This Narragansett Beach House Makes Any Day Feel like a Vacation

A 1940s Cape gets reimagined from scratch into a dream home with water views


Lynn and Rod live outside of Boston and were looking for a family retreat to enjoy with their three grown children and grandchildren. Neighbors had been spending summers in Bonnet Shores and always spoke highly of the relaxation they felt when they were there. So, Lynn and Rod rented a house one summer and felt that same magic. “It was one of the best vacations we ever had,” says Lynn. Toward the end of that stay, the couple attended an open house, found a little 1940s Cape, and fell in love with the view. “I had always said to my husband that if we were going to buy a beach house, I wanted to see the water.”

The original plan was to renovate and enlarge the modest cottage to accommodate a visiting brood. The couple sought advice from an architect, builder, and structural engineer who all advised demolishing the property – which had no real foundation – and rebuild. Because they had to maintain the original footprint, the plan was to build up. “We were fortunate to have Lisa Carlisle from nearby Jamestown as our architect, and Jim Coughlin of Coughlin Brothers Builders as our builder,” Lynn begins. “They were perfectly in tune with our ideas and able to execute them beautifully.” Other local vendors include Arnold Lumber and Wickford Kitchens.

“Our clients wanted a modern coastal look to enhance the water views across the street. Due to the limited existing footprint, we wanted to avoid creating a basic box,” Carlisle explains. “The concept of ‘inside-outside’ to craft areas with interesting features, such as covered and uncovered decks, became an important design element.” The front entrance portico (with limited encroachment into the setback), exterior flare detail, and siding choice, as well as purposeful placement of windows and doors, further elevated the home’s overall design. Carlisle says, “They can now enjoy their new home with family for years to come.”

Lynn describes her style as always evolving but consistently leaning towards clean and simple; good quality, elegant, and welcoming. “We try to consider how we would use each space. Is there a place to put your feet up? A quiet corner to read? A place for board games, for entertaining; is it okay for kids and pets to feel comfortable? By basically starting from scratch with this house, we really had the opportunity to include all the things we wanted and didn’t have to compromise. We have both always been passionate about making the homes we live in beautiful and welcoming.”


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