All About the Views
A Craftsman-Style retreat near downtown Wolfeboro was designed for family and friends to relax and enjoy Lake Winnipesaukee.
Nestled on the shores of Wolfeboro Bay in New Hampshire's Lakes Region, Wolfeboro calls itself America's oldest summer resort. From the town dock, looking across Lake Winnipesaukee toward the peaks of Mount Major and Belknap Mountain, it's not surprising tourists and seasonal residents flock to this shoreside town.
The lake is what drew Greg Kopriva and his fiancée, Brooke Hjortaas, to Wolfeboro. Year-round residents of Naples, Florida, they were attracted to the area by its scenery and small-town feel.
Kopriva, a New Hampshire native who's from a large extended family, wanted a relaxing lakeside retreat for his mother, siblings as well as numerous nieces, nephews and friends to enjoy. "I wanted a quiet place where my family could relax and enjoy the lake, and easily walk to town," Kopriva says. "My mom and my sister are here a lot and cherish their time in Wolfeboro."
Kopriva bought two summer cottages on adjacent lots on a gently rolling property with its own secluded cove and waterfront area. One cottage served as the main home; the other was for guests. Both required weatherization and extensive updating to accommodate year-round visitors.
After using the main house for two years, Kopriva was convinced that a redesign of the properties was needed to better meet his family's needs. He hired Bill Soupcoff of TMS Architects in Portsmouth. Contractors for the project were Jonathan R. Lovering & Sons of Wolfeboro and KMAC Professional Builders, Inc. in Holderness.
"The main cottage had some nice features," Soupcoff says. "But, given how the family wanted to use the house, it made sense to take the original structure down. We felt we could re-create its charm and cottage appeal in new construction."
The main house was torn down in 2007. Because of state laws and local regulations, the home's sense of scale and setback from the lake were considerations. To retain the waterfront cottage appeal that Kopriva sought, Soupcoff employed the Craftsman style. The home's exterior combines fieldstone walls and white, cedar shingles to give it a classic New England cottage look.
The lake view
Inspired by lyrics from the Jimmy Buffet song "One Particular Harbour," the newly designed five-thousand-square-foot home was named Lighthouse Cove at One Particular Harbor. A fieldstone wall connects the main house and neighboring guesthouse, which was remodeled in 2009.
The east side of the home faces Lake Winnipesaukee; all the primary living spaces and four of the five bedrooms have views of the lake. "The reason you're there is the lake," Soupcoff says. "You want to take as much opportunity as possible to open up what's unique about that environment. We used windows with smaller panes above for detail but the larger windows below allow unobstructed views of the water. If you've got it, flaunt it."
Hjortaas and her mother, Gayle, owners of Inspired Interiors, decorated the interior (Soupcoff designed many interior features, including the kitchen, bathrooms and dining room table). Colors and textures throughout are influenced by Hjortaas's Florida sensibility. Many of the home furnishings are custom-designed; artwork and accessories are from Uttermost, a furnishings and accessories company. Hjortaas and her mother brought many of the pieces from Florida to Wolfeboro. "My mom and I drove a sixteen-foot truck full of furnishings and accessories up here," Hjortaas says.
Attention to detail and color is evident throughout the home. Picking up the soft grays and golds of the fieldstone fireplace in the open-concept living room, Hjortaas incorporated the colors throughout the living, dining and kitchen spaces. "I really wanted a lighter color scheme throughout the house that wouldn't detract from the lake view," she says.
Oak floors throughout complement the décor. The living room is designed for comfort: facing the fireplace are a custom-designed sofa and loveseat as well as a leather chair and matching ottoman. Tucked on a shelf above the fireplace is a hand-painted post, salvaged from the original cottage. The post, re-painted by Kopriva's sister, Margaret, was a house-warming gift.
The kitchen is oriented to take advantage of lakefront views. "I really don't like an intense kitchen work area-sink and countertop-that faces a wall," Soupcoff says. Consequently, the center island and cooktop face a bank of windows. The sink and primary work spaces look out toward the main living space, with its oversized fireplace and light-filled dining room. Shaker-style, quartersawn red-oak cabinets provide storage as does a row of recessed cabinetry lining the wall opposite the windows. Costa Esmeralda granite countertops incorporate colors of gold, warm browns, gray and green.
The dining area, across from the kitchen, is surrounded by glass on three sides, affording diners spectacular views. Soupcoff designed the rectangular glass-topped table; two upholstered chairs on each of the table's four sides allow for casual conversation. Contemporary lighting adds to the room's clean lines. A covered porch, accessed from the dining room, features comfortable teak furnishings with durable, custom-upholstered cushions. The area is a favorite spot for morning coffee and watching the sun rise. A second upstairs deck offers a more secluded spot for lake viewing.
There are other entertainment spaces, too. Off the main living area, behind the stone fireplace, is a cozy den to watch television. A sectional sofa frames an oversized, forty-eight-inch-square, chenille-striped ottoman, perfect for guests to put their feet up on. Downstairs, a fully finished basement includes a wine room, guest bedroom and bathroom, and a large family room.
Upstairs, an open hallway accesses three bedrooms and Kopriva's office. The natural color scheme continues in the master bedroom, which is decorated as a sea captain's retreat. To create more light in the space, Soupcoff designed a cupola that opens into the ceiling. "It's a way to capture light and spill it into the space below," he says. "Because the house faces southeast, you get a lot of morning sun in summer and a reflection off the lake on a sunny day." An automated shade closes off the cupola, providing protection from the sun and privacy at night.
The master bathroom, noted for its tumbled marble floor and stylish fixtures, doubles as a sleeping space for Kopriva's small lovebird, Burbie (the bird can often be seen sitting on Kopriva's shoulder when he's working).
Kopriva's home office is adjacent to the bedroom, where his desk is positioned to look out over the lake. Family memorabilia and gifts from friends adorn the walls and bookshelves.
The gently rolling yard surrounding Lighthouse Cove, landscaped by Shamrock Landscaping of Ossipee, is a popular spot for family gatherings in the summer and fall. There's access to a small beach and dock at the water's edge. The U-shaped dock houses Kopriva's boat during warm-weather months. A quaint, fully functional lighthouse-a detail left from the original cottage-abuts the dock. Family members and guests enjoy gathering around a stone fire pit, perching on stone benches or sitting in Adirondack chairs. During summer, popular entertainment includes barbecues, campfires, outdoor movie nights, even fireworks.
With its serene lake and mountain views, Lighthouse Cove has become not only a site for entertaining and family get-togethers, but a welcome respite for Kopriva. "There's nothing more serene than waking up to the lake every morning. It's a beautiful sight," he says. "I hate to miss a Wolfeboro morning."