are interconnected with bright spacious kitchens and view oriented dining spaces. Many coastal style house plans feature elevated living spaces over an island style basement that is fitted to coastal site conditions where flooding is a concern. These lower spaces may feature parking, storage and unfinished areas that can be converted into such uses as game rooms, exercise rooms, or flex rooms that can accommodate visiting grandchildren (conditional upon site zoning requirements).

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Originally in the Middle Ages, cottages housed agricultural workers and their families. The term “cottage” denoted the dwelling of a cotter. Thus, cottages were smaller peasant units. In that early period, a documentary reference to a cottage would most often mean, not a small stand-alone dwelling as today, but a complete farmhouse and yard (albeit a small one). Thus in the Middle-Ages, the word “cottage” seems to have meant not just a dwelling, but have included at least a dwelling and a barn, as well as, usually, a fenced yard or piece of land enclosed by a gate. Later on, “cottage” might also have denoted a smallholding comprising houses, outbuildings, and supporting farmland or woods. A cottage, in this sense, would typically include just a few acres of tilled land. Much later (from around the 18th century onwards), the development of industry led to the development of weavers’ cottages and miners’ cottages. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term ‘cottage’ is used in North America to represent ‘a summer residence (often on a large and sumptuous scale) at a watering-place or a health or pleasure resort’ with its first recognized use dating to 1882, in reference to Bar Harbor in Maine.

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