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House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

A fresh seaside-chic lake house Author: Michael Graydon

House Tours

House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

This cozy lake house in Port Carling, Ont., boasts a fresh seaside-chic vibe while paying homage to old-school Muskoka.

 

Nestled on the south shore of Lake Rosseau in Port Carlin, Ont., this 6,800-square-foot six-bedroom house is decorated the way one would dress when visiting: in a crisp Polo Ralph Lauren Oxford shirt and comfortable, well-worn chinos paired with Sperry Top-Siders. It's a timeless look that's coastal, casual and effortlessly chic with a neutral palette at its core. 

"The homeowners wanted to capture that warm, windswept lake house aesthetic but with a relaxed, cozy Muskoka feel for their young family of four," says Cory DeFrancisco of Mukoka Living Interiors, who designed and built the home from scratch, finishing in 2013.

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House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

Inviting entryway

Like a friendly smile and a firm handshake, the entryway makes a confident and inviting introduction to the home.

Image by: Style at Home By: Sara Cation Source: Michael Graydon

House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

Tunnelling hallways

"A lot of old cottages have those tunnelling hallways in their guest cottage or service quarters, and this beadboard wall treatment references that," says builder and designer Cory DeFrancisco.

Image by: Style at Home By: Sara Cation Source: Michael Graydon

House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

Bright sunroom

This small boathouse sunroom is literally right on Ontario's Lake Rosseau: On windy days, you can feel waves crashing up through the floorboards.

Image by: Style at Home By: Sara Cation Source: Michael Graydon

House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

Great room

"We took up 90 percent of the wall with windows," says Cory of the gorgeous great room, where the ceiling's oak beams guide your eye directly to the view. "The overstuffed sofas are insanely comfortable," he adds. "They're slipcovered in high-quality Belgian linen that gets softer with each wash.

Image by: Style at Home By: Sara Cation Source: Michael Graydon

House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

Spacious kitchen

Though the spacious kitchen is crisp, white and polished, simple details, such as the grain of the reclaimed-oak floors and the texture of the brush strokes on the hand-painted cabinetry, keep it humble and homey. "It's a new take on a traditional cottage kitchen, with all the modern amenities," says Cory.

Image by: Style at Home By: Sara Cation Source: Michael Graydon

House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

Elegant dining room

A big weathered farmhouse table paired with slipcovered seating and sophisticated lighting that doesn't block the view equals a dining room with easy elegance. But the best feature of this space is that, with the doors open, you really feel like you're eating alfresco.

Image by: Style at Home By: Sara Cation Source: Michael Graydon

House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

Open-concept design

Even though this home is grand, the family who lives here wanted an overall feeling of togetherness, so Cory kept it largely open concept.

Image by: Style at Home By: Sara Cation Source: Michael Graydon

House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

Muskoka room

The west-facing Muskoka room, with wall-to-wall windows, is so bright that it can pull off the charcoal walls. "The darkness acts as an anchor, while the light that shines in highlights the furnishings," explains Cory. The modular sectional is meant for the outdoors (so go ahead, get it wet) and can be reconfigured when company comes to create multiple sitting areas.

Image by: Style at Home By: Sara Cation Source: Michael Graydon

House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

Master bedroom

The whole master bedroom is very generous, but its sleeping area is quite small. In it, you'll find only an upholstered bed, two small side tables and a 180-degree view of the water.

Image by: Style at Home By: Sara Cation Source: Michael Graydon

House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

Bathroom design

The large window behidn the free-standing bathtub overlooks a garden and granite. "It's hard to make boulders sound nice," says Cory with a laugh, "but it's a beautiful view."

Image by: Style at Home By: Sara Cation Source: Michael Graydon

House tour: Neutral nautical lake house

Lakeside living

"All of those elements are, I think, what makes it feel authentic to Muskoka. There's nothing ornate in the whole place," says Cory. And just 35 feet away, in the boathouse, the look is much the same. The palette is almost all white and the dress code is bathing suits - after all, the lake's right there. Take one step out the door, and jump right in. The water's perfect.

Image by: Style at Home By: Sara Cation Source: Michael Graydon

 

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House tour: Neutral nautical lake house