Homes - Interiors

Interior: Country cottage retreat

After spending youthful summers at her family’s cottage in Peterborough, Ont., an architect builds her own country retreat across the lake along with her own family memories.

Whether it’s the lake-scented air or the calming trees, something about cottage country instantly disarms. Perhaps this accounts for the unlikely pairing of Dee Dee Taylor Eustace’s mud-caked knees and manicured fingernails. “I love the outdoors! I horseback-ride, water-ski, paddleboat, golf, fish – I’ll even put the worm on the hook!” says the Toronto-based interior designer and architect, whose customary urban threads are Christian Dior and Gucci. In the city, she’s a stylista (she just finished taping her new show, HGTV’s The Real Designing Women, and is also a regular contributor to the Style section of the Globe and Mail), but from late May until Thanksgiving, the mother of two can be found in flip-flops at her Stoney Lake cottage enjoying the sights and sounds.

The secluded Peterborough, Ont., getaway is about two hours northeast of Toronto and the ultimate refuge from the city: a private two-acre island with 1,800 feet of beguiling shoreline and a nautical-style interior made for lounging with a book or simply gazing at the placid portraits of lake, sky and trees framed in each unadorned window.

Why build a boathouse if you can’t leap off it? The sounds of happy splashing are heard all summer long from homeowner and architect Dee Dee Taylor Eustace’s family cottage on Stoney Lake in Peterborough, Ont.

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