Spring Home and Real Estate 2017 Jeanna Shepard

What can you fit in 800 square feet? As I travelled around the Island to write “Small Houses, Big Solutions” for this edition of the Vine, I was fascinated to learn the answer to that: A lot.

And while the two-dimensional part of my brain is intrigued by the footprints—one house has one bedroom and one bathroom, one has one bedroom and one and a half bathrooms, and one (still 800-square-feet) has two bedrooms and one bathroom!—the bigger takeaway on these designs is about more than line drawings and square feet. The part of my brain that sees the world in three dimensions (or four, or more!) loves the whole picture—the innovative efforts of Island builders to make these dwellings as livable as bigger homes, the willingness of Island land owners to share their spaces, and the obvious joy that the families living in these houses are experiencing. (And by the way, in the photo above, that is West Tisbury Police Chief Dan Rossi's granddaughter on the porch of her grandparents' new small house, built next door to her parents.)

We also thought, with the Fair approaching and our long tradition of raising livestock and other animals on this Island, that it would only be fair to take a look at housing of another kind--animal houses. Kate Athearn illuminates the kind of comfortable but practical housing that four dedicated Island animal owners provide for their critters and fowl—from goats and chickens, to alpacas, peacocks, and Clydesdales, all beautifully photographed by Jeanna Shepard.

As usual, we offer some ideas for upgrading your existiing house; this time it's a look at colorful and interesting wooden shutters on Island houses, by architect Katie Hutchison.

Lastly, we've long admired the smart move of Point B Realty in hiring the vivacious Guinevere Cramer to write a blog for their website on everything from restaurants and shops to Island farmers and special events. Paula Lyons interviews Guinevere in this issue of the Vine.

Happy August, and think small!

 — Susie Middleton

Take a look at three new 800-square-foot homes in West Tisbury and Chilmark that make good use of zoning regulations to achieve efficient and attractive year-round living spaces for Island families.
Wild parties at night? We’re not sure, but we do know these Vineyard animals are living the good life in sheds, barns and coops built to last.
One way to add charm to your Vineyard home is by adding wooden shutters. But, yes, there are some do's and don'ts.
Point B Realty's Guinevere Cramer has built a loyal following with her fun, informative, twice-a-week blog.