East Van Architecture: Early Cottage Style


Early Cottage Homes in East Vancouver

Early Cottage Style Homes were one of the first styles of homes to be popular in Vancouver that weren’t incredibly elaborate Victorian or Queen Anne Revival Style homes, and weren’t two storey’s like Early Vernaculars. Early Cottage architecture was popular in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in older districts in East Vancouver like Hastings East, Mount Pleasant and Grandview. In my point of view, these are the more historical, better looking sibling of the Mid Century Vernacular (see our blog on those).

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Exterior of an Early Cottage House

You can recognize an Early Cottage Style home thanks to it’s full width, covered porch and hipped roof, on top of the boxy exterior shape. The covered porch area is held up by 4 columns: two by the stairs and two in the corners. The front door is often in the middle of the house, with windows on either side. There is typically a single dormer (extra space with a window extending from the roof) that gives the upper levels more ceiling height and light. There isn’t much decoration, but the houses often have a few colours (exterior and the trim are often different colours) on their exterior, making them unique. The exterior is often made of siding, or stucco.


Interior of an Early Cottage House

In the interior, the living area (with the front facing window), the dining area and the kitchen are on one side of the house, and bedrooms and a bathroom occupy the other. The basements weren’t particularly useable, but you might see some basement in these homes today that have been finished with lower ceilings. Early Cottage Style homes do have attic space, but it often has such low ceiling height that it’s almost useless, except for perhaps, storage. Homes with steeper, higher roofs might have a semi-usable space, but it wouldn’t be enough to be great living space.

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