Vacation homes often grow larger when renovated, but this updated Massachusetts cottage maintained the scale of its neighbors. Restraint was in keeping with the client's wishes, but as a side benefit, it ensured compliance with architectural restrictions set by the local Historic District Commission.

To bring the original residence up to date, architect Stephen Dadagian raised the house above the flood plain and replaced its structural components and mechanical systems. Exterior design elements were left unchanged, but Dadagian added new windows and made existing openings larger to bring in more light.

Because the client had spent her childhood years in the house, she wanted everything in the same location, the architect says. New cedar paneling and salvaged wide-plank flooring to match the original give the interior a warm, familiar feel, while new cabinets, light fixtures, and Duravit plumbing products make it fresh and contemporary. Though measuring only 570 square feet, the home comfortably accommodates four people. With a pull-out sofa, plus lofts above the bedroom and bathroom, it can sleep seven.

See all 2007 Builder's Choice Award Winners

Category: Whole-house makeover or significant addition;

Entrant/Architect: Lilley Dadagian Architects, Lexington, Mass.;

Builder: MF Builders, Nantucket, Mass.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Boston, MA.