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Their 875 sq. ft. Lake-Front Retirement Cottage


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Maria and her husband purchased this 875-square-foot first as a vacation property, so they could escape their city life in New Jersey in the mess of 2020. After the death of Maria’s father, the couple decided it was time to simplify earlier rather than later. They moved in full-time just two weeks ago!

They added a wall to the loft bedroom to give their daughter a spot to stay when she visits, and they also converted the shed onsite into another bedroom for their son when he comes to town. Someday they hope to welcome their grandkids to the lake! What’s your favorite part of this small spot?

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Connecticut Cottage for Couple Nearing Retirement

The Boulders 875 sq foot tiny lake front cottage 2

Images via Maria

The front windows let in gorgeous light.

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Images via Maria

I love that the seating all revolves around the lake view.

The Boulders 875 sq foot tiny lake front cottage 69

Images via Maria

A porch with a pergola is a perfect spot for morning coffee.

The Boulders 875 sq foot tiny lake front cottage 89

Images via Maria

There’s a cozy little dining area.

The Boulders 875 sq foot tiny lake front cottage 3

Images via Maria

Fresh flowers make everything better.

The Boulders 875 sq foot tiny lake front cottage

Images via Maria

Here’s one of the upstairs bedrooms.

The Boulders 875 sq foot tiny lake front cottage 7

Images via Maria

That window is spectacular.

The Boulders 875 sq foot tiny lake front cottage 8

Images via Maria

There’s a second bed as a guest room.

The Boulders 875 sq foot tiny lake front cottage 6

Images via Maria

The “bunkie” is a converted shed on site.

The Boulders 875 sq foot tiny lake front cottage 5

Images via Maria

It’s a lovely little bedroom with more privacy.

The Boulders 875 sq foot tiny lake front cottage 4

Images via Maria

I love the boulder path to the house.

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Images via Maria

Could you enjoy Lake Life here?

The Boulders 875 sq foot tiny lake front cottage 67

Images via Maria

Highlights

  • Maria and her husband purchased this 875-square-foot lake-front cottage as a vacation property but decided to simplify their lives and move in full-time.
  • They added a wall to the loft bedroom to create a space for their daughter and converted a shed into another bedroom for their son when he visits.
  • The couple hopes to welcome their grandchildren to the lake and create lasting memories.
  • The cottage features beautiful front windows that allow natural light to fill the space.
  • The seating area is designed to revolve around the stunning lake view.
  • A porch with a pergola provides a perfect spot for morning coffee.
  • Fresh flowers add a touch of beauty to the cottage.
  • The upstairs bedrooms offer spectacular views through their windows.
  • The converted shed, known as the “bunkie,” provides a lovely and private guest room.
  • The cottage is located in Stafford Springs, CT, and was originally built by Barnyard Builders in 2010.
  • LD Unlimited Home Improvement was the renovation company that brought their vision to life.
  • The couple is embracing small living and enjoying the magical natural surroundings of their lake-front cottage.

Maria’s Story:

Our beautiful 875 sq foot tiny lake front cottage is in Stafford Springs, CT. We purchased it during the pandemic as a getaway from our city life in Jersey City, NJ. We searched for almost a year for the perfect space, somewhere between NYC and Boston where our son and daughter work and live. Our goal was to retire in this home and have a place where our grandchildren would grow up visiting the lake. After my husband’s father passed early this year, we decided it was time to simplify our lives, live small, enjoy the magical natural surroundings of this home that we always looked forward to being in and always felt sad leaving. We have been here full-time now for 2 weeks and couldn’t be happier with our decision. The home is small but feels open; inviting the sunshine, the dancing water, the cool breezes to fill up our souls every day.

We added a wall in the upstairs loft to create a 2nd bedroom for my daughter and finished the shed to create a “bunkie” for my son who loves his privacy. The space is so fun! It feels like glamping!

We used LD Unlimited Home Improvement as our builder for the renovations. They matched the unique custom features in the home perfectly! The original builder of this custom home was Barnyard Builders, a New England company. The cottage was originally built as a 2nd home in 2010 and has had 3 owners including us!

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Linda S Baker
    June 13, 2023, 9:04 am

    absolutely darling with enough room for 2 people, no problem. Great details!

  • Joan Powers
    June 13, 2023, 12:22 pm

    I would like to know if their bathroom is on the 1st or 2nd floor and does it include a tub. Also, how big/small is the kitchen? Is it behind the couch in the photos?

  • Liz
    June 13, 2023, 12:48 pm

    If this isn’t the most perfect, serene, welcoming and relaxing home I don’t know what is. Well done!!

  • Craig Johnson
    June 13, 2023, 1:28 pm

    This is the cutest little place. Is there a floor plan?

  • Dave
    June 13, 2023, 2:59 pm

    Spot on. Do you want a lodger haha

  • Linda
    June 13, 2023, 8:14 pm

    Perfect!!!!

  • Eric
    June 14, 2023, 4:22 am

    1st picture I fell in love with it. 2nd picture I fell out of love with it ever so slightly. Heart. Be still. Can I have the building shipped over the New Zealand… pleeeze? Pretty, pretty pleeeze.

  • vee
    June 14, 2023, 11:08 am

    I’ll take it!!! :)!

  • Michael
    July 16, 2023, 2:44 pm

    Love it! By the way, I hate Jersey City! I live in Hunterdon county which is very safe and peaceful 😀

  • Donna Rae
    July 16, 2023, 4:30 pm

    Wait! What? I think this might be a first…I’m not keeping track so there may be one or two others I can’t remember…but a post without any photos of the kitchen? Surely what we can see is beautiful and many, including me, would fall in love with it. Still, disappointing. I suppose you post what you are sent. Love the “feel” of the place, without a doubt!

    • James D.
      July 18, 2023, 11:52 am

      “I suppose you post what you are sent.”

      Yes, they are limited to what the source provides. However, there may simply be no kitchen…

      Mind, it’s a guest house/ADU and they aren’t always allowed to have a separate kitchen and/or bathroom from the main house in single family zoned properties. Additionally, it’s right by the lake and that often prohibits structures from having regular plumbing, etc.

      It’s also a shed conversion, and they aren’t always intended to be completely independent homes. Like He-Sheds, She-Sheds, etc. it can be intended for only specific uses and basically just accessorizes the main house.

      • Eric
        July 19, 2023, 12:00 am

        They aren’t always allowed to have what??? Oh, wait, this a ‘Murica, Land of the you can do anything you want except blah blah blah blah blah blah. Oh well, don’t live there so it doesn’t affect me…. thank goodness.

        My opinion on the whole shebang.

        • James D.
          July 19, 2023, 8:30 pm

          It’s actually something you can run into just about anywhere in the world. Plenty of places have environmental restrictions, their own version of single family zoning that may limit the number and types of structures that can be on a single property, and reasons to avoid doing things like prohibitive additional costs and complications like needing permits/building consent, etc.

          Like in NZ, you can run into situations where you may want to keep a secondary structure under 10m2, but with no kitchen and bathroom, to avoid needing permits/building consent and all the additional costs and complications that will involve. Having a kitchen and bathroom typically voids exemptions as well as adds additional costs…

          Among other reasons a secondary or more structures may be more limited than the main structure on a given property or issues relating to the location or the budget/time/complication it will involve…

  • Larry F.
    June 2, 2024, 2:40 pm

    What are the dimensions? Is there a floor plan that can be purchased?

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