You’ll Fall Hook, Line, and Sinker for This Tiny Beach Cottage
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Name: Jason Potter, my dog, Bear
Location: Provincetown, Massachusetts
Size: 288 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned
My home is located in the quirky, the queer, the magnetic village of Provincetown, Massachusetts. On my property is an infamous 16-by 18-foot, three-season cottage known by locals as the “Love Cottage.” The Love Cottage has been my full-time summer home since 2015, when I purchased the property. The rest of the year, I split my time between the larger, all-season house on my Provincetown property and friends’ couches in Boston on teaching days. But nothing beats summer in the Love Cottage, especially after the full, to-the-studs renovation in 2016.
When I bought the property, it was clear that the Love Cottage had been… er, shall we say… extremely well loved over the years. Its shoebox of a separate bedroom made sleeping an endeavor not for the claustrophobic (or coupled for that matter). The cottage interior was poorly laid out, not to mention completely run down. But for all its wear, it had character—akin to the famous dune shacks in the Cape Cod National Seashore where Tennessee Williams penned “Streetcar Named Desire.” Like a dune shack, the Love Cottage had clearly been a creative cocoon to generations of gay vagabonds.
So, when I set out to redesign and completely remodel the interior, I didn’t want to lose the quirky vibe. I wanted to design an interior that captures the personality of Ptown, but is also easy to maintain (sand from the beach a block away is unavoidable), has an open feel, and features some innovative design details. Some of my favorite design details of the new interior include:
The four-foot ash wood tile throughout the cottage, including the bathroom floor, walls, AND ceiling nearly always fools visitors. It also turns out that long tile laid front-to-back in a small space makes it look bigger and draws the visitor in from the doorway.
The wallpaper/orange Smeg combo—I mean, come on? How about that for an inspired pairing! I’m obsessed with this Cole & Sons triggerfish wallpaper, especially the fact that the early evening Ptown sun makes the paper’s gold leaf shimmer and animates the underwater scene.
Innovative, DIY kitchen cabinet hardware made from antique painted wooden fishing lures (de-hooked!) adds another whimsical and coastal touch.
What is your favorite room and why? The kitchen, as the major visual elements work remarkably well together—the orange SMEG refrigerator, the apartment-sized farmhouse sink, the DIY fishing lure hardware, the stone/seaglass composite countertop—and perfectly captures the Ptown vibe.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? While in Africa recently, I lugged back a large amount of colorful waxcloth fabric, which I just finished turning into striking throw pillows for the couch and bed.
Any advice for creating a home you love? So many people overlook lighting design. In an open floor plan, an area is not just defined by placement of furniture and decor items; an area can be defined by its lighting. If you’re renovating, consider planning to install long-lasting LED can lighting in strategic locations. The lighting in each area in the Love Cottage can be customized. In creating a home you love, don’t forget dimmers; lighting dimmers are your friend.
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