Explore 80 Of The Best Canadian Cottage Rooms From House & Home
Spending a day by the water or deep in the woods are some of the greatest ways to enjoy a Canadian summer. But with most of us staying inside, it’s totally normal to be daydreaming about cottage life lately — especially as we’re craving the warmth of summer sun. Browse our roundup of the best Canadian cottages from our pages. You’re sure to find one that inspires you, whether you’re a veteran cottager or just love the inspiration that comes with a lakeside view.
Seaside Summer Home In P.E.I.
With the beach at their doorstep and endless blue sky filling every window, a couple’s seasonal P.E.I. home is both a tranquil escape and an enticing destination. The 3,100-square-foot home has a distinctly Cape Cod feel, from its tidy one-and-a-half-storey layout to its weathered cedar shake exterior. “Throughout its history, P.E.I.’s architecture has been greatly influenced by that of New England,” says David Lopes, the Charlottetown architect homeowners Kevin and Bernadette enlisted to design the home.
“The house reflects New England values with the regular rhythm of the windows and doors, and the simple furnishings,” David adds. Nothing is overly elaborate or ornate, giving the space a noticeably relaxed quality. In the living room, slipcovered furniture sets a casual tone. The fireplace is Wallace sandstone, which is also used for the home’s front stoop.
Food is a big part of the cottager owners’ P.E.I. routine. When guests are in town, Kevin sets up an omelette station on the kitchen island. In the evenings, guests sip wine while he shucks oysters. Bernadette’s fondness for sea glass inspired the frosted-glass backsplash, while the smooth Carrara marble countertops are perfect for making pie crusts.
David designed the deck off of the principal bedroom to be a sunny, sheltered retreat from the active main floor. “It gives you the feeling of being in your own private crow’s nest,” he says. David chose black specifically for the interior window casings to better frame the views. “Similar to the frame on a painting,” he says.
Vintage-look metal beds have classic appeal. The clean, coastal vibe is finished with a crisp blue and white palette coupled with modern furnishings that create a fresh yet timeless look.
Minimalist Muskoka Hideaway
The new one storey cottage on Muskoka’s Lake Joseph has a low profile that tucks under a canopy of trees and hugs the rocks. The living room’s minimalist furniture puts the focus on the views through the windows.
“Contemporary style can be a little cool and daunting,” says designer Margot Bell of Peaks & Rafters. “We tried to keep the warmth. Even though there’s steel and concrete, the cottage connects you to the outdoors and feels friendly.”
The kitchen island incorporates a wood dining table for informal meals with sleek white, wood and steel cabinets from Italy. Contemporary and mid-century modern furnishings accent porcelain tile floors that have the look of polished concrete.
The principal bed is simply dressed in relaxed linens. The lower windows are outfitted with motorized screens.
A bedroom with toddler-sized bunk beds is perfect for visiting grandchildren.
Lush Lakeside Oasis In Muskoka
Sunlit rooms, quiet corners and breathtaking views make this modern Muskoka lake house a haven of tranquility. To ensure the low-profile, six-bedroom home disappeared into the landscape, the builder nestled it right against the granite rock face and preserved the trees at the water’s edge.
Cedar planks clad the ceiling and bring a cottage vibe to the open-concept main floor. Throughout the home, small details create a cohesive experience. Oak boards envelop the walls and cedar planks line the ceilings: the result is naturalistic yet polished.
The kitchen’s black granite countertops add bold contrast when paired with white marble shelves. Casual meals are eaten at the 14-foot-long island.
The custom dining table was sized for dinner parties. Slim round pendants don’t block the view.
Designer Sloan Mauran wanted the principal bedroom to feel like “a retreat within a retreat.” The walls are panelled in lightly cerused oak, and the four-poster bed gets a modern update with black accents.
Modern Muskoka Sanctuary
When Elte’s Ken and Renee Metrick decided to embrace cottage living, they build a contemporary retreat that’s as polished as their stores. The cottage was designed to disappear almost entirely into its surroundings, especially when viewed from the lake.
Renee sits in the heart of the cottage’s main “pod.” The living area is pure comfort, with its immense stone fireplace, Belgian linen-slipcovered sofas and a 90-year-old kilim.
The cottage would be a one-level structure made up of interconnected wood and glass units, designed to both naturally recede into the landscape and celebrate it by beautifully framing the magnificent views.
Less is more in the principal bathroom, which is finished exactly like all the other bathrooms in the cottage. A uniform style keeps things simple and cohesive.
