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A problem I often face, along with many builders, is how to design a house that works for modern living while maintaining a link with the past. My usual approach is to work within traditional styles — such as the Bungalow, Shingle, Bay Area, or Prairie School — which naturally yield plans we can live with. However, what if you want to work within the much-loved Cape Cod Colonial style, which does not readily lend itself to a good modern floor plan? Another approach is needed. Defining Cape Style First we need to identify what makes a building look like a Cape Cod Colonial. The key elements are: • small-scale elements • a prominent front door under low eaves • a