Interior: Cheerful summer cabin
We were hard-core campers when we started our hunt for a cottage three years ago. We snorted at Coleman stoves, we snuffled at air mattresses, we were all backcountry and portages. But hard-core is just that: hard. And life with three kids (Harper, 10, Oliver, 7, and Jessica, 5) soon left my husband, Paul Kilback, and me longing for something more permanent.
We were wrapping up a whirlwind tour of mobile homes with our realtor (by this point we’d seen every possible application for Astroturf, including a bathroom floor!), when we suggested she show us her lowest listing, a 900-square-foot cabin three hours northeast of Toronto. With no plumbing, no electrical and no drywall, it was essentially a box. But it was a well-built box, and more important, it stood on four acres of forest with 250 feet of shoreline. Our realtor looked at us cockeyed, her voice half disdain, half disbelief: “If you’re into that sort of thing,” she said. Apparently we were into that sort of thing.
Between rustic and sophisticated
Layering rustic elements like reclaimed-wood shelving with a sophisticated gold, charcoal grey and white scheme creates a rich depth in the bathroom.
A fun find like this claw-foot tub was bought for $120 from a nearby farmer. A quick coat of charcoal paint was then used to make it pop beautifully against the white bathroom walls.Making small changes
Both left in the cabin by the previous owners, the china cabinet was dressed up with a coat of paint and the dining table with some pretty linens. All-white crockery, glassware and jars sit among crystal decanters on a silver tray found at a local antiques store for of elegance.
A few fabulous finds
My parents brought me back this vintage Suzani from Turkey. They searched every souk in Istanbul for it! Natural materials like leather, cane, wood, hide and seagrass add texture and warmth to the all-white space. The cottage's soul comes from mixing in well-travelled pieces, such as the Moroccan pouffe and antique suzani.
The best part, hands down, was the decorating, which was all done for a song. Our five-year-old couch was hauled up north and received a new slipcover. I found the most extraordinary chaise with a striped cushion online, and Harper (by now a garage-sale artist) spotted the plantation chair on our neighbour’s lawn, a steal at $35. A relaxing bedroom
Crisp white sheets and a fluffy duvet give the master bedroom a luxe lift. While there's lots of electrical lighting for reading, loads of lanterns create the prettiest twinkle at night.
I got the most fantastic set of vintage water skis from what might be the oldest and loveliest man in the universe. The old rugs have been in my family for several lifetimes and have finally found a home in our master bedroom.