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The Cottage Company & Pocket Neighborhoods

the estate of things chooses danielson grove

Sitting inside on a rainy Saturday in North Carolina, I turned to one of my favorite sources for renovation inspiration, The Cottage Company.

Environmentally conscious development is just one of the goals the Cottage Company pursues in each project.  The Cottage Company enlists several different building concepts in their projects including sustainable living, the idea of the not so big house and efficiency in their use of every nook and cranny in the structure.

the estate of things chooses chico beach community

“These small houses are nostalgic in appearance only – in concept they are another

step in the growth of new urbanism.”

– Metropolitan Home Magazine

All of the communities that the Cottage Company has developed are in Washington state.  A list of all of the communities:

 

  • Connover Commons
  • Chico Beach
  • Danielson Grove
  • Ericksen Cottages
  • Greenwood Avenue Cottages
  • Backyard Neighborhood
  • Third Street Cottages

The main concept behind the Cottage Company’s projects is the idea of pocket neighborhoods. Pocket neighborhoods are a series of single-family dwellings that are compact and detached yet close. The idea is to make creative, efficient use of the land but maintain privacy and the ability to closely connect with your neighbors.  Pocket neighborhoods typically have a common area or courtyard in the center of all of the homes.

the estate of things chooses danielson

the estate of things chooses connover commons

the estate of things chooses danielson grove

the estate of things chooses danielson grove

the estate of things chooses ericksen cottages

the estate of things chooses greenwood cottages

the estate of things chooses greenwood

the estate of things chooses backyard neighborhood

the estate of things chooses backyard neighborhood

the estate of things chooses backyard neighborhood

the estate of things chooses third street cottages

the estate of things chooses third street cottages

the estate of things chooses third street cottages

the estate of things chooses third street cottages

 

 

 
 
 
 

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16 Responses
  • Amanda
    April 1, 2009

    Wow…I really love this idea. Of course you better have some pretty cool neighbors.

  • Betsy
    April 3, 2009

    These home exteriors and interiors are awesome and Its hard not to think that I would love to live in a neighborhood like that with a bunch of people that I really liked.

  • joel
    April 6, 2009

    is this where the Dharma Initiative lives?

  • Betsy
    April 6, 2009

    Haha. I thought of Dharma Initiative with this post too!

  • Linda
    April 7, 2009

    Hi all, Thanks for checking out our wonderful communities! It’s amazing how like-minded people, yet total strangers, find our communities, purchase homes and become a tight-knit community. It doesn’t mean that all always agree, but being part of a connected and genuine community is a priority for our homeowners. Come visit sometime! Linda

  • Sarah
    April 8, 2009

    Linda,

    Thank you for visiting us! We are so inspired by the pocket communities.

  • Karen in Alaska
    July 10, 2009

    Awesome! Absolutely what we have been looking for! Can’t wait to visit your communities for ideas when I get to WA later this month. Are you available to do presentations?

  • Linda
    July 13, 2009

    Karen,
    Absolutely. I do lots of presentations and would be happy to do so, however our completed communities are folks private homes and only able to visit with prior arrangements. Call me and perhaps something could be arranged. Are you with a City Council or Planning Commission?

  • ABetterStay Blog
    February 12, 2010

    Great post. I completely love it. I am a huge travel fan and love reading over all these blogs. Keep up the great work.

  • Patricia
    April 5, 2010

    I am continuously inspired by posts like this one. I discovered the small house movement about a year and a half ago in an Architectural Digest article that featured Sarah Susanka and I’ve been pleased with what I’ve been finding since. Only recently have I come across the pocket neighborhood concept and I love the idea wholly.

    While I am not a neat freak, I have always known even when I was in my 20s that a mega mansion was not for me. My first thought was, “Who would clean it?” I wouldn’t want to *need* outside nor would I enjoy spending the majority of my weekends cleaning a huge home.

    I also like the fact that this type of living is really more conducive to a luxurious lifestyle. If I’m living in huge home that rapes me of every penny I earn, I have to live differently or go into debt to have a modestly luxurious lifestyle. One of these little homes would be my utopia. Outfitted with a dual flush toilet, an ultra chic spa tub and the good life would be as easy as stepping into the house.

    I’mworking toward it. I’ll get there. Although I was already inspired, now that I’ve lost my job, eaten through my savings and more, this is smart living indeed. These homes are more efficient to heat, cool and maintain. Just this past winter here in NJ, my rent being $1,000 and my electric heating over $220 I could have been paying a reasonable mortgage with change to spare. That’s ridiculous and will become even more important in our elder years.

    Being a somewhat city-dweller, though, my hope would indeed be that my neighbors were friendly. In such communities, although it would probably be illegal, it would almost make sense to meet the neighbors before hand, I’d say even have dinner with them on the community lot somehow. I know that seems a stretch, but for such a tiny community it would be devastating to find that how one person lives throws off the whole neighborhood. I don’t know how that would work; I admit that.

    Still, I’m enchanted to think that’s the kind of neighborhood I will eventually become a part of. Too bad there isn’t a dating site for pocket-neighborhood-minded individuals. I’m kidding here, too, but imagine falling in love with and planning to marry someone who isn’t familiar with and even opposed to living this way if all they are used to striving for is the mega mansion lifestyle. For me, this is not simply a matter of money. Whether I had millions or not, I’d appreciate the simplicity of this lifestyle and I’d hope I wouldn’t have to talk someone into it or drag him tooth and nail through the process of rethinking what’s really important.

  • Tom
    April 3, 2011

    I love this concept and have longed for this type of community and housing style. Most, if not all 55 plus adults communities are nothing more than newer McMansion’s when all most 55 plus adults want is to downsize not upsize. There are very few choices out there for downsizing. My concern is that the prices that I have seen for these cozy cottages are in the price range of those McMansion’s I mentioned earlier. With a home that is only 800 to 1200 sf it should reflect the lower cost as well. I’m very dissapointed. Nonetheless, are there any existing communities like the ones in Washington state on the east coast from Delaware to Georgia? If anyone out there can help me, it would be greatly appreciated. This is the most innovative housing idea to come along I have ever seen. Thanks you.

  • Haley
    April 3, 2011

    Here’s a city in Georgia that was built with this concept in mind: http://www.serenbecommunity.com/home.html

    I originally read about it in Cottage Living.

  • John Shirley
    April 9, 2011

    I think the concept is excellent and just what boomers are looking for, however, I worry about the SMOKERS. I am a militant non-smoker and if I had a neighbor that smoke, I would be very unhappy. Any thought to non-smoking communities?

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    May 18, 2017

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  • […] community-mindedness of the residents. [For more examples of pocket neighborhoods see Ross Chapin, Cottage Company, and this blog post.]  A wikipedia article describes pocket neighborhoods in other areas like […]

  • […] – also by Barbara Bestor is a development project similar to a pocket neighborhood. It just opened up in Echo Park and the first round of homes are for […]

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