Here’s a sweet little cottage called the Lakeside Pavilion, an absolutely adorable boathouse converted into a cabin in Orono, Minnesota. The Lakeside Pavilion was actually inspired by zoning laws if you can believe it. It started out as a mere storage shed, and when the property owners sought to expand or possibly even move it, they met with a whole pile of zoning law red tape. So, in the face of all the zoning restrictions, Christine Albertsson and Todd Hanson of Albertsson Hansen Architecture took matters into their own capable hands and turned the wee building into a recreation pavilion. They re-roofed it using proper wood shingles and added a few new windows and doors. With a little bit of whimsy, they made the tiny house look like a cute little English Cottage. They also hired some very capable landscapers from Close Landscape Architecture to turn the surrounding grounds into an English-style garden, decorated with boating paraphernalia.
While the main house sits up above in the beautiful bluffs, the cottage sits down by the water and a lovely wooden stairway is a bridge that connects them. Imagine walking down from the big house, gazing at the lake and the gardens below. Imagine going for a swim and then warming up in the pavilion afterwards by the wood-burning fireplace, eating a delicious meal made in the cozy open-concept kitchen. Or perhaps you come down here in the morning and pick up a snack for your day out of time on a boat on the beautiful water. It’s a boathouse, not a sleeping house and you won’t see any bedrooms here, either, although it would be a sweet and cozy place to stay overnight. The lovely warm wood you see everywhere is glorious Douglas Fir. Hanging storage cabinets once offer storage space for boating necessities like life jackets, rain boots, and even fishing gear, and the indoor counters are totally aligned with the outdoor ones, allowing for through service to customers who line up out on the deck.
Christine and Todd from Albertsson Hansen Architecture have a can-do, positive attitude, and they love to brighten up the world, one architectural piece at a time. They put so much thought, effort, and care into their designs, as you can see from this one simple, yet elegant example. Whether it’s remodelling that you need, or add-ons, renovations, or even brand new houses built from scratch, they can help get you started. Chris and Todd can do anything they set their minds to, that’s for sure, but they particularly specialize in retreat houses again, as you can see from the Lakeside Pavilion. It shows us that it's possible to have an extra room to use for lounging without having to add an expensive extension onto your home. If you already have a small building on your land, it can be turned into a cute cottage like this one without the need to do any new building. This can save you some money and time when you're looking to create a backyard cottage like this.
More about this story can be found at: Albertsson Hansen Architecture