Bright and airy cottage living room.
After spending summers at her family’s Ontario cottage, 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.
With white plank walls that could be on the side of a boat and chrome light fixtures that look more like portholes on a ship than pendant lights, the kitchen interior feels like an upscale version of a captain’s scullery.
Reused from a previous project, the elegant dining chairs were updated in a nubby white fabric and blue vinyl to tie in with the nautical colour palette.
White snapdragons and a pitcher of summer lemonade make a refreshing vignette – just tote the nailhead-adorned tray to the deck for an alfresco afternoon.
In the living room, wooden window frames were painted dark blue to stand out against the white walls. Sparkling silver legs lift the green brocade furniture and prevent the room from feeling staid.
With their tapered, fluted legs, as well as the quatrefoil carvings on their cornices, the dining chairs are elegant references to Louis XVI.
In the screened-in porch, fancy furnishings look whimsical against grainy Douglas Fir floors – the perfect juxtaposition of outdoors and in.
“I love layering,” says Dee Dee of the pillow-piled bed in the master bedroom, its headboard and bedskirt lending a more formal vibe. “The gold, black and white flower pattern is so graphic and happy.”
Rug and settee
Simple yet sophisticated, the pairing of the ornate area rug and striped settee works because of the similar gold tones in both pieces.
A mahogany vanity topped with marble was custom made for the master ensuite. “The wood is lacquered, like you’d see in a boat,” says Dee Dee.