House & Home

(C. Jardin) #1


FOR SOME cross-country skiing across a fresh snowfall is just
as essential to the cottage experience as a summertime boat
ride into town or leaping off the dock. But designing a cottage
that makes the most of all four seasons is a balancing act best
performed by the pros.
Designers Margot Bell Katelyn Hermant and Dasha Ricci of
Port Carling Ont.’s Peaks & Rafters a go-to destination for
cottage decor have worked with the family who owns this
6650-square-foot cottage on Ontario’s Lake Joseph for years.
When the family decided the layout no longer fit their needs
they had architect Gren Weis draft a new-build on the existing
footprint that saw 95 per cent of the cottage demolished.
Then Margot was charged with creating a fresh look that
incorporated cherished family items from the old cottage.
Rustic touchstones — fieldstone walls inset with fireplaces
wood and stone f loors rugged beams and a two-tier antler
chandelier — create a cosy retreat. The cottage’s new layout
allows the family of five to fit nine guests around the dining
table or on the sofas in the open-concept living room. The
kitchen can also handle a crowd and is appointed with
professional tools like a double Wolf range dramatic zinc hood
and chef ’s pantry. “It’s open uncluttered and user-friendly”
says Margot. “We wanted to give the family all the bells and
whistles so they can whip up a huge meal or host a big event.”

The design is classic cottage style with nods to nature that
ease the f low between indoors and out. This marriage reaches
its zenith on the screened porch which is framed by large
beams and open to the dining room. In the summer two of the
windows can actually be lowered down into the f loor and a
four-panel NanaWall opens wide accordion-style. Automated
screens that slide up are the only separation between the
cottagers and lakeside breezes. “It’s bright in winter but feels
like you’re in the open air in the summertime” Margot says.
The lakeside view is the porch’s primary focal point but when
temperatures dip a wood-burning fireplace set up off the
ground makes the room a snug place to gather. “Because it’s
raised it’s almost at eye level when you’re seated” says Margot.
“It pulls you right into the room.”
For the designers one of the biggest challenges was
resolving the cottage’s sunny open-concept design. “We are all
about light and space not closing things up” says Margot. But
all that sun can damage natural fabrics. “Cottagers spend a lot
on furniture and it’s a shame if it gets bleached out in one
season. Sunbrella fabrics are much more sophisticated now
and they can handle the sun exposure.” Whether the sun is
bouncing off the waves in high summer or a snowdrift in deep
winter any day at this cottage is a glorious one.
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