This past summer my boyfriend and I fell in love with a cottage we rented on Ontario's Stoney Lake, so much so that we had to get back this fall for another weekend away. I have to say, as much as I loved this place in the summer, the newly changing leaves brought it to an entirely different level of beauty. It was so quiet and serene, and felt as if we were the only people on the lake all weekend.
Located on an island, this beauty was built in 1932 and was extensively renovated by a previous homeowner and designer in the late '80s. The result is a peaceful and timeless exterior, an interior that is full of traditional cottage charm, and a dash of Golden Girls chic!
Now because of the field I work in, no matter how much I love a place, it's pretty much ingrained in me to think, "What would I do differently if I owned this place?" And I must say, I'm kind of torn on this one.
This summer my inner designer would have had the place painted white in the blink of an eye, but after spending time here in the fall, the sea of orange pine (dare I say it!?) has grown on me. I know these are dangerous words coming from a current designer, but there's a warmth and cosiness created by the wood clad walls that would be completely lost if painted out white. I think with a bit of thoughtful editing (cottage kitsch!), a few painted furniture pieces and some simple reupholstering, this place would be a showstopper!
I think the best part about visiting this rental home-away-from-home during the fall would have to be the wood-burning fireplace. I started off a bit hesitant, but soon my Boy Scout instincts took over and I realized just how rewarding heating a home with a wood-burning fireplace could be! (Read Lindsey Rae's blog post for more on fireplaces.)
Although it was a bit too chilly to eat out on the back patio during our fall visit, I love the how this space has been painted the same white has the cottage's exterior. It's a nice change from the natural pine.
The bedroom has got to be my favourite room in the cottage. Waking up in a space like this really feels like you're on vacation. Surrounded by french doors along two walls, the breezes were heavenly in the summer. When closed up in the fall (including the drapes on the four poster bed) it was a cosy place to nap. There's even a Juliet balcony overlooking the lake.
For more cottage style, browse our Cottages & Country Houses photo gallery.
1-6. Joel Bray