Kawartha Lakes Cottage

North Kawartha, Ontario

Situated on a heavily treed, west-facing property on a beautiful lake, this year-round home replaced the family’s original 1950s cottage. Inspired by the idea of a simple sloping plane over a large open living space that flows from inside to outside, the home was designed to connect with the surroundings and take the full measure of views to the lake and forest.

Originally conceived as two volumes connected by a breezeway, the home evolved into a two-level residence to meet both zoning requirements and energy-efficiency goals. It has radiant in-floor heating, and the polished concrete floors provide both thermal mass (to absorb heat) and durability, while Douglas fir windows and ceilings create warmth, and walnut furniture and accents add personality throughout. A marble-clad fireplace with adjacent TV offer a focal point in the living room.

On approach, you are welcomed by a large covered entryway with access to the deck that extends the full width of the home. Firewood storage neatly tucks beneath the deck, along with additional storage for outdoor furniture. Stairs on the inside lead to the main living spaces on the upper level, and bedrooms on the lower level.

A board-formed concrete wall lines the entryway and frames the view to the forest. As you ascend the stairs, the view to the lake opens across the living spaces through a large expanse of glass.

A pair of oversized patio doors with retractable screens allow the spaces to open to the outdoors during the summer to access natural ventilation. Ample deck space accommodates multiple seating areas for dining, lounging and enjoying the sunset.

The backlit kitchen by Valcucine connects with a walk-in pantry and outdoor barbecue area, creating an optimal chef’s kitchen. The large dining table makes hosting family dinners a regular event, and is positioned so that everyone can enjoy the view.

The master suite features a glass-walled ensuite bathroom, maintaining the view to the lake from every part of the room. Built-in closets neatly conceal ample storage.

Three bedrooms on the lower level have direct views to the lake.

The family room provides secondary living space for watching TV and hanging out. A large laundry room and storage is tucked next to the stairs. The exit leads to the rear yard and guest house along the edge of the lake.

The screened porch is the most used room in the house. With screened walls on three sides, one is surrounded by trees yet protected from the mosquitos and black flies—a reality of the Canadian forest. A small wood stove warms the room on cool nights and extended use into the shoulder seasons.