steps lead from living
room to dining area,
which is located in the
original part of the
elements include white
oak floors, built-in
bookshelves, and a
painted wood stairway.
The blue paint in the
(facing page) is
repeated in the other
bedrooms and baths,
providing a connecting
thread and evoking a
beach house ambience.
meant increasing the size of the original two-bedroom, one-bath
bungalow from 1,300 square feet to 2,200 square feet and making it
a four-bedroom, four-bath house without changing the overall scale.
“We wanted to keep it additive and small,” says Powers.
Thus, the house grew with modestly sized rooms appended
strategically. The existing structure was gutted with not much more
than the subfloor salvaged. Most of the increased square footage is
in a two-story addition that seamlessly melds with the existing house
and holds a first-floor living room and second-floor master suite.
Most importantly, rooms were sized for functional comfort,
not wanton excess. “My whole thing is to make a room just as big
as you need, and no more,” says Powers. For example, the living
room measures 16 feet by 20 feet, a footprint based primarily on
seating — window seats around the perimeter, two
large sofas near the fireplace. “To size a room, you
should always start with furniture grouping, then
snug the room down,” he says. Two of the four bedrooms measure just 9 feet 3 inches by 12 feet each, enough to fit
twin beds and a nightstand. No more.
As for strategy, Powers positioned the living room three steps
down from the adjacent dining area and kitchen, which makes the
room seem like its own retreat while maintaining a visual connection
to the other spaces. A den, tucked behind the stairs, is also placed to
be its own destination. The new front porch and backyard pool and
deck add more areas for gathering, or seeking a moment’s solitude.
Interiors display a casual, beach aesthetic. “We wanted to
make it feel like a summer house, so we used sandy beiges and
soft ocean blues,” says Joanne Kahn, who had an interior design
firm in Buffalo for more than 20 years. She and Arnold, founder of
a human resources firm in Buffalo, maintain a year-round house
there, moving to Jamestown for the summer.
Consistent elements throughout the house include a neutral color scheme of white oak floors, white walls, trim, and
ceilings, woven bamboo window shades, and marble bathroom
sinks and floors. Traditional yet simple motifs lend an air of the
original bungalow: Ceilings sectioned by battens create a faux
coffered effect; kitchen cabinetry features bin pulls and flat-panel doors; V-groove boards cover a dining room wall and the
ceiling in the kitchen.
Most of all, the house comes into its own when filled with
family: Donald, Dana, and Nate Powers arrive from Providence
at week’s end, noting a palpable lessening of stress the moment
they cross the Jamestown Bridge. Andrew Kahn, a commercial
real estate professional in New York City, comes in most weekends by train. Joanne and Arnold Kahn are there, ready to share
drinks and dinner on the porch, the deck, poolside, around the
kitchen island — wherever the clan migrates — in a house that
embraces its own close-knit community.