Live Large in a Small Space

There is just something alluring about a cozy beach cottage. See how three families make the most of their square feet—one has fewer than 380!

Simplicity Rules
Photographer: David Tsay, Writer: David Hanson

Cottage 1: Stinson Beach

Steps from the water in Stinson Beach, California, architect Lewis W. Butler, the principle at San Francisco-based Butler Armsden Architects, designed a home meant to bring his family together and allow them to enjoy the outdoors. Shaped like an H, with the living room serving as the connecting bridge between the two bedroom wings, the house is a model of smart, efficient design. Although the total footprint is less than 2,000 square feet, the house offers plenty of space-and privacy-to meet the needs of the architect's two children, his parents, and his sister's family. "There's just enough space for everyone to spread out to their four corners and still come together in the living room," Lewis says.

Inspired by his grandmother's William Wurster-designed Santa Cruz house, Lewis created a home that is all about the indoor-outdoor experience. Sliding glass doors that open to a deck on one side and a courtyard on the other make the space feel larger.

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