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River House




Branford, CT


3,581 SF / Main House

2,000 SF / Guest Cottage


Main House: new construction; open plan for living, dining, and kitchen; foyer; laundry room; 2 bedrooms with en suite bathrooms; built-in banquettes and bookcases; powder room; 2-car garage

Guest Cottage: new construction with open plan for living, dining, and kitchen; 2 bedrooms; 2 full bathrooms; powder room; finished lower level with exercise room and secondary kitchen


Main House: Jim Fiora 

Cottage: Cronin Photography

Aerial: Baxter Real Estate Media

A heavily restricted site located on the Branford River, in the coastal neighborhood of Indian Neck, dictated a narrow rectangular footprint for this new summer cottage. To minimize the verticality of the structure, the exterior of the first floor was clad in traditional cedar shingles, while the upper level received painted board and batten siding. Fenestration was optimized throughout the home to afford views of the adjacent river and its natural beauty. Additionally, the design of the home included multiple overhangs and projections to further reduce its vertical massing, permit more natural light to enter the home, and provide valuable interior space planned for window seats, built-in banquettes, and storage.


The open eat-in kitchen flows into a generously proportioned living room with floor-to-ceiling glazing and sweeping views of the river. A white coffered ceiling handsomely contrasts with the dark mahogany floors and seamlessly unites the two spaces. Mahogany wainscoting and matching built-in, floor-to-ceiling bookcases line the stairwell that leads to two bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms on the second floor. The largest bedroom, oriented at the perfect angle to maximize the expansive views of the river below, features a vaulted ceiling and large sliding glass doors that fully open to a Juliet balcony with a cable rail system. This suite also has a spiral staircase that rises to a third-floor study.


A charming guest cottage, located across from the in-ground pool and patio, shares the beautifully landscaped property. Clad with the same board and batten and cedar shingle finishes, the single-story structure has been thoughtfully designed to closely relate to the main house. Its primary entry is covered with a gable-bracketed portico with a standing-seam metal roof that ties in with the pitch of the roofline. Additional elements, such as the oval windows, square cupola, poolside porch with a steel balustrade, and sliding French doors, enhance the character of the exterior. The interior of the home boasts a cathedral ceiling, with exposed wooden trusses, and an inviting open floor plan featuring a main kitchen, eat-in dining, and living room. Additionally, the guest house provides two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a powder room, and a finished lower level with an exercise room and a secondary kitchen for entertaining purposes.

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