Relaxing with family and friends is good for the soul. And when you’re nestled together, relaxing next to the gorgeous waters of Lake Huron in this cozy modern cottage with a view, you’re really talking about soul-healing magic. Which is why we were so thrilled to join together with our friend and architect Eric Odor from SALA Architects to transform this family cabin, taking it from its beloved past, and moving it smartly into the future.
For generations this Desbarats, Ontario cottage has provided a welcome summer retreat for our clients. The homeowners wanted to embrace that treasured history and their rustic surroundings, but also to create something new and spectacular and serene. And most importantly, they wanted a panoramic view of the lake—and can you blame them? By incorporating the natural beauty of the outdoors into the interior design, this gorgeous property seamlessly blends the two distinct worlds—in some ways, literally!
We always say that to be one with nature is to channel serenity and peace and balance. Of course, for us, we brought those feelings to the space through COLOR. We studied the site to see what colors and textures we saw in nature and used that to inform the palette and finishes we used inside. We wanted to bring in the blues and greens of the lake, the brown and black of the sand and stone, while still making everything practical and functional, but also elegant and (of course) fun!
Let’s start in the great room, the heart of this home, in the kitchen. And at the center of this kitchen is a large island accented in a blue reminiscent of the shoreline rocks and topped with locally sourced Black Absolute granite, flamed for a little texture. And you can’t miss the amazing pendants from Foscarini–so surprising and inspiring! The wall cabinets and refrigerator are the color of lichen, a serene green shade we found walking in the woods that calmed our souls and lifted our moods.
The walls here—and the rest of this soaring great room—are wrapped with Douglas Fir paneling. Custom-made and hand-glazed 1×2 tile from the Minneapolis artisans at Mercury Mosaics in a yummy cinnabar hue makes for a colorful backsplash and backdrop to dishes, glassware and other fab finds, all on display and easily accessed through open wood shelving. This kitchen and those lake views make washing dishes feel like not a chore at all!
We just love the earthiness of the lichen green, so the dining alcove is framed with a pair of pantry cabinets in the same shade. To make entertaining as easy as the breeze that blows in from the lake, we designed open shelves for their barware. Every color choice grounds you and connects you while reflecting the environment. It really is all in the details.
Towering above it all is this fantastic fireplace of stone, which was smartly sandblasted to expose the beauty of its natural tones. This wood burning beauty offers heat seekers a first-row seat upon its concrete hearth. Or come join the group and curl up on the grey tailored wool Butterfly sofa by Eilersen, a must-have for this space from Fuse Minneapolis.
Or maybe you’d rather stretch out on the fabulous Moroccan rug and grab a book from our custom-made and Lucy-designed coffee table. We love how the whole grouping mixes with our so pretty-in-lichen-green vintage feather chair and rush seat chairs from Francis King. The assembled activities of this soaring great room—cooking, dining and living—all flow seamlessly down to all the wonderfulness that is the Lake Huron shore just beyond. All you need to do is push open the glass Nanawall and step out into the sunset.
Elements like the 23-foot folding Nanawall door are just an example of how we brought the outdoors in and the indoors out and created livable spaces that merge into a singular, open air atmosphere. The Nanawall doors open to a screened porch, set off the dining alcove, and fold back to offer an interrupted view of the sunset and to let the cool lake breezes in. The impressive wall of windows helps you feel like you’re outdoors at all times—talk about living the cottage dream!
We love to tell a color story and keep the same shades from the great room through the rest of the cabin, for a cohesive feel. You can see the lichen green and Douglas fir paneling repeating in this master bathroom, paired with a white hexagon tile shower to make the space bright and light, and naturally a large window to capture that view. And take a look in that mirror: in the reflection you can sneak a peek of the gorgeous granite grey dressing room.
This gorgeous grey shade is the signature shade of this more private part of the cottage. It is the base for our master bedroom space, framing the view as built-ins for the dressing room and as drapery in the bedroom itself, setting the tone for these intimate rooms. Throughout the cottage, shapes are unfussy, lines are clean—we wanted to simplify and not distract from the beauty. All the fabrics are natural and organic and pure.
Built on the original footprint of the previous structure, this lake home is now a quietly spectacular retreat, a colorful escape with plenty of comfort and modern conveniences for family, friends and all who are lucky enough to score an invitation. With its spectacular lake views, sunshine pouring in every window and the sound of boats puttering along the rocky shore, this Lake Huron cottage is At one with the surrounding environment like being wrapped in Mother Nature’s embrace.
But no matter where you are, if you can, open the windows and let in the breeze. The morning chirps of the birds and wind rustling through the leaves might be just what you need.