Keep it Classic: Our Five Most Popular Custom Cottage Features

Creating a custom cottage that is beautiful, functional and fits you doesn’t happen by accident. At Marshall Homes, we want to hear your dreams, and build your cottage around them.

We are intentional about designing a home that is both what you want and need — not just a place that looks great on paper. Because, real talk: copying the trends from a magazine or Pinterest page won’t automatically result in a custom cottage that works for you and your family. We want to include only the features you love — the ones that will help you live your best life in your new custom cottage.

In need of a little design inspiration to get started? Here are the top five most requested features we see from our clients. These aren’t trendy features that will be outdated or seem downright strange in a few years… they’re classic elements that can be enjoyed now and for years to come.

Open Concept Living

Once a trend, open concept living is now a mainstay in the custom cottage world. And, for good reason. Gathering friends and family is one of the best ways to enjoy your home, and an open area is ideal for bringing everyone together. With fewer walls enclosing common areas, it encourages both conversation and movement.

Beyond the perks of entertaining, open planning lends a feeling of spaciousness to even modestly-sized cottages. When rooms are divided, the same square footage can feel cramped. But when areas flow together, visually and functionally, that same footprint suddenly feels inviting and efficient.

Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor living spaces have become a design standard for their ability to bring a sense of resort-style living to your cottage, blurring the lines between inside and out. Long gone are the days of plunking down a patio set outside. Outdoor gathering spaces have evolved to become natural extension of interior living spaces.

They’re often filled with outdoor kitchens, comfortable furniture, artwork, and lighting so you can enjoy those million-dollar lake views in style. Whether you’re craving an open air deck, covered porch, screened-in porch or sunroom, we can design a perfect space for gathering and relaxation into your custom cottage plan.

Lots of Natural Light

“Bright” and “airy.” These are words we hear often when new clients are describing their ideal cottage. We couldn’t agree more that natural light is the perfect addition to your new home. There are a range of benefits – from boosting moods to lowering energy bills.

Plus, it makes a space feel fresher and happier. To bring in more light, we frequently incorporate vaulted or cathedral ceilings into our client’s designs. Besides opening up a space visually, higher ceilings creates additional real estate for us to include more and taller windows into the design, which, of course, usher in additional sunshine: win-win!


Most cottages that have been passed down through the generations have one thing in common — they’re drafty. Done right, new cottages are both earth-friendly, comfortable, and easier on the wallet thanks to better building materials and technology. We start with an air-tight building envelope then add layers of insulation and quality windows. We can also include smart home features upon request.

Custom Kitchen

The kitchen has gone from being a utilitarian space to being the heart of the cottage in recent years. For a kitchen to become a favorite gathering place, it must seamlessly blend form and function. Efficient layouts, beautiful finishes and smart features are all part of the plan today made easier thanks to our partnership with Aya Kitchens. And as we’ve written about before, our no-limits-kitchens policy give you direct access to the kitchen wizards at Aya.

As a part of each plan, we offer two levels of finishes: silver and platinum. Whether you want to keep things simple or go all-out, we’ve got you covered. Additionally, clients frequently request optional features — from custom cabinets with pull-out drawers to walk-in pantries, recycling drawers or specialty appliances — and you can, too. If you can dream it up, we can make it happen. So, dream big.

Encore is coming soon-

Join the more than 400 couples who call Port 32 home. Register now and you’ll get all the exciting updates as we near launch day.

We'll use your email to send you this and other useful information about buying a new home. We hate spam too so we'll never share your email. Unsubscribe anytime.