Escape To House & Home’s Coziest Winter Hideaways
Instead of dreading winter’s chill, owners of cabins, chalets and country homes are looking forward to hibernation. And it’s easy to see why! Snug farmhouses and cottages are perfect for hosting family, watching the snow fall and just enjoying some R&R. But even if you don’t have a winter hideaway, you can turn your house or apartment into a cozy cocoon. Click through to get decorating inspiration from H&H’s most welcoming retreats.
Lovingly restored by designer J Gibson, this 167-year-old log cabin — set in the heart of ski country — boasts a roomy board-and-batten addition that makes room for visiting friends and family.
Inside, rooms strike a balance between rustic and refined. 7-foot-tall ceilings and a stone hearth give the living space a warm, intimate vibe.
J left the kitchen’s handsome pine cabinets just as he found them when he purchased the cottage. A new brushed-brass faucet and farmhouse sink complement the room’s heritage look.
In the dining area, a custom-designed light fixture makes an eye-catching addition over a weathered harvest table. “Everybody hits their heads on it,” J admits, with a laugh.
The mostly white principal bedroom is an oasis of calm. J layered in a few graphic quilts and woven baskets to nod to his home’s charming country setting.
This spacious, picture-perfect cottage is home to a holiday-loving family. “We wanted a place where a white Christmas is pretty much guaranteed,” explains homeowner Len Conlon, shown enjoying a walk on a frozen lake at his cottage’s doorstep.
Inside, wood floors, ceiling beams and wall panelling create a cozy atmosphere. To keep things fresh, designer Lindsay Mens-Craig incorporated plenty of color, including lively blue kitchen cabinets.
Antiques bring character and patina into the renovated spaces. In the entry, a worn wood console props up a sculptural model sailboat.
The principal bedroom was envisioned as a year-round retreat. A palette of soothing greys and rich woods creates a seriously relaxing envelope.
High-end details like a herringbone tiled floor, full-length drapes and a freestanding soaker tub make the principal bathroom a real destination.
This Michael Angus-designed project from our October 2011 issue is the quintessential all-season cottage. Set in Muskoka, Ontario, it features timbered ceilings, a weighty stone fireplace and plenty of natural accents.
Rustic pieces like a twig-and-leather stool and wall-mounted snowshoes lend a wintry vibe to the cottage’s open-concept kitchen-living space.
The screened-in porch is the perfect spot to enjoy a cup of cocoa, with its soft wicker seating, extra blanket and charming vintage sports equipment.
In Michael’s principal bedroom, blue-patterned textiles bring energy to a classic white-and-wood scheme.
Mark Robert and Jim Johnson’s country home in Ontario’s Mulmur Township is another standout. The property’s charming guest bunkie, which boasts its own porch and pond views, is a lesson in cozy decorating.
The interior of the bunkie is wrapped in knotty wood paneling for a cocooning effect. An antique secretary, moose sculpture and old photograph of the Toronto Argos football team enhance the space’s warm, vintage-Canadiana vibe.
In their main house, Mark and Jim fit two twin beds into a small guest bedroom for a snug, cabin-like feel. The dark wooden headboards, made by Mark’s great-grandmother, lend depth to the otherwise white and grey space.
The main house’s living room was appointed with plenty of comfortable upholstered seating, pillows and throws, making hosting game nights and casual winter get-togethers a breeze.
An airy, semi-transparent pendant light nicely punctuates Mark and Jim’s modern-meets-rustic dining area.
Pheona Wright’s Rosemont, Ontario, farmhouse is the stuff of weekend-getaway dreams, sitting on a sprawling 98-acre property and featuring a handsome Georgian exterior.
Many of the furnishings in Pheona’s house, like this cool butterfly chair, are lucky vintage finds. These elements add character and keep the bright white rooms from feeling cold. Of course, stacks of freshly-chopped firewood help, too!
A casual family room is the ideal spot for Pheona’s family to read and relax, offering serene views of the surrounding landscape.
