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Court Atkins: Second Homes - The Sky is the Limit, but ask the Right Questions…

The possibilities are endless.  Second homes create a sense of escape from the usual, the expected, and the day-to-day routine.  The design can mark a lifestyle of refinement or promote a casual, care-free sense of leisure.  Spaces can be small, well-curated, and calming.  Or they can be loud, vibrant, multi-generational gathering places where big-family memories are made and cherished.  William Court, Founding Principal of Architecture and Design firm, Court Atkins, states, “Regardless of the story our clients are trying to tell, they have interesting choices to make as we begin to design.”  

Second homes need not be tethered to the necessities of normal routines.  They can be whatever we imagine, but there are questions to be answered along the way…  Do we need a place to work remotely, or is “work” exactly what we are getting away from?  Is a big open kitchen where everyone will gather throughout the day, or is a small beachfront terrace the place we will find ourselves quietly reading for hours until sunset?  Are we creating aesthetics that fit comfortably into the local vernacular and embracing its culture, or are we trying to impart a sense of our own past experiences in this new place?  Are we seeking to reinforce timeless traditions in a historic community, or are we pushing the envelope of smart technology and modern materials in an urban oasis?  Some questions will be easy to answer, and others will prove more difficult.     

“Ultimately if when we ask our clients good questions and then take the time to listen, the answers will come,” said Court.  Choices will be made.  Selections and finishes will evolve.  Furnishings and accessories will be perfectly placed.  And the result will reflect the richness of the stories of their lives.  

What do you want your second home to accomplish? 

  • A quiet get-away from daily routines?

  • A large, open kitchen where everyone will gather?

  • Do we want the outdoor spaces to be designed for relaxation or recreation?

  • Will this be a multi-generational gathering place where family memories will be made?


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