What started as a small cottage renovation turned into a whole-new, idyllic, minimalist-inspired build in Norwalk, Connecticut. The owners, Kerry and Jed Stevens, found a tiny cottage with a fantastic view that was right on the water.

Unfortunately, it was also located in a flood zone that didn’t comply with code. After discussions with their architect, Mark Goodwin of Beinfield Architecture, their first thought was to lift the house out of the floodplain, get it up to code with FEMA regulations, and make improvements from top to bottom. After further inspection, they found many things on the interior needed attention to bring it up to standards, so the decision was made to raze the old house and build a new one.

But starting from scratch presented a few problems of its own. Namely a very tight lot, a shared driveway, and an issue that’s usually more equated with the big city 50 or so miles away:

“We were limited in access to parking areas, which limited the number of workers we could have on site each day,” said Bill Juthnas, vice president of operations at Milton Homes.

There was another complication all too familiar to building around this time as well: Covid.

“Covid really hit the industry just as we were getting underway,” Juthnas said. “Managing workers, suppliers, and the design team to get the project completed while at the same time keeping everyone safe became a factor in the build we hadn’t anticipated.”

But despite some initial difficulties, everyone involved knew there was an opportunity to create something truly special thanks to the ability to build so close to the water. Located on Long Island Sound, the Stevens’ new property juts out over the ocean. “In the house, you really feel like you’re on a boat, as if you’re on top of the water,” Kerry Stevens said.

To take full advantage of the panoramic possibilities, the owners opted for something with a modern, minimalist feel to capture ocean views in as many vantage points as possible. “The Stevenses didn’t want a typical sort of beach house, they wanted something a little edgier,” Goodwin said.

To help realize that “edgier” vision, Goodwin selected the Marvin Modern product line for its clean lines, narrow profiles, and large expanses of glass. More specifically, Goodwin opted for Modern Casement Push Out windows (available in heights up to 9 feet and widths up to 3 feet) and Multi-Slide doors (available in panel heights up to 12 feet and widths up to 6 feet with over 30 configurations available).

Both are designed with energy-efficient dual-pane glass with Low-E2 coating and insulated with argon gas. This type of glass, along with overhangs and internal shades, helped optimize the home to effectively manage solar heat gain. In the summer, it rejects the sun’s heat and damaging UV rays. In the winter, it reflects heat back into the room, offering comfort in all types of weather.

To help connect the Stevenses with their stunning surroundings, Goodwin created walls of glass using Modern Multi-Slide doors in the living space and primary bedroom. Not only does it make the most of gorgeous views, but it helps welcome in fresh air during the warmer months.

“Being able to get them wide open lets you feel like you’re actually out on a porch as opposed to being in the living room,” Goodwin said.

The Modern line of windows and doors is made from a durable high-density fiberglass exterior and a proprietary frame design that provides unparalleled thermal performance in demanding climates.

“I think, especially on the coast, houses take the abuse of being exposed to the water, so we thought the Modern line was the perfect solution,” Goodwin said. “We were drawn to the durability of the fiberglass exterior, since metal can be hard to maintain over the years.”

With every decision, the goal was to find ways to pay homage to the neighboring harbor structures, like old boat houses and oyster windows. That includes details like the traditionally pitched roof, as well as the style and arrangement of windows. Of equal importance was introducing modernity, which is beautifully carried through by the use of concrete, steel, and raw wood throughout the home. Ultimately, Marvin Modern windows and doors helped tie everything together—from the design aesthetic of the interior to the functionality and durability of the exterior.

“Even with all the challenges and difficulties we faced, the outstanding clients and the spectacular views of the Sound made working on this project a true pleasure,” Juthnas said.

Products Used


  • A minimalist-inspired home with an edgy material palette that’s all about the astounding ocean views.
  • The Modern Multi-Slide doors on the walls of the main living space and master bedroom open, so fresh air filters through the house in the warmer months.
  • Given the footprints’ close proximity to the water, the narrow sightlines and expansive views of the Modern product line helped embrace the special vantage point.

Project Team

Architect: Mark Goodwin, Beinfield Architecture

Location: Norwalk, Connecticut

Dealer: Interstate + Lakeland Lumber


Builder: Milton Development

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