A fresh seaside-chic 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.
Like a friendly smile and a firm handshake, the entryway makes a confident and inviting introduction to the home.
"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.
This small boathouse sunroom is literally right on Ontario's Lake Rosseau: On windy days, you can feel waves crashing up through the floorboards.
"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.
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.
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.
Even though this home is grand, the family who lives here wanted an overall feeling of togetherness, so Cory kept it largely open concept.
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.
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.
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."
"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.
If you think that red is too bright and too bold for you, we urge you to think again.
Inject some life and personality into almost any neutral space with a little dose of red. Take a look at these nine finds; we know you’ll be inspired.
We just couldn’t adore this artwork any more than we already do! Famed aerial photographer Gray Malin delights us again, this time with a collection of photos inspired by none other than Minnie Mouse herself. In this collaboration with Disney, Malin’s mouse muse takes centre stage and we love the sharply contrasting colours, which will add a dose of drama and whimsy to whichever room you hang it in.
The Leading Lady, Gray Malin, starting at $299
Add a splash of colour to your bed or living room sofa with this gorgeous garnet red throw blanket from Boll & Branch. Measuring 50”x70”, this blanket is 100% certified organic and is made with eco-friendly, non-toxic dyes so you can rest easy when you’re curled up with it on a chilly night.
Cable Knit Throw, Boll & Branch, $125
Vibrant and bold, this cherry red rug from design goddess Kate Spade is just the thing to brighten any room. Featuring a monochromatic red-on-red dot pattern, the whimsical design of this wool-tufted rug is the perfect addition to a modern space that needs a boost of colour and personality.
Deco Dot Rug, Kate Spade, starting at $700
When decorating your home, who says the kitchen can’t use a little tender loving care? Updating the kitchen doesn’t have to mean a full-blown renovation. Instead, add pops of colour by putting your useful kitchen must-haves out on display, like this gorgeous red three-piece set of Le Creuset stoneware.
Le Creuset Stoneware 3-Piece Set, Williams-Sonoma, $99
Turn your windows into the standout feature in your room with the simple addition of curtains. These beautiful Moroccan print curtain panels in vibrant Cardinal Red are certainly a showstopper. Combining a bold pattern with a bold colour is one way to make a statement.
If your bathroom is begging for a burst of colour and style, look no further than these Turkish towels, crafted on antique shuttle looms. The towels are lightweight and highly absorbent for a luxurious end to bathtime and have a multitude of uses. Use it as anything from a bath towel or beach blanket to a scarf or sarong.
Turkish Towel Takeda Watermelon, Tonic Living, $44
Sometimes your walls need a pick-me-up but nothing permanent. If you’re afraid of commitment but need a change, consider wall decals. They’re an easy, inexpensive and temporary way to add a splash of style to any room in your home. These plus sign decals will create an eye-catching and fun feature wall.
Plus Signs Wall Decal Set, Urban Outfitters, $12
Nothing livens up a space quite like a gallery wall. We’re fans of eclectic gallery walls, filled with photos and prints in varying shapes and sizes. And a variety of frames is one way to keep things interesting. Instead of sticking to a monochromatic theme of black, white or metallic frames, spice things up by including some colour, like this beautiful matte red option.
Gallery Frame, Indigo, $17
If you love the warmth of red but fear going too big with this vibrant hue, start off small with accents that can be easily swapped out (and don’t cost a fortune!) This pretty candle comes in a decorative red glass jar that will look wonderful on display and gives off a lovely fragrance of quince, pineapple, mango and fresh papaya. Close your eyes and let yourself be transported to someplace exotic.
Island Orchard Filled Jar Candle, Pier 1, $19
Take a tour of Monika Hibbs's interesting and inviting home!
When this Vancouver new-build's white and beige colour palette gets paired with an array of textures and patterns, the scheme reads interesting and inviting.
2012 isn't just a banner year for Monika Hibbs - the stylish visionary behind the popular lifestyle blog The Doctor's Closet - it was more like a flashing marquee. Monika, a former doctor (hence the blog's name), and her husband, Troy, an entrepreneur, decided to build their dream home that summer. Just one month later, Monika learned she was pregnant with their first child. And then, to top off a roller coaster of a year, the couple moved into the house just two days shy of Christmas Day. "It was definitely crazy but so very exciting, too," says Monika.
When it came to decorating their 4,000-square-foot four-bedroom abode in Langley, B.C., Monika struggled to narrow down her choices. With a blog that covers fashion, beauty, decor and the like, her daily exposure to trends didn't make the decision-making process easy. "So I stuck to a beige and white scheme to make it simple. Our motto was, ‘If in doubt, pick white.'"
Design by Stephanie Jean Design
Monika and her husband, Troy, decided on wainscotting in the front hallway to increase the architectural character of the new-build home. "We really invested in the details, from the moulding and panelling to the millwork," she says.
Initially, Monika wanted a marble backsplash in a herringbone pattern for the kitchen. But in the end, she chose a more budget-friendly subway tile. "It's our first home, so we did have to keep costs in mind," she says. "this is the next best thing, and it's also a classic."
In the dining room, oversized pendant lights were substantial enough for Troy and pretty enough for Monika. The dining table's weathered wood reflects the coffee table in the adjacent living room, while a white built-in cabinet at the end of the space seems to disappear into the wall.
Symmetry reigns supreme in the living room, where sofas flank a gas fireplace. "Having two couches keeps the room open," says Monika. "We liked this idea much more than bringing in a sectional and some chairs." The bench offers additional seating for entertaining.
Monika stacked some coffee table books in the living room as decorative accents.
Office gallery wall
In Monika's office, a gallery wall represents the work of some of her fellow lifestyle bloggers. "I love art with sayings - it can be changed with the season or my mood," she says.
Office lounge area
The upstairs home office is the most playful room in the house. "I wanted a pretty place where I could be inspired," explains Monika. The neon "by monika" sign, custom made by a local company, is the perfect visual expression of her lifestyle brand.
Monika puts her office to good use, working on her blog and online store, where she sells her jewellery line, Bfrend, and other cute goodies. The white desk and Ghost-style office chair are in keeping with the room's airy, feminine feel.
White accents fill the office space. "I spend about three to five hours here each day, so it's important for me to have a place to escape and buckle down," she says. With all the white in the rest of the house, why the splashes of hot pink here? "Funny you should ask,"she says. "I call it my favourite undercover colour, because it does pop up a lot in my work."
Monika and Troy agreed on a master bedroom that would be simple, gender-neutral and bright. "For both of us, this look epitomizes comfort," she says. A patterned toss cushion in the middle of the bed pulls together the room's varying warm and cool shades of white.