Adding Space Without Adding Space

Remodeling for a space-efficient cottage on the lake

  • Photo of cottage front left side from lake.
  • Photo of cottage front right side from lake.
  • Photo of finished soffit with new cedar wood.
  • Photo of interior great room during construction.

About this project:

All cottages don’t have to be far away. And all small houses don’t have to feel small. A car designer and his wife used their passion for design and an old, rundown lake house to create a dream cottage near metro Detroit. After using a popular design program to sketch out ideas, the couple approached Ekocite Architecture. The challenge was maximizing the interior space of an existing 1,000 square foot home, while also giving it that “up north” feel.

Mixed with Ekocite’s experience and ideas, a collaborative design approach resulted in a complete roof-to-floor remodeling project. The entire roof structure was removed and replaced with a raised truss roof system with energy heels. Inside, a new great room was designed for an efficient use of space by bringing the kitchen, dining and living room areas together. The new designs also allowed for 10-foot ceilings. Across the front of the house, floor-to-ceiling, energy efficient windows were installed to enjoy the lake view all year long.

Included in the project:

  • Large great room combining the living, dining and kitchen areas.
  • Kitchen includes all modern amenities with an island and separate dining area.
  • Living room has a working wood fireplace and space for all to relax.
  • Floor-to ceiling, energy efficient windows for year-round lake view.
  • Bathroom remodeled for more efficient use of space.
  • Roof has oversized soffits and uses a truss system with energy heels.
  • Exterior siding is tongue and groove, knotty cedar wood.
  • Exterior base uses dry stack stone.

Looking to redo your small house or cottage? Let us know. We’d love to discuss your ideas.


Lake Louise; Ortonville, Michigan

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