Tag Archives: Cottage Life

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Northern exposure

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Northern exposure

This family cottage was designed and built from the ground up in remote cottage country. When returning clients approached me regarding this project, they needed serious help. They had just purchased this gorgeous piece of land, with a dilapidated cottage on it. The existing property was small, mouldy and beyond repair. My clients were seeking a place that had an open-concept, family feel with a few critical items on their wishlist, including laundry, storage and a screened-in porch. Both the architectural and interior requirements ensured that the cottage felt rustic, relaxed and not fussy. They did not want it to look like a fancy home away from home, but rather a casual cottage that would be fun, practical and exude the feeling of comfort.

The main floor is an open-concept space, with the living room on one end and the kitchen on the other, while the dining room anchors in between. The kitchen design is informal and functional, with a sizeable island perfect for congregating and sitting for a casual meal. The contrast of the walnut island and walnut detail on the hood breaks away from the timeless, white shaker kitchen by warming up the space and giving it a custom feel. The kitchen backsplash is a natural, chiselled stone that feels organic and rustic. It ties the entire look together, bringing a little of the exterior natural rock indoors.

The oversized dining room has a large farmhouse style table with bentwood and wicker chairs, reminiscent of the industrial era. Similarly, the linear light fixture comprising of black metal and glass also mimics that factory feel – giving this space a casual dining appeal for a large group of friends and family.

The adjacent living room, with its L-shaped sectional sofa, is a great place to relax and enjoy the wood-burning fire. The furnishings for this family room are comfy and paired down; the rug has a worn-in distressed quality to it, and the pillows also tie in the look with casual cotton, linen and wool fabrics. The look has a bit of that Canadiana feel, with its red and white colour palette.

The screened-in porch is a secondary gathering area for those warm summer nights, with all the dining and living area functions. It allows the summer breeze to penetrate through the space, while protecting from mosquitoes. The look in the screened-in porch has a shabby-chic feel. A few beautifully styled rattan furniture pieces are paired with some high-quality chairs, miss-matched furniture finds, and unique pieces sourced from a few local antique stores.

The design of the entire home was made to feel casual, easy and provide a calming atmosphere. From the architecture, to the interiors, as well as the final touches, every discipline meshes in a harmonious manner to create a dream cottage that’s worth escaping to.

Dvira Ovadia is Principal Designer of Dvira Interiors, an award-winning full service, Toronto-based interior design firm. She is known for her clever design work on a vast number of successful projects. dvira.com

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Cottage Country: Great Canadian Cottages

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Cottage Country: Great Canadian Cottages

Designers and TV hosts Colin and Justin discuss their new show, which airs, this fall, on Cottage Life

By Colin McAllister & Justin Ryan • Photography By Sandy Mackay

Twenty-four vacation retreats. Twenty-four sets of homeowners. And twenty-four entirely different stories. Aye, welcome to Great Canadian Cottages, our all-new, eight-part docu-series that charts the way in which those seeking escape from fast-spinning worlds have created thoroughly inspiring bolt holes.

Okay, so our typical TV oeuvre sees us navigate the makeover genre in style-negative domiciles where, with wild ambition, tight budgets and an unstintingly loyal team, we conjure brand new interiors, tailor-matched to the expectation of each TV client. And hey: we love that genre. We’ve simply sidestepped it, for a moment, to appraise the transformative abilities of others.

Indeed, during our exciting adventure, not one moment of valuable, episodic air time is consumed by jeopardy, messy builds or lock off shots depicting rooms being born or disasters unraveling. Every scene, in fact, literally froths with designer afterglow, and a veritable ooze of top tips and design counsel enticed from each proud homeowner.

WEEKLY EYE CANDY

So what can you expect? Well, for starters, three glossy nests per episode, with enough property porn to send Instagram into meltdown. One such dream abode is the live/work space of Canadian photographer Larry Williams. Perched dramatically over Stoney Lake in Peterborough, and built almost entirely from glass, it’s a spectacle of modernity that’s attached, stealth-like, to a stunning outcropping of heavily veined granite.

Then there’s a fairytale cottage in Madoc, fashioned from straw bales, mud and sweat equity. Designed and built by visionary Chris Magwood for his doting mom Sandy (with the hands-on assistance of friends, family and neighbours) its construction was preempted by only a few simple prerequisites: the new house should be super cosy, manageably sized and, erm, devoid of right angles.

