Lifestyle

How a Minimalist Approach to A Muskoka Cottage Maximized its Views

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Dan Hall had long known about his friend’s lot on Lake Joseph in Ontario’s Muskoka region. “For 20 years, I knew about his dream to build a big cottage here,” says Dan. He was eager to help when it came. Now complete, Tim and Stephanie Quinn’s cottage is one part modern, with a black metal roof and windows, and one part Muskoka, with accents in wood and stone. The views are what make it timeless. Fittingly, designer Alison Knapp let nature be her guide in the interiors, combining neutral textures with earth tones drawn from the land – birchbark whites, rust, oxidized iron, copper and greens. With its high ceilings, exposed beams, and soaring ceilings the architecture suits the low-key color scheme. “But what stands out most is the wide open sense of ease the space imparts,” says Alison. This frees the eye and mind to revel in what’s most important: the view.

WONDER WALL

 

Alex Lukey, Photography

Modern large windows create a sense of wonder from the shoreline, and a great space for relaxation. “You cannot walk through the cottage without looking up at the beamed ceiling, and saying, ‘Wow!’” says designer Alison Knapp. Above a circle of comfortable seating in textured neutrals or outdoor fabric, a 60-inch chandelier adds drama. Says Alison: “We have lots of nubbly fabrics in oatmeal tones, a knotted wool rug, and a coffee table with lots of knots and grain.”

WILD LIFE

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Alex Lukey, Photography

A large bear painting is located next to the fireplace. The fireplace is flanked by a matching canvas featuring a moose. A vertical center slab of porcelain tile is featured in the stone fireplace. “The colour tones resemble oxidized iron and slate, a great complement to the wood elements in the cottage,” says Alison.

BUILDER, Caruk-Hall. DESIGN, Alison Knapp Interior Design. CUSTOM BEAMS Alison Knapp Interior Designs, Caruk-Hall, and Innofab windows, Ridley Windows & Doors. FIREPIT AREA Muskoka Landscapers. FLOORING, Origins Oak in Carissa WUD Flooring. Wright CHANDELIER, RH. ARmCHAIRS, Ava SCALLOPED TABLE END TABLE Noir’s Zurich CONSOLE Shelter, (behind sofa). SOFA, Leather ARMCHAIR, oak framed Modern WING CHAIR Noir’s Hiro PULL-UP TABLE, Cocoon Furnishings Slipcovered C1297-01SW SWIVEL CHAIRS Lee Industries. Custom COFFEE TABLE Alison Knapp Interior design, with Aspen Architectural Millwork. Radium Dekton FIREPLACE TILE Silestone. Quest TABLE LAMP Currey and Company. Avenue SIDE TABLE Crate and Barrel (between the swivel seats), Bear art Paul Garbett of Red Canoe Gallery

MODERN MUSKOKA

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Alex Lukey, Photography

The Muskoka cottage tradition is to use natural materials in the kitchen. This modern take on it is seen in the kitchen. The walls are covered in aged stone and the range hood, which is metal-sealed, is made of textured porcelain. It resembles oxidized steel. Over traditional wooden lower cabinets, sleek metal uppers hang. “We used oak to line the open display cubbies to match the oak floors,” says Alison.

“The kitchen is comprised of a myriad of materials – stone, metal, porcelain and wood. Their textures and tones are modern and natural.” — Alison Knapp

COUNTER STORY

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Alex Lukey, Photography

“The island isn’t huge, but we wanted it to work for as many people as possible,” says Alison. “So in addition to the counter stools with backs, which are designed for a long-time sit, we added a couple of tuck-in swivel stools for anyone who wants to pop in for a chat.” A handsome slab of walnut is integrated into the top of the island. “This can double as a charcuterie board or be set with a host of hors d’oeuvres.” The glass pendants were chosen for their watery, hand-blown appearance.

