A Maritime Coastal Cottage on the Banks of North Carolina

A Maritime Coastal Cottage on the Banks of North Carolina
Photography by Meredith Loughlin

Picture windows grace the living area, providing a breathtaking view of the river. Michael, who built much of the house as well as wired it, replicated the fireplace that was depicted in the movie Message in a Bottle.

A Maritime Coastal Cottage on the Banks of North Carolina
Photography by Meredith Loughlin

Prone to adventure, the history-loving Mansfields personify the restless verve of people who find inspiration at every turn. Their house exhibits not only exquisite functionality and simplicity but their individual and coupled artfulness. Pat retired after a 31-year career as a professor of interior design at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Michael retired around the same time after a career as an electrical engineer—with a side hobby as a woodworker, carpenter, and builder of whatever Pat wanted. “I draw them, and he makes them,” Pat says with a smile. “It’s a chemistry that has worked very well for a long time.”