A truly unique opportunity - gorgeous chalet, surrounded and protected by the Nottawasaga Conservation Authority, is recognized for design work by Studio Pyramid. Private 1.5 acre lot, with walk-out access to miles of trails, is the ultimate destination for an active lifestyle at any age. Golf, skiing, biking, swimming, entertaining...you can have it all! For Sale...details here.
'A cottage where scenery is the ever changing artwork!'
Story by Homes and Cottages.
They talked trends and they talked resale value. Then the owner said, “Let’s play,” so they did. Working without creative boundaries, interior designer Sasha Josipovicz of Studio Pyramid in Toronto, Ontario and the homeowner converted a dark bungalow on a large piece of land in Collingwood, Ontario into a light-filled, comfortable, modern retreat that features picture postcard views from every window.
The owner wanted a Canadian country-style exterior, a bright interior and a low-maintenance retreat she and her children could love now and for the long term.
The back wall of the 600-square-foot home was removed, rooflines were changed to feature steep roof peaks and additions were built on the sides and back. Rather than choosing a safe-for-resale neutral colour, the owner opted for red. She wanted the exterior to be completely red, so windows with red frames were sourced and prefabricated siding was made to match.
'As beautiful as it is in its green setting in summer, the contrast of the red house and the white snow in winter makes the owner’s heart flutter'.
The beautiful ‘red barn’ coloured home is a focal point at the end of a long driveway that leads through the lush property. The front façade has smaller windows to provide privacy on the driveway side, but the rest of the house was designed with as many windows and glass doors as possible to “mingle exterior and interior,” Josipovicz says. “You get light from everywhere.”
As beautiful as it is in its green setting in summer, the contrast of the red house and the white snow in winter makes the owner’s heart flutter, he says. “When people buy a house, they often paint the dining room red. There’s something enticing and gratifying about red as a colour.”
Interior space planning began with a ‘humongous’ mudroom at the front of the house. Plenty of big cupboards provide storage space for sports and recreational equipment and toys. Josipovicz doesn’t like squeezing a mud room into a small space in a recreational property. If you do, the living room will become the mudroom as the hockey sticks and soccer balls take over the room, he says. Structural components became design elements – peaked roofs allowing for 22-foot high ceilings and the floor-to-ceiling fireplace serving to ground the great room so it appears airy and light filled but not overwhelming.
”It’s not a cottage on steroids,” Josipovicz says. “There’s something innocent about it.”
The great room was inspired by old-fashioned town halls, which have big fireplaces and simple seating where people can relax and share ideas. A big comfy couch provides a place to cuddle in front of the fire. Other seating provides places to read a book, while still be visually connected to the fireplace, he says.
In the kitchen, a long marble-topped work island stretches about a dozen feet. Stainless steel appliances include a six-burner range and vent hood. The backsplash is also stainless steel for a clean contemporary look.
The dining room addition is almost like a dock, protruding into nature instead of the water. It has windows on three sides and is surrounded by greenery in spring and piles of white snow in winter. The art is in the nature outside, large windows framing Group of Seven-like scenes, he says. The scene is ever changing and beautiful. There’s no need to hang artwork.
Large windows throughout mean the house is bright all day. “You don’t need to turn the lights on,” he says. “In winter, the light reflects off the snow like a mirror.” Much of the evening light comes from the fireplace. The homeowner didn’t want the lighting to be overdone. Josipovicz introduced wall sconces as white as the walls so they almost disappear into the background. Glass orb lights add a touch of sparkle to the great room. The dining room has a chandelier from L’Atelier in Toronto. “It is an original Canadian Arts and Crafts driftwood/branch
light fixture,” he says. “Considering that the dining room protrudes so far out into the landscape, I decided to eliminate the visual barriers by bringing exterior elements to the interior with this natural yet man-made object.”
Floors throughout are wood – used and abused and looking like they have been there forever, he says. Surprisingly, it’s new antique white engineered wood, the Fine Sawn Collection from Stonetile.
An open wood staircase with glass railings leads to the second floor, where barn doors enclose a TV or playroom that could be converted into an additional bedroom. An open library and three bedrooms with en suite bathrooms are also on this level.
The red used outside is carried inside, where it is used as an accent colour. Josipovicz says he was thrilled to find red glass tiles, which he used to line one wall of the oversized shower in the master bathroom.
There was no need to have bedrooms that are overly large because most of the family’s time is spent in the gathering spaces or outside, he says. However an en suite bathroom for each bedroom was a must. “It’s a way to create payback,” he says. If the owner chooses to rent the cottage, the bedrooms and en suite bathrooms are hotel-like suites.
The oversized two-car garage was also built with extra space. The multi-use area has a water connection for arts and crafts, a wall-towall chalk board and a ping pong table. Since it is outfitted with plumbing, it offers the option to turn it into a guest house, he says.
A high-performance building envelope and a hybrid mechanical system offer in-floor heating and air quality control.
The house is an evolution of unbridled creativity, easy but thoughtful space that’s humble in scale, he says. “We didn’t want anything that was ostentatious.” It’s a comfortable place for the owner to enjoy and for her kids to be kids, something that’s not as easy in the city.
The project reflects the new demographic of Toronto homeowners who find buying a large lot with a pool and a place for the kids to play basketball and hockey unobtainable. These families look to other areas, including Collingwood, where they can buy land for a reasonable amount of money then have unlimited capabilities to use the land, Josipovicz says. “The taxes are low and maintenance becomes their aerobic workout.”