Escape To A Rustic Country Home Reimagined For Everyday Living
Designer Melody Duron and her husband, Bill, were planning to downsize to a smaller house in Toronto five years ago but, thanks to a hot real-estate market, they sold quickly and suddenly found themselves without a home. With their belongings in storage, they decamped to their weekend retreat in the hills of Mulmur, Ontario, to plan their next move.
Dubbed Lyric Pond, the 44-hectare property comprises wooded trails, five ponds, rolling fields and a country home. And it is enjoying a new chapter. After Melody and Bill settled in, they realized the hideaway should be their principal home. “The reality is we love our life at Lyric Pond,” says Melody.
Scroll down to see how this rustic country oasis became a full-time residence.
Bill surveys the garden from a bridge that links the driveway to the home’s main entrance.
French doors leading into the home’s main living space offer a long view through the dining area and beyond a terrace to one of five ponds on the property.
A hallway furnished with a French country–style settee links the property’s original Pan-Abode cottage and the converted barn that was added onto the house in 1996.
Melody lounges on the daybed-style seating she created in a corner of the living area. “It’s perfect for morning coffee or an afternoon nap,” she says.
A few staples of Lyric Pond — hydrangeas clipped from the garden, two bird’s nests found on the property and a copy of A.S. Byatt’s Peacock & Vine — sit on a side table in the lounge area.
Melody designed the low-slung sectional in grey Belgian linen to wrap around a pillar, maximizing its footprint. “It anchors the space and feels like a cozy destination,” she says.
The stone fireplace enhances the rustic atmosphere in the living and dining area. The Swedish marbleized bowls on the table are among Melody’s most treasured possessions; she spotted them in a Toronto antique store almost 20 years ago.
A vintage linen press hides the television in the living room. Three Audubon Birds of America prints and a horse sculpture by Neil Clifford bring a dose of nature indoors.
Melody had a pair of architectural fragments from Decorum Decorative Finds in Toronto inset into the sliding wooden pantry doors (far right). The hot-rolled carbon steel vent hood will develop an antiqued patina over time.
Forgoing upper cabinets and disguising appliances with panelling ensures the kitchen feels like an extension of the main living area.
Fabrics in cream and pale green balance the rustic wood rafters in the couple’s principal bedroom. A panoramic photo of Lyric Pond by Francisco Naranjo, their daughter’s father-in-law, hangs over the bed.
The focal point of the principal bathroom is a streamlined freestanding oval tub.
From the firepit area, Melody takes in the reflection of the tree line in the mirror-like pond.
Melody’s horse, Willow (foreground), and her companion, Taz.
A waterfall on the picturesque 44-hectare property.