CURVES AHEAD

The resultant fantasy is testament to Chris’s construction prowess and his ability to observe a brief. The softly undulating mud-clad terracotta and cream-painted walls (which undulate across the aforementioned straw bale framework) are sublimely curved—and precisely devoid of corners. In the absence of perpendicular constraints, they create a somewhat cave-like esthetic, the soothing nature of which delivers a sense of calm decompression.

REMEMBER WHERE YOU CAME FROM

Later in the series, we visit an architect who shipped building materials by helicopter (as you do) to his water access Georgian Bay from the ground up cottage. And we call by a stunning modern-rustic respite, a monolithic abode built within the walls of an old whisky cooperage. Oh, and the 8-by-10-foot tiny log cabin home of Mara. Ensconced, happily, in her doll-sized residence, life changed suddenly when Mara won the 649 Lottery. Keen for a little more space, but determined not to build a faceless McMansion, she hired an architect to build a lavish home around her original Lilliputian cabin. Yup, her tiny wood shack now sits inside the new structure. Literally. Think Hansel and Gretel on steroids. It’s magical. Follow our trail of televisual breadcrumbs when the episode airs.

Another escape that grabbed our attention was that of Scottish builder Scott Young and his lovely wife Lynn. Fashioned to echo the Scottish longhouse style (where, during ancient times, animals lived at one side with humans at the other), the rectilinear fantasy is clad in dramatic, jet-toned siding and set under a slick, steel roof. Internally, the longhouse boasts crisp white-painted drywall, stunning wood floors, a contemporary chef’s kitchen and a host of vibrant colour pops sequenced via accent walls and jaunty upholstery.

SELFIES ARE A MUST

Scott’s vision, sitting as it does, roadside, in beautiful Clarksburg, is literally a traffic stopper. The polar opposite of the area’s vernacular (red-brick century homes and quaint tiled roof farmhouses), it has quickly become the stuff of folklore: an average day sees curious onlookers hovering, snapping selfies and asking questions, none of which are a problem for Scott.

“In such stark contrast to neighbouring homes, our place was always destined to be of interest to passersby, so we’re always happy to inform.

“Building this house has delivered a tremendous sense of satisfaction and achievement,” explains Scott. “My son, Ben, a carpenter, is planning a similar place and it’s going to be fun recreating elements of this property with him. We’re really looking forward to getting started.”

It’s fair to report that filming our new show afforded an amazing opportunity to navigate some of North America’s most beautiful landscape. Each stop on our incredible journey revealed the lengths to which builders, architects and visionaries will go to create singular, fascinating homes. But as much as they’re all different, there’s a common denominator that threads them together: whether humble or overt, contemporary or traditional, each fascinating prospect is a great Canadian cottage.*

Great Canadian Cottages airs, weekly, from 18th October on Cottage Life. Check TV listings for precise timings.

 

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Expert Tips For Opening Up the Cottage

Get Out of Town!

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Get Out of Town!

Expert Tips For Opening Up the Cottage

by Lina Alviar, Home Comfort Advisor at Reliance Home Comfort

Warmer temperatures and longer days can only mean one thing: Ontario’s long-awaited cottage season is just around the corner and we are breathing a sigh of relief!

But before slipping on the sandals and slapping on the sunscreen, we’ve outlined some key checklist items to ensure your serene summer hideaway is primed and ready for relaxation.

Survey Your Surroundings: Ontario’s wicked spring weather (we’re looking at you, ice storm!)  may have wreaked havoc on the area around your cottage. Be sure to survey your surroundings for any downed or damaged power lines and call your local hydro company to handle any repairs. Trim unruly tree branches away from the property and clear out any debris.

Water Watch:  Check your water lines for any obvious signs of damage from the off-season.  Fill your hot water tank before turning on the power to avoid damaging the element. Monitor for leaks and contact a professional if you suspect a problem.

Appliance Check: Inspect all appliance wires and cords for signs of fraying or damage. Shut-off power before reconnecting any appliances that were unplugged during the winter months to prevent a surge.

Safety First: Test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors at the outset of the season and replace batteries as needed. Place a fully stocked first aid kit and charged fire extinguisher in an accessible location.

Moisture Watch: Inspect window sills, doorways and floors for any signs of moisture build-up or mold. Wear protective clothing if handling yourself and contact a specialist if required.

Taking the time to inspect your cottage at the start of cottage season can prevent needless headaches and costly expenses when you’d rather be relaxing. Be sure to follow the above steps so everyone can enjoy carefree weekends all summer long!

RelianceHomeComfort.com


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