Photo Gallery: Modern Cottages
Escape with us!
Cottage owners Juli Daoust and John Baker hired a contractor to paint the ceilings white, creating a uniform look with the walls and floor. Sliding glass doors, high ceiling and tailored furniture make the room feel light and airy. The unusual daybed sofa is a Shaker-inspired piece that’s carried at their store, Mjölk — a Japanese and Scandinavian lifestyle boutique in Toronto.
Juli and John found the sconces mounted on either side of the fireplace in the cottage’s boathouse. Originally faux brass with white candles, they sprayed them matte black and added new bulbs. They left the stonework untouched to provide contrast in the mainly white space. The enamel bucket and teak tripod side table came with the cottage.
The chairs, all mid-century Danish Shaker designs by Folke Palsson and Jorgen Baekmark for FDB Mobler Denmark, were bought online for about $100 each. Juli and John found the black candelabra while rummaging through the boathouse, while the snowshoes belonged to Juli’s dad.
John and Juli installed the kitchen cabinets themselves and kept the original stove, knowing they would be mostly barbecuing. An under-counter fridge with pullout drawers saves space. “It was a $600 floor model,” says John. “We added our own plywood panelling and wood handles.”
When architect David Zacharko conceived his initial concept for this waterfront holiday home, he drew on his travels to California, Hawaii and Southeast Asia. “In those places, walls don’t exist between the outside and inside,” he explains. They don’t seem to exist in this home, either — a breathtaking structure that seems to float on water or air, depending on where you stand.
Full-height windows frame ruggedly beautiful views in the cottage living room. A neutral palette and natural materials make the interior almost recede into the leafy landscape.
And here’s the exterior view. Custom-made glass doors disappear into pockets in the wall to fully open the living room to the outdoors. Potted plants bring colour to the backyard, where the owners set up a casual dining area.
Not for the easily distracted, Zacharko’s office design features panoramic views of the waterfront. A glass waterfall desk disappears against the window, keeping with the ethereal feel of the holiday home.
You’d never know this cottage was in Ontario and not the tropics. The soaring peaked roof of the pool house has a dramatic silhouette against the sky. Wood decking frames the pool like a boardwalk, and fiberglass sofas add a glam note.
Potted palm trees add a tropical element in this contemporary living room, accentuating its breezy Miami Beach vibe. Organic tree-stump tables are a warm contrast to the white furniture and polished-concrete floors.
This cottage’s open design incorporates luxuriously tall ceilings and an abundance of glass to bring in light and spectacular views. In the garden room, a toy horse acts as a playful sculpture.
This ultra-sleek kitchen, featuring glossy white cabinets, CaesarStone counters and stainless-steel appliances, makes cooking and entertaining a breeze. Industrial light fixtures reinforce the modern tone, while black accents ground the space.
In this dining room, mix-and-match chairs attest to the owners’ sense of humour. While the corrugated metal wall is a reference to siding used liberally on agricultural buildings in the area, it takes on a distinct glamour when paired with a vibrant work by Justine Fernie, iconic Ghost chairs by Philippe Starck and an ethereal chandelier.
In this hallway to the guest rooms, a few flourishes enter the clean-lined scheme, including an ornate mirror, a chandelier and a juicy yellow side table. The windows are cleverly framed in a floor-to-ceiling bookcase with display shelves that act like extra-deep windowsills.
A three-story “tower” at one end of the cottage is clad in wood-fibre-and-cement siding panels, alluding to the linearity of the forest environs. Stone stairs and paths around the cottage blend handsomely into the natural setting.
With its wood panelling and furniture, this room is warm and inviting. This inglenook is a coveted hangout. Rough stone adds texture.
This window offers an ever-changing landscape and expands the room visually. Blond wood and a panelled ceiling keep the look uniform, putting the focus on the sculptural lines of the Scot Laughton Jube Jube lights and Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs.
An emphasis on clean lines and natural materials keeps the focus of this cottage on the wind, water, rocks and sky outside. In fact, the cedar-clad, rectilinear structure appears to grow out of its rocky site. Architects Meg Graham and Andre D’Elia of superkül designed the remote island retreat.
Forgoing upper cabinets and conventional appliances (even the fridge is a commercial, below-counter model) means that nothing obstructs the view to the outside.
A floor-to-ceiling door beside the fireplace connects the interior to the exterior. A colourful carpet adds a bright, country note.
In a narrow kids’ room, an intentionally high upper bunk creates an airy atmosphere. Colourful fabrics, crisp metal details and traditional pine boards epitomize the modern cottage.
In this open-concept kitchen, a long maple table is paired with Gio Ponti’s iconic Superleggera chairs while a modern Octopus pendant balances the rusticity. White-washed wood flooring creates a sleek, clean look. Panelled cabinets and butcher block countertops add warmth.
A maple window seat topped with a series of colourful cushions runs the width of the room, offering both seating and storage. Calm-blue walls, a patterned rug and a cable-knit pouf add colour and texture.
This modern-country space is ideal for pint-sized cottage guests. Ikea beds are outfitted with big, chunky casters for flexibility, while Indian quilts and flea-market finds give the room big personality on a small budget.
See even more cottage design and decorating photos in a variety of traditional, country and contemporary styles.
Michelle Lloyd Bermann, of Lloyd Ralphs Design, and decorating contractor David Bermann renovated their cottage into a tropical-style haven. On the patio, a textured raffia umbrella, carved side tables and oversized floor pillows grant this outdoor living room on a cottage deck Moroccan flair, while the furniture’s symmetrical arrangement keeps the look sophisticated and clean.
Because Michelle and David’s cottage only has one bedroom, multifunctional pieces in the living room make sense. Painted bamboo daybeds can be pulled apart to create two beds, while the “coffee table” is actually a camp cot. White terrycloth upholstery is easy to clean and swimsuit-friendly.
Mixing playful, rough and unexpected objects with a sleek daybed and Saarinen-style table keeps this cottage from looking too precious. White paint, fabrics and Moroccan-style lanterns and cabinet lattice work create an exotic feel.