The bedrooms are free of extra ornamentation. “The only art I wanted here was nature,” says Renee. Every bedroom has the same beds and linens; every bathroom has the same vanities and sinks. “It’s very us. We’re aware of the beauty of simplicity. We all dress simply, in neutral tones and primarily in black.”
Lakeside Luxury In Muskoka
The breathtaking two-storey boathouse is surrounded by lapping water, evoking the feeling of floating in the middle of the lake. A wrap-around balcony and dock-level seating offers 360 degree views.
Lazy summer days are even more enjoyable when lounging on the nautical blue-and-white bench with an ice-cold beverage in hand. A slab of bleached driftwood makes for a one-of-a-kind coffee table base and reflects the Muskoka region’s rustic beauty.
This scenic bay window is a covetable spot to gather. A custom banquette and woven seating are the epitome of seaside style, without taking away from the jaw-dropping view.
A serene palette in the principal bedroom encourages guests to unwind and recharge — and soak in the panoramic view. “At dusk and dawn, you get purply hues in the sky that reflects on the water,” says designer Anne Hepfer.
Rustic Refinement In Maces Bay
Nestled in the New Brunswick countryside, designer Fenwick Bonnell’s Maritime cottage has been in his family since the 1950s. The exterior’s white cedar shakes and black corrugated steel seamlessly blend into the rugged landscape.
Fenwick updated the entryway with white-panelled walls and black-framed windows for a graphic touch. Plus, coat hooks made from foraged alder branches keep the space from feeling too pristine.
A handful of furniture pieces and accessories throughout preserve the cottage’s history. For example, Fenwick’s parents purchased the mahoe wood coffee table in the living room from a trip to Jamaica.
Pops of sunshine yellow inject warmth into the principal bedroom, complete with built-in storage, plush bedding and an unfinished blanket chest.
Budget-Friendly Style On The Canadian Shield
When it came to updating her ’80s-style, 2,300-square-foot cottage, owner Candice reached out to a friend: decorator Virginie Martocq. Virginie used clever design tweaks — and plenty of paint — to bring the family getaway into the modern era (luckily, all the plumbing, windows and structural walls were in great shape). Down by the lake, a spruced up, one-bedroom boathouse is the perfect spot for guests to set up camp.
The dated kitchen was refreshed with new, Shaker-style cabinets and a large island—perfect for Candice’s young family. “We spent more on the details and accessories because they’re what really make the spaces unique,” says Virginie, who also added eye-catching pendants and a colorful patterned runner.
The revamped Muskoka room is the ideal spot to gather, bridging the gap between indoors and out. “This room had the biggest transformation,” says Virginie. “The walls went from pickled pink to a gorgeous shade of grey.” The new color makes the room feel a lot cozier, and — unlike bold pink — keeps the focus on the natural views.
A crisp palette of white, blue and cherry red creates a preppy backdrop in Candice’s son’s bedroom. “These bunk beds were the one thing we splurged on,” Candice says. “Now it’s hard to get him outside!”
Family-Friendly Comfort In Muskoka
Set on flat rocks between two tranquil bays, this idyllic Ontario hideaway was purchased by a pair of veteran cottagers. Their goal? To bring their four kids together under one roof and make new cottage memories as a family. Out front, not-too-manicured gardens offer a lush welcome along the front path to the cottage, blending beautifully with the rocky surroundings.
In the handsomely vaulted entryway, rustic granite flooring creates a seamless transition, and offers a cool spot for the family’s Bernese mountain dogs, Bernie and Hershey, to lounge.
Designer Margot Bell and her team, who spearheaded the cottage’s decorating, went for a preppier feel in the boathouse—a magnet for weekend guests. Here, white-panelled walls create a bright backdrop for framed nautical flags and model boats, while a checkerboard-painted floor adds a bit of whimsy.
The screened-in porch is one owner’s favorite space in the finished cottage: “I really feel like I’m outside,” she says. Margot had the wicker seating upholstered in all-weather Sunbrella fabric to stand up to exposure, opting for shades of leafy green and watery blue to tie in with the natural setting.
Colorful Collections In Prince Edward County
Karen Cole, founder and principal of ColeDesign Studio, is a treasure-hunter at heart. So it makes sense that her ’70s-era cottage on Ontario’s Picton Bay is packed with one-of-a-kind finds. “I’m attracted to vintage items. I just like to make them work and to have them around — like old friends,” she says. Punchy color is another key element in the design of her quirky retreat. The exterior makes a memorable impression thanks to a bold shade of red.
