A Rhode Island cottage sports classic New England shingle style.
Shingle style is a distinctly American type of architecture that was born and bred in New England.
When a family wanted to create a Rhode Island coastal cottage with this distinctive style, they called on Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders (PSD) to help them. Then PSD would design and build the home to reflect the classic regional style. “The Rhode Island coast is where shingle style started,” says John R. DaSilva, design principal.
The original house on the property didn’t take full advantage of the ocean view. “The lot has a pan handle that goes down between two other houses to the beach, so its view is through that narrow portion of the property,” John says. “We shifted the house to align with that.”
John and his team also designed the shape of the home to maximize the view. The front is one-and-a-half stories, meaning the second floor only contains dormer windows. But the back has a full two stories to maximize the windows. To keep the transition cohesive, they added two towers on either side of the home. “The towers transition the house, which allows you to maximize the view across the back,” John says. “It would be limited with only dormers.”
“The compact footprint and gambrel roof is something you find in shingle-style houses in the area, that would most early 20th century.” likely have been built in the
On the front, the PSD team played with traditional shingle style. For example, rather than using typical round columns on the wraparound porch, they used flat fat columns instead. “It’s a more playful way to make a column,” John says. “It’s more contemporary, but it still evokes traditional houses.” Likewise, the shutters are overscaled and have fun cutouts of sailboats. “It makes the house friendly and endearing,” John says.
Know Your Elements
Shingle style: A type of architecture developed in New England in the 1880s, characterized by an envelope of wood shingles.
Dormer window: A window that projects vertically from a sloped roof.
Flat column: A column with entasis (tapering) on the sides only; the front and back are straight, as if cut from a flat wall plane.