River House




Branford, CT


3,581 SF


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


Jim Fiora 

A heavily restricted site located on the Branford River dictated the narrow rectangular footprint of this new summer cottage. To minimize the verticality of the structure, the exterior of the first floor is clad in traditional cedar shingles, while the upper level siding is painted board and batten siding. Fenestration has been optimized throughout the home to afford views of the adjacent river and its natural beauty. Additionally, the design of the home includes 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, which features floor to ceiling glass to provide sweeping views of the river. A white coffered ceiling handsomely contrasts with the dark mahogany flooring and seamlessly unites the two spaces. The mahogany flooring, with matching wainscoting and built-in floor-to-ceiling bookcases along the stairwell, leads to the bedrooms on the second floor. The largest bedroom suite, 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. Additionally, this suite has a spiral staircase that rises to the third floor study and the breathtaking views this room provides.