Inside, Karen’s spacious living room stuns, with its acid-green bookshelf (coated in Farrow & Ball’s Churlish Green) and panoramic views of the bay. Karen designed the round ottoman as a centerpiece for the main conversation area, a place where guests can spread out with board games.
The kitchen is brimming with country charm. Barnboard wall panelling, a beadboard ceiling and raw wood shelves create an inviting envelope, while collections of baskets and crockery amp up the farmhouse feel.
Karen’s principal bedroom has a more exotic aesthetic. A hand-carved Indonesian wood panel, which Karen had used as art for decades in previous homes, was converted to a statement headboard. “Good design is about working with the things you love,” she says.
Inviting Interiors On Lake Of Bays
Each summer, Bernard and Jan Lette travel from their full-time home in Switzerland to their Lake Of Bays cottage in Ontario for the season. It’s easy to see why: the retreat’s design is warm, welcoming and perfect for reconnecting with their 20-something daughters who live in Toronto. By the lake, a large boathouse and dock let the family take full advantage of the serene locale. “We love the fact that there isn’t a busy boating atmosphere here,” Jan says.
Toronto designer Alex Arnott infused the cottage’s classic interiors with laid-back, breezy style. “Since we’re only there in the summer, I wanted it to feel fresh,” says Jan, a former design professional herself. The living room is bathed in sunlight, tempering the warm wood ceiling and floors.
Jan fell in love with the idea of using a stormy blue and white palette in her kitchen, along with rich brass accents. So Alex had custom brass toe kicks installed and brass lighting built into the bar console (an ideal spot for mixing evening G&Ts!).
“The bunkie was originally used as a storage shed, but we needed an extra bedroom for guests during the high summer months, so we converted it,” Jan explains. A classic scheme of red, pale blue and white has timeless appeal.
Luxe Living On Lake Rosseau
Designer Cory DeFrancisco blended iconic Muskoka-cottage details, like a cedar shake roof and board-and-batten siding, with a contemporary spirit to make this Port Carling, Ontario, cottage sing. Now, the family that owns this retreat spends the whole season at the lake — from the day school lets out, to the day the kids need to be back in class. “Last year we left the cottage in the morning, then I dropped them all off at school and went home to unpack!” says one homeowner.
While a six-bedroom, seven-bath retreat is grand by any standard, this cottage’s interiors feel unfussy and seriously inviting. “It’s a fresh twist on the casual, relaxed cottage look,” says Cory. In the living area, easy-care slipcovered sofas and chairs suit carefree family get-togethers.
“The dock and kitchen are the hearts of this cottage,” says one owner, adding that the family loves hanging out around their 12-foot-long island. The kitchen ceiling is open to the second floor, so natural light fills the room. “This design detail also lets the kids poke their heads over to join the conversation — or check on the status of a meal!”
In the principal bedroom, full-height windows let the homeowners enjoy sunrise views. Hardy, wide-plank German oak floors, installed throughout the cottage, add rustic warmth underfoot — perfect for barefoot summer living.
Classic Decorating In Port Carling
Known simply as “Bellamere,” the façade sets the tone before guests even step through the front door: tailored, welcoming and a little nostalgic. This waterfront hideaway is the year-round home of Cory DeFrancisco, his wife Catherine and their young son, Charlie. Cory is co-owner of local destination Muskoka Living Interiors. “My passion has always been for the area and design, so it was a natural fit,” Cory says of his choice to relocate to Port Carling and join the family business.
The sunny screened-in porch, with its fresh white-and-wicker palette, has the classic cottage look the DeFranciscos were after. The sofa is covered in washable Sunbrella fabric, so it will stand up to the elements beautifully, while walls of windows offer stunning views of the lake.
Cory looked to vintage Canadiana when designing his kitchen. An X motif on the island and upper cabinets nods to rustic architecture, while a chestnut countertop on the island adds a shot of warmth to the mostly white space. Casual-but-chic doors (not shown) mean the kitchen can be closed off during cocktail parties when the adjacent dining area is bustling with activity.
A creamy palette lends a sophisticated and calming vibe to Bellamere’s interiors. In the dreamy guest bedroom, traditional wooden double-hung windows are accented by rich grey sashes for a bit of contrast. “When our friends visit and have to leave on Sunday night, they sort of begrudge that we get to stay here,” says Catherine, with a laugh.
