February 9, 2024

Ali Budd Shakes Up Cottagecore With A City-Slick Look In This Lakehouse

Every home needs a good dose of pattern, according to designer Ali Budd. Her lakehouse project in Ontario’s Algonquin Highlands illustrates this sentiment — without it feeling overwhelming. “The key to designing with pattern is looking at how everything works together, playing with scale and choosing your moments,” says Ali. It also helps to have a client who trusts you implicitly; even better if she’s the mother-in-law of your childhood friend. “I’ve known Ali for years and she’s been to my original cottage many times,” says Ruby Silvertown, a luxury travel concierge who tapped Ali to design her new lakehouse, the second property in the compound. “She’d reorganize things when she was there, and I always liked what she did. She gets me and I get her; I figured it would be easy — and it was.”

The ask was simple: create a good-looking and highly functional annex for Ruby’s three kids and four grandkids, who are regular visitors. The reality, however, was more challenging. The wait-list for construction work in Ruby’s area was long, and her turn finally came up three years later… just as the pandemic hit. But Ali rolled up her sleeves and took it all in stride. Contractor Jeff Lovegrove was brought in to help with the plans and building work, and they were off. “We took a holistic approach that allowed for quick decisions, so we could place all the orders at once,” says Ali. Luckily, her client was very decisive. “Sometimes, Ruby even said, ‘I don’t get it, but I trust you.’”

Overall, the design is a master class in layering in lakeside flavor without veering into kitsch. “Just because you’re doing a cottage, it doesn’t mean you need loads of plaid and ducks everywhere,” says Ali with a laugh.

Scroll down to see inside this newly built lakehouse!