Amazing cottage makeover

A clever addition spans a driveway to create one beautiful, airy home from two tiny cottages. See the transformation

An open living room
Thomas J. Story

An open living room

In contrast with the two original structures, which were divided into small, cramped rooms, the new interior is wide open and bright.

Steel posts and beams replaced the original driveway-facing walls. It's a good example of the "not-so-big house" approach, where small spaces open to one another to lend a more expansive feel. "There's no wasted space," Shemchuk says.

A pistachio-colored living room wall butts into a gray-taupe wall covered in "poor man's plaster": gray-tinted gypsum-board compound sealed in varnish. One of homeowner Michael Shemchuk's abstract works in pigmented gypsum hangs behind the couch (visit www.mshem.com to see more of his work).

Get a look at the kitchen next.

Resources: Stacked oak table designed by Artdecor. Ursula sleeper sofa in FrankFabrik from Ted Boerner. Custom couch pillows in Streamers fabric in Coffee Bean by Great Plains from Kneedler Fauchere (to the trade only; 415/487-6180). Wool jute rug in wheat from Pottery Barn ($79- $399; 888/779-5176). Mobile, homeowner's own.

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