Project: Lake of Bays Cottage
Architecture: Altius Architecture
Project size: 442 m2
Site size: 2419 m2
Location: Muskoka, Canada
Completion date: 2019
Photo Credits: Greg Van Riel Photography
Text and photos provided by Altius Architecture
A longtime client of Altius Architecture, the owners of this residence started looking for a cottage home in 2007. After four years exploring Ontario cottage country, they purchased this property from a colleague but immediately began to doubt their decision. However, this doubt quickly melted away after they had spent their first summer there.
They initially engaged us to do some cosmetic upgrades to the existing cottage and bunkie; and they rebuilt the boathouse a few years later. In 2015, they realized that it was time for a more substantial upgrade and contacted us to design a new home.
A new home: Lake of Bays Cottage
Situated on a south-facing property on Lake of Bays near Baysville, Ontario, this two-storey home has a walkout basement on the lakeside, and was designed to take in the astonishing views year-round. With teenaged children and a large extended family, they wanted more space to accommodate guests and living areas on each floor for various activities. They also planned to spend more time there when they retired, and needed this flexibility.
Their wish list included bedrooms for their children, a guest room, a master suite on the ground floor— to serve as a guest room initially, and become the master as their retirement years developed—and a more luxurious master suite on the second floor for current use. They wanted a games room with a TV on the lowest level, a living room with a large wood-burning fireplace on the main floor, ample dining area for large family meals, a well-appointed kitchen, and a living space.
A screened porch is required in cottage country, and they had come to love their hot tub that is now a feature in the screened porch. There is also a charming deck off the second-floor sitting area that provides a wonderful lake view. And the large overhang on the south side shades the interiors at the hottest time of year.
The two-storey living room space features floor-to-ceiling windows that combine the two volumes perfectly. The curtain wall wraps the kitchen, providing a panoramic view of the lake; and, in contrast, the banquette extends a cozy spot to dine or read. Mahogany interior walls and ceilings add warmth and richness to the interior spaces, balanced with areas of white to reflect the light where it is needed.
Despite the volume of this luxury home, the spaces are comfortable and tranquil, and offer a cherished respite at the lake.