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A Cabin Designed for Prime Views

A funky old summer camp makes way for a family retreat that fits beautifully into its surroundings and captures lake views from every room
By Lucie B. Amundsen
Published: July 15, 2014
Rob Karosis exterior porch cabin Lake Fairlee Vermont
Photo by Rob Karosis
Suzy Kerr describes her spot on Vermont’s Lake Fairlee in terms we can all understand. “Lake Fairlee looks like a kidney bean, and we’re at the part of the bean that dents in,” she explains. “Our property is pie shaped with the crust facing the shoreline.”

It was right at the water’s edge of that kidney bean pie – also known as Passumpsic Point – that she and her husband, Gordon, purchased a rustic 800-square-foot cabin on the property of an old summer camp for boys. And while these primitive quarters had been passable for the two of them, augmented with a guest cabin, the Kerrs really wanted a vacation place suitable to host their children and grandchildren.

“It really was a funky old camp with no foundation and not intended for year-round use,” says the couple’s architect, Pi Smith. “It just wasn’t worth it.” So with the renovation dreams dashed, the team at Smith & Vansant Architects went to work designing the Kerrs’ new getaway.

And then came the phone call. “They’d decided to take this from a weekend cabin to a permanent residence for retirement,” says Pi. This changed everything.
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