Cottage (paying) guests, according to our realtor Janice, are a somewhat demanding bunch. In days gone by they might have been prepared to sofa surf or share bathrooms – or even deal with a distinctly unglamorous outhouse – but nowadays…plus ca change.
By Janice’s account, contemporary cottaging is an entirely different affair with a far greater emphasis placed on luxury, comfort and amenities.
That’s why, whilst designing what we hope is the perfect cottage guest suite, we pushed the envelope to create wildly generous accommodation.
To optimize the floor plan, we clipped 24 square feet from the room next door. Adding this to the formerly dog legged master elicited a perfect rectilinear footprint and, walls corrected, the principal bedroom simply blossomed.
Our plan decreed that one quarter should be arranged as an ensuite with the remaining 75% devoted to sleeping, clothes storage and a comfy reading nook.
The first task, via project spark Steve Churko (www.churkoelectric.com) was to re site the electric board which was ‘scarring’ the rear wall. The cottage already lifted (to build the basement) Steve drew wiring and services to a newly formed ‘plant’ cupboard downstairs. The former site of the electrical board ‘cleaned’, the space was dry walled and tiled using Saltillo wood grain slabs in soft, mid grey beige.
Next up we optimized natural light with two long windows, specified with opaque glass for privacy. One is fixed, whilst the other swings into the shower stall like a door, affording, as it does, the ultimate spot for indoor/outdoor lather ups!
Between the windows sits a Unikstone trough sink set onto a steel frame vanity with towel storage below. Our trademark black accents appear via jet toned faucets and Rejuvenation lighting, visually softened by a Western Red Cedar ceiling that stretches into the bedroom beyond. Style notes arrive courtesy of a crest shaped mirror from Homesense, ‘permanent botanicals’ (our name for faux flowers) from Marshalls and zingy, yellow Ikea towels.
The remaining 75% of our project? Ah yes, the master bedroom, a tempting affair featuring white painted drywall and Kentwood Metro flooring (transitioned from ‘wood’ grained ceramic tile in the ensuite) laid by Taylor Carpet One, Huntsville. Generous French doors lead to the deck and, dressed with Venetians by Select Blinds, they make a commanding statement.
In our quest to suffuse the elegant guest quarters with organic flair, we clustered geometric mirrors, sourced at Casalife (www.casalife.com) one of Canada’s best kept design secrets. The company’s Etobicoke showroom is a bustling joy and these reflective wood framed lovelies are just one aspect of their inspired inventory.
The bed and night stands are ‘Beetlewood’ BC Pine, from Dundalk Leisure Craft – www.dundalkleisurecraft.com Attired with pin tuck linens and shots of yellow, the bed is a great foil to the project’s woody tones, tones, indeed, which are further enhanced by the Fan Shoppe cooler whirring silently above. Having toyed with the idea of a full A/C system, we’ve discovered that quality fans, decent air passage (both inside and out) and easily operable windows are just as effective.
The barn doors, produced by Rebarn, are a weighty joy that slide silently to assure privacy when the ensuite is occupied. We really enjoy mixing contemporary cottage décor with the traditional aesthetics of days gone by: the combo elicits what we like to call our ‘lux lodge’ vibe.
Final dressing comes from a forty-dollar junk store chair, above which hangs a Robert Burns artwork. A unique piece created by Lola Kerecki (www.justlola.ca), it features Scotland’s most famous bard set within personalized graphic text. Laquered several times to provide a deep sheen, it’s a perfect addition to our project, and one which adds a welcome whisper of Scotland.
A week today, in these very pages (and thereafter on the show) we’ll be turning our attentions to the perfect sunroom. Not for us, however, an atypical four walled outdoors nook – ours features a second ‘hideaway’ zone (connected to the main porch) the walls of which literally snap out of sight, as required. Genius! All will be revealed!
About the Author: Colin and Justin are interior designers, style commentators, Hollywood celebrity interviewers and lifestyle gurus.