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House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

A character-filled cottage Author: Donna Griffith

House Tours

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

A cottage-loving couple decides to build one of their own, elevating a cookie-cutter plan into a character-filled haven.

 

For many Canadians, the cottage is a brief respite from busy city life. For Joanne and Richard Clark, it is that and so much more. “Cottaging is in our DNA – it’s who we are,” says Joanne. “My family’s been cottaging on Cameron Lake for generations, and Richard spent a large part of his youth at his uncle’s Casement Island cottage on Stoney Lake.” Both lakes are in Ontario’s Kawarthas, so three years ago, when the Toronto-based couple (she’s a marketing executive and he’s a network engineer) decided it was time to build their own legacy, they didn’t stray from the familiar. “It was Richard’s dream to end up back on Stoney Lake with his own cottage, and I was excited to discover a new part of the Kawarthas,” she says.

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House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Bringing the outdoors in

Slipcovered sofas and a coffee table Joanna and Richard crafted from hemlock mingle with a contemporary hide rug and iconic mid-century-style chairs, which aren't off limits: "The leather means you can sit on them in a wet bathing suit," says Joanne. The birch-branch chandelier, also made by the couple, creates a show-stopping canopy that literally brings the outdoors in.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Meaningful art

An heirloom quilt, hung like artwork, cozies up the living area. "My grandmother made this quilt," says homeowner Joanne Clark. "It's something I treasure for its incredible workmanship and beauty, as well as the vivid childhood memories it evokes."

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Welcoming living room

"I set up a bar on this tray table because I want guests to feel free to help themselves at cocktail hour," says Joanne. The table's wood tones are picked up in the picnic basket, games storage box and tree-stump stool, all of which warmly offset the bright white space.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Living room seating

Director's chairs are part of the curated yet rustic furnishings in the living area.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Prized objects

"These objects mean something to us - the keys belonged to my grandfather, and the other items are gifts from friends who have stayed with us," she says.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Kitchen island

"My dad and [husband] Richard built the kitchen island using old fence boards form my parents' place," says Joanne. "It was meant to be an interim island until we were settled, but then my dad died two weeks after we took occupancy. He was proud of building this island, so now it's here to stay!"

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Decorating the kitchen

Displaying decorative items, such as oil paintings and vintage tins, on the kitchen's open shelves avoids a predictable dishes-only look.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Colourful gallery wall

Joanne devised a crafty way to celebrate Richard's passion for fishing by mounting his old lures on colourful paper framed without glass. The scupture below is made from a piece of driftwood the couple found on Cameron Lake in Ontario.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Eating local

Tomatoes from a local market are just one perk of this cheerful cottage.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Guest bedroom

The guest bedroom's white backdrop and Hudson's Bay multi-striped blanket speak to a preppy aesthetic. The artwork is made of greeting cards.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Bathroom design

The bathroom features a modern vessel sink and wall-mounted faucet atop a rough-hewn vanity made from old barn beams.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Casual storage

Striped towels casually hang in the guest bedroom.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Relaxing deck

"This is where we sit and take it all in," says Joanne.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Cottage deck

A nature-inspired vignette is right at home on this cottage's deck.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Contemporary silhouette

To keep the cottage's contemporary silhouette respectful of the landscape, the couple chose siding finished in a muddy grey tone.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage

Relaxed cottage living

"A new build was our preference, as we wanted an efficiently constructed year-round place." The lot, an elevated flat granite shelf, is in a calm little bay and surrounded by trees. Its idyllic setting dictated the cottage's design. "We imagined it like a tree house and envisioned something simple yet authentic with high ceilings and lots of light," Joanne says.

By: Christy Wright Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

 

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House Tours

House tour: Colourful eclectic cottage