A guesthouse's traditional silhouette hides a contemporary heart

A young couple turn their weekend home into the perfect retreat with a poolside paradise and cozy guest quarters for their children and visitors.

One side of this guesthouse at a young couple’s weekend retreat in rural Sharon takes its cues from the existing farmhouse. But large uninterrupted openings and clean lines on the opposite side reveal that this is, indeed, a contemporary structure. “We wanted this new guesthouse to be traditional yet contemporary at the same time,” explains architect Paul Regan. “We liked the look of the horizontal cedar siding without any corner boards and a minimum of trim. This allows a continuity of line. Along with the seriousness of the black color, it helps to lend a contemporary look to a traditional shape. The leaded copper roof with its distinct ends also reinforces the simple lines of the structure.”

The barn-like silhouette is a nod to the local vernacular. “Our inspiration came from traditional barns with their simple shapes and openings, large interior spaces and straightforward expression of structure,” explains Regan.

Light-colored walls and a vaulted ceiling are a pleasing contrast to the dark floors on the inside, where interiors by Mimi MacDougall again blend the traditional with the contemporary. “The husband wanted clean lines,” says MacDougall. “And the wife likes sensuous, comfortable areas.” A cozy guest room anchors one end, and an office is located on the other, with a gym, living room and kitchenette in the public spaces between, which open onto the pool area. The loft provides an additional sleeping area and a fun play space for the kids