Architect Kelly Monnahan studied architecture in California and called on his West Coast inner self in redesigning a 1970s pool house in Cohasset, a coastal town on Massachusetts’s South Shore. “The home- owner and I share a love of the California aesthetic, and the waterfront location of the house meant we could really open up to the view,” says Monnahan,
principal of Kelly Monnahan Design in Boston.
Homeowner Ashley Garelick, an interior designer, indeed wanted
an open, beach-house sensibility for the dwelling, which she shares
with her husband and children, a boy, 11, and a girl, 14, so Monnahan
knew that windows would be a major part of the design. “We wanted
walls of glass,” he says.
Today, the house is a celebration of windows and water, but that
was hardly the scene when the homeowners bought the property in
2010. Built as a pool house for an adjoining property, the 2,600-square-
foot structure’s clapboard facade was punctuated by only a few windows on the entry side, giving little indication of the 1-acre-plus waterfront location. Facing the sea, a full-length deck o; the main floor had
the unfortunate e;ect of plunging the house’s lower level into darkness,
making it dungeon-like and unusable.
Monnahan’s solution for the dual-level ranch-style structure
involved two strokes of genius: one, adding windowed shed dormers