Laid-Back Living In The Laurentians
Clad in charming cedar-shake siding, this 1,200-square-foot cottage is its owners’ dream getaway. “My husband, kids and I are from Alberta, and when we first came to the Laurentians, we fell in love with this lake,” says Jane, one of the owners. A big cedar deck is perfect for entertaining a crowd, while a simple dock offers the owners a more contemplative spot to retreat to. “I like to sit at the dock first thing in the morning or after 5 p.m. and watch the way the light plays off the water,” says Jane.
On the 400-square-foot screened-in porch, a stone fireplace takes the edge off cooler evenings and encourages the family to gather together. Jane chose the pine floors since they’re soft underfoot and will age nicely over time, and opted for comfortable seating that’s anything but precious. “When we first bought this place, we had three small boys. They’d come in from the lake and throw themselves on the sofa, even in wet bathing suits — and it didn’t matter,” she says. “The whole thing for me is about being by the lake.”
Cooking with family and visiting friends is an integral part of life at this bustling cottage. “This isn’t meant to be another house. It’s an authentic cottage to enjoy in the summer months — a place to reconnect,” says Jane. The kitchen’s open storage makes accessing ingredients quick and easy, and adds an unfitted charm to the room.
The cottage’s all-white bedrooms are perfect for balmy summer living. In one bedroom, hooks suspended from the ceiling keep old school flip-up windows in place when they’re open. “Kids are particularly amused by the way these old windows work,” says Jane.
Modern Design On Gambier Island
This B.C. cottage is a true one-of-a-kind retreat. The owner’s vision? “A piece of art — a sculpture within the landscape of trees and ocean.” To bring her dreams to life, she reached out to designer Erin Chow and architect Marko Simcic, who partnered to design a mod series of seven buildings connected by concrete walkways.
“The rooms are intimate, like you’re always in a small cabin, but every room also feels like it’s part of a bigger space,” says the architect. This way, the cottage never feels too expansive or too crowded. Its strategic design also blurs the line between indoors and out: Large windows were added here, there and everywhere, and like the leaves of the surrounding trees, the exterior of each structure was painted a different shade of verdant green.
An airy, monochromatic color palette meant the designer could go for a confident blend of furniture styles in the cottage. “We mixed modern with rustic and even traditional pieces,” she says. The eclectic combination gives the open kitchen-living area — part of the cottage’s largest building — a super relaxed ambience.
In one bedroom, a brass bed delivers a touch of traditional polish, while a handsome armoire strikes a historical note. “I love armoires — they’re romantic yet practical, and much more interesting than an ordinary closet,” says the owner. “I was moved by the story behind this one: It was originally made in France by a father who gifted it to his daughter when she got married and left home.”
Breezy Appeal In Muskoka
Relaxed and welcoming, this cottage is also packed with heartwarming history. The retired owners are high-school sweethearts and have been coming to the region since they were teenagers. His four brothers have cottages of their own within a few kilometres’ radius, and his mother still owns the original family cottage nearby. Now, on their quiet island retreat, the couple enjoys hosting up to 30 family members for casual gatherings and celebrations, including corn roasts, golf tournaments and summer kickoff brunches.
Builder Heath Billington joined forces with designers Natalie Hodgins and Shannon Morrison to make the cottage sing. He dreamt up a floor plan that would fit the original cabin’s footprint, but offer a more modern, open-concept feel. For their part, Natalie and Shannon swept a contemporary brush over the spaces, layering in natural texture and watery shades of blue.
With its full-height windows, the dining area has an alfresco ambience. Natalie and Shannon paired a Gothic chandelier with more traditional fan-back Windsor chairs for an eclectic look. “It’s a fishbowl of beauty,” says one owner of the sunny space. “You feel as if you’re right out in nature.”
At this cottage, there’s always room for a crowd to spread out — and spend the night. In one room, a handy Murphy bed pulls down to create an extra sleeping area. Two separate bunkies — each with its a bathroom, bedroom and living area — offer even more room for visiting guests, so everyone can enjoy a little bit of island tranquility.
Coastal Charm In Chester
Set in the historic village of Chester, Nova Scotia, Deb Nelson’s cottage is packed with character and charm. And while it took a lengthy renovation to bring the fixer-upper up to snuff — with Deb herself ripping up the carpets, refinishing the floors, tearing down walls and fixing or repainting almost everything else — it was all worth it.
