This Shingle-style house perched on an extraordinary site 300 feet above Compo Beach orients principal rooms and porches to views of Long Island Sound and Sherwood Island. The site had been occupied by a small and undistinguished 1960s house and is encumbered by zoning rules including strict height limitations, which we accommodated with a gambrel roof and picturesque gables and dormers. The L-shaped house embraces an existing swimming pool; a gently sloping family lawn and garden were created to the south. Large windows and doors bring the views inside, and fireplaces anchor the living room, dining room, and family room, which are organized around a large central stair hall.
Sky-blue stained shingles, leaded hand-blown glass, and white-painted shutters and window boxes at the double-hung windows give the house a casual feel reminiscent of early twentieth-century beach houses in Maine or Nantucket. Picturesque gables and dormers at the gambrel roof reduce the apparent height of the house. Classical detailing, hand-scraped oak floors, beadboard paneling, and cork ceilings bring the simple charm indoors.