House Tours
Aug 22, 2014

House tour: Bungalow-style cottage

By: Laura Muir
House tour: Bungalow-style cottage

A large and light-filled cottage dining area. Author: Stacey Van Berkel

House Tours
Aug 22, 2014

House tour: Bungalow-style cottage

By: Laura Muir

A sprawling cottage perched on a hill overlooking lake muskoka was built to meet this family’s present needs–while still honouring the past.

The Canadian cottage is more than just a house by the lake: It’s a cultural phenomenon that’s practically synonymous with family. And this Muskoka, Ont., cottage owned by Toronto couple Katie Mills, a real estate agent, and David O’Connor, a chiropractor, epitomizes the whole “family cottage” concept.

This house is a 3,400-square-foot open bungalow-style house that melded traditional architectural elements with clean lines and a light, fresh palette. Perched high up on a hill, the cottage boasts large windows and glass-panelled sliding doors that bring in light and the spectacular views. “To me, the sun sparkling on the water is the most beautiful thing in the world,” says Katie.

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House tour: Bungalow-style cottage

The vintage look

In the Muskoka room there are many vintage-style elements like waterskiing sign and old pine storage box inject a relaxed, comfortable vibe.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Bungalow-style cottage

The popular spot

“This is a popular spot with the kids,” says Katie. The globe is an inexpensive Goodwill find.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Bungalow-style cottage

Kitchen design

The kitchen’s shaker-style cabinetry, quartz countertops, ceramic subway tile backsplash and stainless steel appliances create a fresh, classic look, while the pine ceiling and floors add a light rustic touch.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Bungalow-style cottage

Dining area

An ornate wrought-iron chandelier, which katie found at a second-hand store and had refinished, provides character and suits the grand scale of the dynamic dining area.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Bungalow-style cottage

Table setting

The table setting complements the cottage’s bright and fresh palette of warm whites, watery grey-blues and natural wood tones.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Bungalow-style cottage

The Muskoka room

In a corner of the m=Muskoka room, a white pedestal table surrounded by antique pine chairs serves as a spot to play games or eat snacks. The Port Carling sign speaks to homeowner Katie Mills’s waterskiing background (she used to perform, teach and compete in the sport) and lends a fun vintage feel.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Bungalow-style cottage

Privacy by the lake

The Toronto couple’s idyllic property on a Lake Muskoka island near Gravenhurst, Ont., is boat-access only and boasts 300 feet of frontage.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Bungalow-style cottage

A scenic setting

Weekend living and cottage style are synonymous for many Canadians. Whether your days are spent dockside by the lake or on a porch in the city, certain things are universal to the appeal: comfortably casual surroundings, light and easy meals, a sense of retreating from the hustle and bustle, and an aesthetic that celebrates everything summer has to offer.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home
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House tour: Bungalow-style cottage