Photography: Kristan Keltanen | Styling: Wilma Custers
Sometimes no plan is the best plan, and that’s the secret to the style of this stunning vacation home in Ontario’s Prince Edward County.
When life is hectic, you need an escape, and this piece of paradise in Ontario’s Prince Edward County is the perfect antidote to Rebecca and Steven Keyzer’s busy Monday-to-Friday jobs as estate agents. Their second home serves as a place to unwind in peace and quiet...only two hours away from their Toronto base.
Sold on the stunning setting, the couple had been looking for a house that really reflected them — something that stood out from the area’s typical Victorian-style dwellings. When they found this mid-century-style stunner, they were as attracted to its clean lines and white steel exterior panelling as they were to the fact that it was only three years old and needed no extensive renovations. “We wanted something we could start relaxing in right away,” says Rebecca.
Indeed, the open-concept interior offered ample space and was flooded with light. It was the ideal canvas for the design enthusiast homeowners to demonstrate their vintage boho style. To fill the envelope of crisp white walls and heated concrete floors, the couple selected natural-toned pieces, mixing styles and textures. In addition to a show-stopping light fixture in the dining room (chosen by the couple’s stylist friends), inexpensive big box-store pieces were paired with antiques shop scores. “I want visitors to be at ease here,” says Rebecca, noting that an entirely expensive design would have the opposite effect. “By mixing the exclusive with the ordinary, we created a more lively atmosphere. Showy is the last thing we want it to be.”
Mid-century-style items mingle with rustic, Scandi and contemporary pieces, creating a signature personality-packed look. And it all came together organically. “I’ve read about people who roam the countryside looking for that perfect cabinet or lamp, but we don’t have the time for that,” says Rebecca. “When I come across something that fits the mood, I buy it. The whole is more the result of coincidence than a master plan.”
Serene and serendipitous, this Prince Edward County abode feels miles from the homeowners’ daily stresses. “We’re only two hours away from the city, and yet we’re completely relaxed here,” says Rebecca. “Friends and family love to visit, and we’re really into the local community, too. This is the haven we always dreamed of.”
A glam gold-framed mirror atop a simple console sets the scene at the entryway just off the kitchen. It showcases the eclectic boho style the homeowners have imbued throughout this house.
Thanks to the open-concept layout, guests can lounge in the living room while chatting with their hosts as they prep meals in the kitchen. But more often than not, guests just sit and kibitz at the island. “We’re not the types for formal visits,” says Rebecca.
A graphic black and white tiled backsplash lends a worldly feel to the kitchen, which is open to the rest of the home. against the white walls and grey-toned cabinetry, it serves as a large art piece, visible from many corners of the main living area. In the dining room, framed photography by local artist (and friend of the homeowners) Christine Flynn pays tribute to Prince Edward County’s marvellous and moody shoreline.
Under a modern chandelier, mid-century-style wire end chairs, vintage Windsor chairs and an antique harvest table (that seats 12) offer layers of style and personality. “If we ever sell the house, I worry we’ll have to sell the table along with it,” says homeowner Rebecca Keyzer. “It weighs more than a thousand pounds!”
“We like furniture that can take a knocking,” says Rebecca, noting that the living room’s leather sofa gets more and more beautiful with use. Rebecca and her husband, Steven, favour anything vintage, including music, which is played exclusively on a record player (not shown). Their artists of choice? Fleetwood Mac and the Beatles reign supreme here.
Vintage and contemporary influences are at play in the living room. “The pink chair is a favourite for everyone who visits,” says Rebecca, who was able to add in the pop of colour to an otherwise mostly black, white and wood scheme. A lumbar cushion and ottoman echo the hue.
For Rebecca, this place is all about comfort and relaxation, from the mixed styles to the vintage finds. (And FYI, the concrete floors are heated, so the slippers aren’t a must.) A mix of rustic, contemporary and glam, the gallery wall features artwork and photographs from local artists.
A well-worn antique ladder and local vintage artwork offer simple yet sophisticated interest in the hallway. In the bedroom, sitting elegantly among a curated stack of books (modern white-spined bestsellers and antique collectibles), a pink swan adds a touch of whimsy to the guest room and references the accent colour that can be glimpsed in the living room.
Comfy and cozy, the guest room boasts a plush winged bed frame and layered bed linens resulting in a kind of contemporary cocoon. It’s clear that here, sleeping in not only comes easily, but is encouraged as well!