Homes - Interiors

Interior: Boho beach house

Not many see Lake Erie and think Southern California. Luckily, Toronto shop owner Teresa Wiwchar is as one of a kind as her sense of style.

When Teresa Wiwchar, owner of Toronto decor shop Châtelet, envisioned a weekend getaway for herself, husband Hamid Samad and their two kids, Macy, 8, and Finn, 6, the typical woodsy cottage wasn’t top of mind. Instead, she looked to her past and found her ideal summer house on Lake Erie’s Long Beach, near where she grew up in Southwestern Ontario.

The 1,100-square-foot cottage met all of her criteria: close to Toronto, near her mom’s house, swimmable water and a cottagey feel ‒ beach cottage, that is. Think sun, sand and style ‒ way more Malibu than Muskoka.

Her inspiration came from a Vanity Fair spread she’d seen years ago of actor Dennis Hopper’s Malibu home. The vibe was 1970s surfer/boho chic and Teresa couldn’t wait to interpret the look in her own beach style cottage. It would be a departure from her Toronto home and the Hollywood-glam-meets-shabby-chic-meets-Parisian-flair of her Châtelet store. “In the city, I have greys, pale blues and greens – there isn’t the same riot of colour I have in the cottage,” she says. “I wanted the place to be fun and lively because it’s a weekend home.”

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Beach house
The cottage is perched above Long Beach, a public beach on Lake Erie, cozily sandwiched among other similar traditional family cottages. But homeowner Teresa Wiwchar doesn’t mind the accessible setting – she loves watching families set up for a day in the sun and seeing Jet Skis whiz by.
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