October 18, 2023

Don Tapscott And Ana P. Lopes’ Guesthouse Is A Tranquil Hideaway

Hidden rooms behind secret doors — it’s the stuff of fairy tales. In the case of this guesthouse on Muskoka’s Lake of Bays, the magic is in the kitchen. Pantry cabinet doors open to reveal not canned goods and dried pasta, but a tidy foyer leading to two cozy bedrooms, each with king-size beds. “It’s a miracle cabin, like fishes and loaves,” says owner Don Tapscott. Don is a consultant, speaker and renowned author of many books including the bestselling Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything and Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Is Changing the World, and his wife, Ana P. Lopes, is a corporate director at The Tapscott Group as well as a director for many not-for-profit organizations. Though a modest 1,040 square feet, the cabin feels three times as big, with not a single inch wasted. “It’s a perfect little puzzle with no dead space,” says Ana. “There’s nothing superfluous.”

The Toronto couple has successfully renovated several properties over 40 years of marriage including their cottage, dubbed “The Lodge,” featured in House & Home’s May 2011 issue, and their condo, in the March 2017 issue. The next project was to rebuild their original cottage bunkie and create a four-season guesthouse with the help of builder Mike McCabe of Foxpoint Construction. Ana asked Clarisa Llaneza of Clarisa Llaneza Studio in Toronto to spearhead the interior design and improve the layout while keeping the footprint in order to adhere to the area’s bylaw restrictions.

The guesthouse includes a foyer, living and dining area, kitchen, two bedrooms, a laundry closet with stacked washer and dryer, a full bathroom and a powder room. To complement the Adirondack lodge–style main cottage, they decided on a moody “Belgium meets Muskoka” vibe. Clarisa echoed the main cottage’s brown exterior and went soulful and spare in the new space, layering in earthy hues and black shades to blend in with the craggy Canadian terrain.

In the new layout, the bedrooms are tucked behind the kitchen. “Guests might think the double door leading to the bedroom corridor could easily be a fridge or a pantry, giving the impression of a larger kitchen,” says Clarisa. The door also limits sound transfer; guests can chat into the night and not disturb anyone’s sleep. Don jokes he’s getting used to hearing a familiar refrain: “People settle in and say, ‘Do we have to come out? Maybe we’ll just see you in a while.’ ”

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Author: Iris Benaroia

Lauren Miller


House & Home


Architecture and landscape architecture, Robert Packman; design, Clarisa Llaneza; builder, Mike McCabe, Foxpoint Construction.