House Tour: New Cottage with Vintage Style
The Mathers went to great lengths to make the cottage feel authentically old, as if it had already weathered many summers of wet bathing suits and the sandy feet of their four children and six grandchildren. "Andy said something to me like 'It needs to feel believable,'" Virge says. "I started thinking about actual building practices and materials that were used in the 1920s."
Early Door County residents would have gotten their home building materials locally, so that's what Virge did. The team excavated stones from the property to build the fireplace, outdoor walkways and stairs. All the timber used—in beams, columns, exposed rafters and interior walls—was harvested within 30 miles of the house. Virge took Melissa and Andy to visit the local sawmill supplying the wood. "They met the guy who was going to take down the trees and mill their wood. That gives you a strong sense of history and community."