There's a beautiful purity of color where the water meets the sky," says Julie Salles Schaffer, the owner and architect of a cedar beach house set along the scenic central Connecticut coast. "What draws me to modern design is the opportunity to frame these elements—the horizon line, for example—in a way that includes few details or distractions. I'm always interested in making things as simple as possible, particularly in a house by the shore."
The New York–based architect and her husband, Robert, spent years renting vacation homes at nearby beaches, but when they spied a one-and-a-half-acre lot with unobstructed vistas of Long Island Sound in the seaside town of Guilford, they began planning a retreat of their own: a streamlined and contemporary yet warm and inviting home.
The red cedar home's facade offers a glimpse of Long Island Sound through a deep breezeway paved with honed Jerusalem limestone.