Stephen and Suzie Winston's love for architecture and good renovation projects has made for many moves, but this time, they were hoping to create a cozy and relaxing weekend getaway where they could make lifelong memories. They stumbled across a lot on the Magnolia River near their permanent home in Fairhope, Alabama, and knew they had found a spot for the restful retreat they were seeking. All that was left was the house.
One day on an ordinary drive down an often-traveled country road, Suzie spied a house that spoke to her. “I’d seen this old, dilapidated house sitting in the middle of a field hundred times,” says Suzie. Even though the house was filled to the brim with junk, crowned with a big gaping hole in the ceiling, and had no stairs, Suzie saw potential. She and Stephen decided to move the cottage-circa 1903-the 30 miles or so to their river lot and begin the restoration. There was only one rule: If it came with the house, it stayed with the house.