Cute, cozy and full of charm, cottage living can fit the bill for anyone looking for a romantic getaway. Yet this home style offers plenty of reasons to fall in love when it comes to everyday life as well.
Just ask Steve Eck, president of Eck Construction, who found the appeal of cottages so alluring he decided to build a small collection of them in King City. Dubbed Belford Place, the development offers five home styles, all of which offer a different twist on the English cottage.
Decorative stone and architectural timber, along with gabled entries, steeply pitched roofs, window grilles and carriage-style garage doors, lend the one- and two-story structures a storybook quality. But the compact size — interiors range from 1,240 to 1,800 square feet — reflects an all-too-real interest in smaller, more affordable spaces that are sometimes called “jewel-box” homes.
“I think many people are realizing they don’t need as much space to be comfortable or have the kind of amenities they’ve come to expect,” said Eck. “At the same time, many people still want their own home, and they don’t want to live in a condominium or share walls with their neighbors.”
Jewel-box homes typically take up less than 2,000 square feet of space and put an emphasis on high-quality materials, functional floor plans and energy efficiency. At
Belford Place, the two- and three-bedroom cottages all boast natural hardwood floors in the main living areas, glass tile backsplashes in the kitchen and bathrooms, and a gas fireplace with a wood mantel and tile surround in the great room, among other standard features.
Floor plans are designed for an open feel, making the most of the space. Nine-foot ceilings with soaring vaults, numerous windows and strategically placed skylights also give a more expansive look and feel. In addition, all of the cottages have energy-saving windows, furnaces, and hot water heaters as well as eco-friendly landscaping.
Still, the first word out of most people’s mouths when they see the cottages is “charming,” according to Michelle Johnson, a broker with Park Place Real Estate who represents Belford Place. “Even though these homes are completely modern in form and function,” she said, “they really offer something different than what you typically see in new construction.”
Indeed, as the love affair with homes the size of modern-day castles fade for many buyers, the cottages at Belford Place provide a refreshing type of intimacy.
The model home, at 17041 S.W. 130th Place, King City, has a dining nook just off the kitchen that overlooks a private, partially covered patio that would appeal to a couple wanting to share coffee and a newspaper in the morning or relax with some wine and conversation in the evening. In the master bedroom, a small gas fireplace set in a corner wall can be lit with the flip of a switch and throw light on a fenced-in yard just right for a miniature flower or vegetable garden.
Five of the 14 homes planned for Belford Place have been completed and are priced from $229,000 to $299,000. Although buyers will have a set of covenants, conditions and restrictions to follow, the development will have no shared expenses that will require homeowner association fees. Two cottages have sales pending, but the others are available and will be held open Wednesdays through Fridays, noon two 3 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The model home address can be difficult to find using GPS, says Johnson, who recommends taking Highway 99 W to Southwest Fischer Road, then going west to Southwest 130th Place.
Vintage cottages can be found in Portland, but it can be a treasure hunt to find one that’s well-preserved and full of charm. One currently for sale, at 8023 S.E. Carlton St., was built in 1929. A picket fence and decorative arbor at the front gate give way to a small front yard and path of stones that lead to a gabled entrance.
Inside, a wood-burning fireplace dominates the cozy living room on the first floor of the two-bedroom, two-bath house. At just 1,079 square feet, the cottage is intimate. Special features, which give the home added appeal, include a private dining alcove; bright, open kitchen with a green-and-white checkerboard floor; separate laundry room; and fenced backyard with a flagstone patio.
Although there’s no garage, a shared driveway and storage area next to the backyard is available. Upstairs, a loft-like space offers more options for those in need of additional storage room or privacy.
“This really is like a fairytale cottage,” said Doug Cross of Paragon Equity Partners. “The property has been well maintained and would be great for a first-time buyer.”
According to Cross, the roof and gutters are less than five years old. Double-paned windows also were added within the last few years. The home, which is listed for $199,000, is currently open by appointment only.
By: Julie Freeman