|Huckleberry Rock Lookout Milford Bay, Muskoka, Ontario|
I am a huge fan of juxtaposing modern with rustic, or infusing contemporary design into a historic home, but the cottage is not a place to take this to extremes. In my experience when someone leaves their city home they want to leave it behind. They do not want to go from their city home in the city, to a city home in Muskoka. They are wanting to go to another world, they are driving through heavy traffic on a Friday night for more than 2 hours to escape.
And so it is that after viewing the first 'after' picture of a cottage design project I am following on Facebook, I was inspired to write this post. The cottage is a fairly common 4.5 million dollar island property on one of our big three lakes. It is large, beautifully set, and is gracious in it's views. It was in dire need of an update; it's kitchen and bath cabinetry was of the 80's variety in cream melamine with the oak wood rails...ugh. Based on what I have seen of it's 'before' pictures (and this is all I am going on as I have not seen it in person) it has by all accounts generous spaces, vaulted ceilings and plenty of windows. So it was with a certain sense of disappointment that I viewed the first 'after' picture which showcased a sofa similar to the one below...this sofa does not say cottage comfort to me. The rest of the room was equally devoid of any sense of comfort (glass coffee tables...in a cottage?).
This is my idea of a Muskoka decor courtesy of Lisa Roy, one of my fav bloggers. This was her Muskoka living room when she called Muskoka home. The white slipcovers are wonderful, relaxed and comfortable.
The cottage to me should feel like it has been there forever (in a good way) the decor should feel evolved over time, special finds picked up here and there, the driftwood leaning in the corner, the patina of life on each space as it has been shared with family and friends.
|Lake Joseph Cottage by Peaks and Rafter|
|Lake Muskoka Cottage by Peaks and Rafters|
Maybe there is some truth to the notion that if you want Muskoka design hire a Muskoka designer. Or maybe you just need to have an understanding of what it means to live and/or cottage up here to be able to truly develop a comfortable space. Whatever the case, I will keep following along in hopes that I have jumped the gun here and that the 'after' picture I saw was not truly an 'after' and maybe I'll be blown away by what these city designers do to transform this space when all is said and done.