Indeed, the M. Kinnakeet cottage where they’ve lived in since 2002 is the embodiment of partnership at its most productive and creative zenith, a melding of love, talent, passion, and drive. As avid sailors, the Mansfields intended their retirement home to echo their love of water and vernacular architecture. The couple chose their property in Bath, North Carolina, partly because they could tie up their 47-foot Vagabond sailboat in the creek while they were building their house. And they were intrigued by the history of Bath, the state’s oldest town, and its rich maritime history—not to mention the connection to the infamous pirate Blackbeard.
While researching houses, the Mansfields were drawn to the distinctive architecture and dramatic history of the lifesaving stations along the North Carolina coast and ultimately designed their cottage after the historic Little Kinnakket Lifesaving Station located on the Outer Banks’ Cape Hatteras.