Boldly patterned wallpaper and a gold-framed mirror ensure the home’s petite powder room makes an impression on party guests and visiting family.
In her principal bedroom, Pheona went without drapes or shades on her windows to flood the space with sunlight (one of the many luxuries of private country living).
This weekend home in Creemore, Ontario, is undeniably spacious, but still feels cozy. Rustic wood accents, tartan throw pillows and thick blankets add winter-friendly layers to its open-concept rooms.
Tacking up a barn board wall treatment and going for warm overhead lighting gives the dining room a rustic, welcoming atmosphere.
Tossing faux-fur throws and pillows on oversized upholstery makes the fire-lit great room feel even cozier.
In the principal bedroom, designer Anne Johnston loaded up the bed with touches of wool, velvet and faux fur.
White walls, linens and a light wood vanity lend the principal bathroom an airy, spa-like quality.
Jay Hodgins’ Prince Edward County, Ontario, getaway, “Dragonfield House,” is another editor favorite. The home’s modern, grey-steel siding mimics the look of board-and-batten and contrasts the warm glow from the windows at night.
In his living room, Jay piled an oversized sofa with throw pillows to inject color, pattern and softness into the space.
Jay’s porch is ready for cool-weather entertaining with baskets of blankets and seating for a crowd.
A slatted wall painted in Benjamin Moore’s deep Kendall Charcoal (HC-166) offsets the lighter surfaces in Jay’s principal bedroom.
Jay’s guest bunkie is warm and welcoming with its layered bedding, hide rug and eye-catching thrift-store finds, including a brocade footstool and handsome mantel mirror.
This slope-side chalet by design partners Richard Ouellette and Maxime Vandal also makes our top list. A fur-draped bench lets guests take in the spectacular natural views from a cozy vantage point.
The design duo opted for a stylish yet subdued combination of patterned, neutral-toned textiles in the chalet’s large living room.
In the principal bedroom, the drapes are kept pushed back — the panoramic vistas being the most important design element. A chunky knit throw provides a hit of warm, nubby texture.
The smooth slate floors in the principal bathroom echo the rocky exterior, while a subtly patterned rug and pouf add welcome touches of softness.
Hints of color and traditional needlework bedding make the wood-clad guest bedroom almost as appealing as the principal suite.
Designer Kate Thornley-Hall’s 100-year-old log cabin in Collingwood, Ontario, is a winter haven with its quaint shutters, cedar dormers and classic evergreen wreaths.
In the dining room, Kate created a convivial ambience with an antique pine table, classic Windsor chairs and a charming deer-adorned chandelier that casts a warm glow.
The cabin’s living room evokes a traditional Canadian ski lodge, with its iconic Hudson’s Bay-patterned ottomans, cozy maple leaf-patterned rug and roaring fire.
Antique furniture and pretty patterned wallpaper give Kate’s principal bedroom loads of charm.
Editors also loved this dreamy home in Verchères, Quebec. A simple wood stove, low-key seasonal decor and creamy interior shutters complement the house’s pared-back aesthetic.
In the home’s living-dining space, washed out wood reigns supreme. The owners added even more rustic texture by potting a pair of mini trees in vessels once used to collect maple sap.
Open storage and handy chalkboards give the house’s kitchen a dose of bistro-chic style.
Tucked into the upper loft, the minimally decorated bedroom is a sweet spot to recharge.
Designer Grace Castaneda’s weekend house rounds out the list. For the winter season, Grace places tall urns stuffed with lush evergreen boughs and pine cones on either side of her front door for a warm welcome.
Inside, her living space is about as inviting as it gets, with a thick wool rug, reclaimed wood coffee table, rustic burlap stockings and plenty of seasonal greenery (including an impressive 15′-long garland!).
Even Grace’s kitchen feels festive, thanks to a few judiciously placed pine fronds (smartly tucked away from work zones).
Grace embraced the beauty of worn wood, crisp white and natural weaves in the bathroom — a foolproof decorating combination that will look beautiful year-round.