TREETOP DINING

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Alex Lukey, Photography

Warm summer evenings are filled with laughter and conversation at the oak table. The chairs are simple and the chandelier almost looks edgy. “One of our design goals was to include a few contemporary and unexpected items,” says Alison. The upholstery was made from textured fabric, just like the rest of the cottage. “It’s stain resistant, so even if there are food spills, it’s very forgiving.”

MILLWORK, Metal UPPER CABINETRY Fume CABINETRY LOWER Stutt Kitchens. Radium Silestone TILE (range hood), Dekton. Interstone Marble & Granite’s Kashmir Cream granite COUNTERTOPS, York Fabrica. Erth Coverings’ Caribou Rockface STONE WALL Hamilton Builders Supply (behind the sink), Palacek’s Fritz STOOLS (with backs); Vanguard Furniture’s Axis II DINING TABLE Scoville DINING CHAIRS Cocoon Furnishings Sayer STOOLS, Peralta PENDANT (over table), RH. Troy’s Silver Lake PENDANTS (over island), Hudson Valley’s Ivy SCONCE (over sink), Robinson Lighting & Bath. Linen VASES (in nook above fridge); Liam, Theo CANDLE HOLDERS (on table); Elte. Riki BOWL Crate and Barrel (on an island).

QUIET ZONE

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Alex Lukey, Photography

After the day is over, the homeowners move into their lakefront bedroom. “This room is meant to be a quiet retreat,” says Alison. While the minimalist headboard integrates shelving, lighting and storage, it also warms up the space. The ceiling’s high beams are adorned by a beautiful chandelier. When it’s time to sleep, there’s no need to get up – the nubby linen-style drapes are motorized. A secret is also hidden in the room: the mattress can be stored off-season bedding by being hinged.

Custom WOOD WALL Alison Knapp Interior Design; custom stain, Caruk-Hall. Custom HEADBOARD, FRAME, SHAMS, Alison Knapp Interior Design. Sonneman’s Light Guide Ring CHANDELIER, Robinson Lighting & Bath. Ligon BENCH Universal Furniture and reupholstery FABRIC (on bench), Fabricut’s Marcoto Fog, Designers Gallery. Harbour COVERLET, SHAMS, Elte. Kravet’s Philae DRAPERY PANELS Custom Home Decor

UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS

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Alex Lukey, Photography

The bunk beds were built by the client’s father, so they’re super sentimental. There are two sets, one of which is shown. The bottom bunks can be sized as queens, and the tops can accommodate twins. This is where nephews and nieces go to sleep.

Seagrove Key RUG, Shaw Flooring

ROOM TO BREATHE

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Alex Lukey, Photography

The primary bathroom has 180 degree views and is a great place to relax. “We wanted to maximize the view and all this natural light, so we suspended a mirror from the ceiling,” says Alison. The slim vanity is complemented by a double-trough sink that flows along a streamline. The area around the soaker tub is accented with a pebbly tile that’s like river rocks.

Fleurco’s Voce SOAKER TUB Wetstyle TOUGH SINK Watermarks Boutique. Custom MIRROR, VANITY, Alison Knapp Interior Design. Sonneman’s Liquid PENDANT, Robinson Lighting & Bath.

INSIDE OUT

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Alex Lukey, Photography

Motorized retractable screens keep mosquitoes away from the Muskoka room (top left), which is the ultimate indoor-out space. “It’s definitely the kick-back spot for the clients and their friends,” says builder Dan Hall. Thanks to the outdoor fabric and sisal rug, children in wet bathing suit are welcomed. For lunch, grab some fresh salads or sandwiches from the nearby restaurant. Then relax on the daybed with a crescent-shaped mattress. There are many faux fur pillows and throws available for colder days.

Belvedere Luxe Collection SOFA, SWIVEL LUNGE CHAIR, COCKTAIL TEA; St. Marten curved DAYBED; Capri OUTDOOR TABLE RH. Oxford CHAIRS, Hauser. Union concrete END TABLE Sunpan.

https://www.styleathome.com/interiors/house-tours/article/how-a-minimalist-takes-on-a-muskoka-cottage-and-maximized-its-views

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