Deb opted for a contemporary black-and-white color scheme throughout her cottage. An eclectic mix of furnishings and accents feels equally fresh, and provides plenty of visual interest in the compact spaces. Here, Deb took down a wall to make more room for cooking and dining. She also opened up the ceiling to uncover the double-height vaulted roof, removing drywall and panelling to expose the rustic planks and beams beneath.
The attic bedroom is a sweet spot for guests to crash. Deb revitalized a pair of antique beds, hand-me-downs from her great aunt, with a coat of crisp white paint and some affordable linens. A once-neglected wooden chest was reborn as a bedside table and storage unit.
Contemporary Cool On Howe Sound
Martha Sturdy’s British Columbia cottage is as striking-looking as her celebrated art and resin furniture. But remodeling the secluded getaway, which she owns with her husband David Wardle, was a challenge. Set on a private island, everything needed to be brought in by barge — and only in good weather. “We’re not tucked into a nice little safe cove, and that made renovating harder,” Martha says. “But in the end, it’s fabulous because we’re really in touch with the environment.”
While the cottage’s exterior remains largely unchanged, Martha made sure the interiors would reflect her cleaner, more minimalist aesthetic. A simple palette of wood and white — seen here in the open-concept living-dining space — doesn’t detract from the stunning natural views. “There’s a wildness about it that’s very dramatic,” Martha says of the rocky island.
In the principal bedroom, a resin headboard and side tables boast a pretty marbled effect, nicely echoing the island’s stone. A pair of Martha’s own pieces make a graphic, energetic statement mounted over the bed.
The deck is one of the best places to take in the cottage’s gorgeous surroundings, so Martha went with clean-lined, neutral-toned outdoor furniture to keep the focus on the landscape.
Scandi Style In Tiny Township
John Baker and Juli Daoust-Baker are the owners of Toronto design destination Mjölk, so it makes sense that their 1,000-square-foot guest cottage on Ontario’s Georgian Bay is a lesson in stylish, memorable decorating. “After we had kids, we realized we needed a second space here for our extended family and friends to stay,” John explains. That’s when he and his brother, Frank, got to work on the Bakers’ dated 1940s guest cottage — one of two side-by-side summer properties Juli inherited from her parents. A clean, Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic makes the place feel more like home for the couple, who can now host a crowd with ease.
The cottage’s entryway sets the tone: spare yet sunny. The Bakers took design inspiration from the home of Alvar Aalto when designing the cottage’s interiors, and a bench designed by the prolific Finnish architect makes an eye-catching addition both here and in the adjacent living room.
Though no walls were removed during the reno, it took a lot of work to get the cottage back to basics. After removing a dropped ceiling, John and Frank lifted layer upon layer of linoleum until they reached the original pine floor below, which they then sanded and soap-treated to a pale finish. They also painted all the walls John and Juli’s signature shade: Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White.
In one of the guest cottage’s three bedrooms, a blue-striped Marimekko duvet strikes a nautical note. The space is otherwise neutral-toned and refreshingly uncluttered. “Design-wise, our guest cottage is pretty simple,” says Juli. “What you see is what we have.”
Eclectic Flair In The Kawarthas
To Youssef Hasbani, owner of Toronto home store L’Atelier, comfort means “a simplistic space that isn’t crammed with too many pieces.” That’s why he refuses to treat his Ontario cottage as a dumping ground for castoffs from his home in midtown Toronto. Instead, antiques, found items and personal treasures are put on show in the airy spaces. “To me, it’s important that a space has soul,” he explains.
Originally built in 1957, Youssef’s cottage is now a spacious 2,300 square feet, so visitors can easily hang out in groups or find a quiet spot to enjoy on their own. In the living area, a chintz-covered 18th-century bergere works surprisingly well with a mid-century modern Paul McCobb table, while the wood-burning stove — salvaged from the original cottage on the property — adds a sense of history.
Youssef selected a brilliant white for all the walls in his cottage: Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace. “White shows everything off nicely,” he says. “Plus, white is soothing and relaxing, which is how I like to live here.” In one of the bunkie’s bedrooms, windows swing up for a breezy boathouse effect, capitalizing on the cottage’s dreamy waterside locale.
The cottage’s interior gleams gorgeously thanks to layers of white paint. “I have the floors lacquered every two years, so they build up a nice patina,” he says. Youssef puts his own spin on shabby chic by pairing a chintz covered
18th-century bergere with a mid-century modern Paul McCobb table.
The principal bedroom follows the cottage’s serene all-white scheme, but chocolate lampshades on black twig bases lend balance and weight. The sculpture over the bed is by metalwork artist C. Jeré.