Discover Why This All-Season Cottage Is Glorious Year-Round
Designing a cottage that makes the most of all four seasons is a balancing act best performed by the pros. When the owners of this 6,650-square-foot cottage in Muskoka, Ontario, decided the layout no longer suited their needs, architect Gren Weis draft a new-build on the existing footprint that saw 95 per cent of the cottage demolished. Designers Margot Bell, Katelyn Hermant and Dasha Ricci of Peaks & Rafters, a go-to destination for cottage decor, created a fresh look that incorporated cherished family items from the old cottage. The design is classic cottage style, with nods to nature that ease the flow between indoors and out. Whether the sun is bouncing off the waves in high summer or a snowdrift in deep winter, any day at this cottage is a glorious one.
Click through to see inside the space and get all-season cottage decorating ideas.
Rugged, naturalized landscaping helps the cottage meld into its setting. Gren, the architect, incorporated dormer windows and cedar-shake cladding for a heritage look.
Here is Peaks & Rafters designer Katelyn with Georgie, her golden Lab, on the patio.
In the cottage’s back entry, the table’s rustic wire base and iron light fixture give the space an airy look. An indoor-outdoor rug adds polish to rustic elements like the vintage bench, but is also durable.
A vintage peg coat rack and basket corral frequently used outerwear in the back entryway. Walls panelled in wide shiplap and an oak floor stained to mimic the deep hue of tree bark add rugged warmth to the cottage.
A huge antler chandelier is a dramatic focal point in the cathedral-ceilinged living area. Pops of red perk up the neutral upholstery, while leather slipcovers on swivelling armchairs can be swapped for lighter fabrics in summer.
The kitchen is well-equipped enough for a professional chef, but remains user-friendly. The polished look of the Caesarstone counters, custom-made oak cabinets and minimal brass hardware is tempered by well-loved cutting boards and potted herbs.
The zinc hood’s matte patina gives the new kitchen a legacy look.
The screened porch adapts to the four seasons with a NanaWall, windows that lower into the floor, and automated roller blinds and screens. All-weather wicker furniture is layered with throw pillows in shades of pink that brighten the mostly grey space. A mustard Navajo-style rug adds pattern underfoot.
The stone floor in the screened porch is heated for chilly evenings. Sunbrella slipcovers on the chairs protect the upholstery from fading in the summer sun and are perfect for cozying up by the fire in the fall.
In the principal bedroom, a mix of family heirloom rugs and patterned bedding in rich orange and red hues injects warmth.
Warm-grain woods are a sophisticated alternative to pine or whitewash finishes; mid-tone hues have the visual heft to balance stone floors.
In the principal ensuite, high windows and undermounted lights bathe the space in light. Wall-to-wall floating cabinetry maxes out storage, while the freestanding tub is positioned next to full-height doors leading to a private patio.
In summer, stone tile floors feel cool and provide non-slip traction for wet feet, but in winter their underheating (especially in the bathroom) cuts the chill.