After years of renting a weekend house in the area, our clients found land they loved and asked us to design a weekend and summer home. The clients were particularly fond of one of their previous rentals — a chicken coop turned into a small house — and that became a departure point for our design. Within a strict budget, the design took advantage of a steep slope in the hillside, using the foundation as a retaining wall on the high point of the hill and opening up the lower story with doors and windows. The house looks small and humble from the street side, with a mostly opaque wall creating privacy, but opens up to a deck and stone terrace, the facade punctured with windows looking to the Catskill Mountains. The house contains four bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, a large living / kitchen / dining area, and a family room. A year after it was completed, the clients added a pool and cabana in a meadow down a path to the woods.