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This beach cottage in Orient is modern meets classic. (Credit: LGM creative)

This beach cottage in Orient is modern meets classic. (Credit: LGM creative)

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The importance of curb appeal cannot be undersold. The exterior of a home is the first insight into the homeowners’ sense style and self. Architects are the first to put these individual aesthetics to paper. They are charged with bringing out the best in existing construction or formulating the best in the new.

These four North Fork architects and builders executed this task to exemplary heights. In the final installment of our Dream Series, these pros prove that a true dream home starts from the outside in.

A view from the back of the house. (Credit: Meryl Kramer Architect)

An above average ranch in Mattituck

Strategically placed additions transformed this run-of-the-mill ’70s style ranch into a modern oasis befitting of its homeowners. Southold architect Meryl Kramer excels at combining a modern sensibility with comfort and ease. Her manner was at the heart of this Mattituck redesign.

The busy homeowners wanted their second home on the North Fork to be a quiet escape from city life. They sought to expand the ranch to create a space they could grow into after their retirement as well as roomy place to entertain visiting family and friends.

The home was a gut job. Kramer began by adding 1,400 square feet of first floor living space. The placement of the new windows was thoughtfully examined throughout the design process to maintain curb appeal while maximizing the natural light coming into the single-story home.

“We gave a lot of focus to large windows,” she said.

Color also played a significant roll in marrying the interior with the exterior.

“The overall scheme is black and white, but we spent a lot of time choosing the particular white,” Kramer said. “We did want it to be stark or chalky. It has a creamy feeling. We knew early on that we would use black [exterior] windows and doors.”

The new finishes gave the home a streamlined, clean feel that flows from the exterior to the interior. She swapped out the existing cedar shingles for a modern painted clapboard siding that better fit the scheme. The material also withstands weathering.

The most dramatic change was to the roof. Kramer added a board and batten style center gable. The addition was served two fold: creating visual interest from the outside and cathedral ceilings on the inside.

In the backyard, a large pool, raised deck, screened porch, custom pergola and outdoor shower were the final pieces to making the exterior a perfect extension of the interior.

The front of the home. (Credit: Meryl Kramer Architect)
The pergola of this Mattituck home was custom built. (Credit:Meryl Kramer Architect)
A view of the pool. (Credit: Meryl Kramer Architect)