Cottage Design – Perfection!Interests | September 27, 2015 | Nik Manojlovich
Nestled on the bend of a river that affords a million dollar view, this picturesque getaway is like no other. Join us as we journey to visit friends and get the inside scoop on perfection in COTTAGE DESIGN!
Our dear friends Phillip Moody and Michael Wierheim have it all. Their dream of owning a cottage began many years ago when they purchased a piece of property located near Kinmount, Ontario. The land sits just below the conflux of the Irondale and Burnt rivers, which then cascade down a three-stepped rock crest creating a natural waterfall. It really is remarkable, offering an idyllic view and ever-present sound of rushing, fast-moving water.
After purchasing the land, Phillip and Michael set out to design their perfect cottage. I asked Phillip how the design came to be, and his answer truly surprised me: “I started collecting windows.” Windows?!
Phillip is, in my opinion, a genius. Of course his experience as a gifted interior designer may have helped, but Phillip’s innate ability to envision beauty and then create it helped forge this one-of-a-kind property. His cottage design revolved around maximizing the views of the waterfall while animating the interiors with natural light. Brilliant on so many levels.
With antique and vintage windows in an assortment of shapes and sizes, they went about configuring the cottage. The final plan boasts one large principle structure that includes a kitchen, dining area and an ultra-cozy living room. They pitched the master bedroom off of the west side of the cottage, while a screened-in porch butts up against the east. A prefabricated shed was repurposed as a bathroom, and placed six feet back from the main cottage beside a new sauna room. Finally, they put up a small guest cabin steps away from the shed. These structures are all joined together by decking. It’s like a compact little compound: two bedrooms, the “facilities”, and three main rooms in which to hang out in.
With these structural components in mind, Phillip then started to work his magic by first looking at scale. He specified unusually high ceilings to allow for the placement of his window collection, as well as two runs of clerestory: one above the kitchen, the other above the living room. This fills the cottage with natural light that changes and moves throughout the daylight hours. The remaining windows were used to create dividing walls between the adjoining rooms.
I popped over there yesterday for dinner and took a bunch of photos, posted above. Just click the arrows to advance the photos. They cannot do justice when trying to showcase the wonders of this unique cottage design, but I hope they give you a sense of how amazing it is. The final photo is the ultimate shot!
The way Phillip and Michael completed the decor is just the icing on this cake. Again, we’re dealing with genius!
Things to look for:
1) COMFORT – I have crashed all over that cottage: on the long purpose-made sofa in the sunroom, the cushion-jammed couch in the living room, Phillip’s grandmother’s wicker rocking chair. There are cushions, throws, pillows, soft seating and cozy beds throughout, and yes, this place is ultra-comfortable.
2) KITSCH – Phillip and Michael LOVE kitsch and you see it everywhere. Tramp-art frames, handmade tchotchkes, odd souvenirs, vintage lighting, disco balls and tons more. Filling a place with top-tier kitsch gives guests something to look at and talk about. Kitsch is fun!
3) WHIMSY – A collection of gnomes, silk leaves wired onto birch branches and nailed onto walls (brings the outside in?), vibrant, painted fish swimming upstream as they hang from the ceiling, fabrics that shouldn’t go together – until they do! Leave it to Phillip to ALWAYS make me jealous about his talent.
4) HANDMADE – There’s a number of handmade chairs, tables and benches created by local artists. Although rustic in appearance, they’re surprisingly comfortable and sturdy. These pieces really impart that cottage or cabin feel.
5) COLOUR – Let this be your answer if you’ve ever wondered, “Is it OK to use vibrant colours in interior design?” Yes, and this cottage design reflects it. Floors and frames painted in sage green, chairs done in yellows, aquamarines and reds, walls stained a rich forest green, plus all those colourful stripes, florals and animal prints. From inside to out, colour is IN!
Sometimes, on rare occasions, you visit a place and think “I’ve never seen anything like it!”. This cottage is that and so much more. The only thing more perfect are the two wonderful gentlemen who created it to enjoy with their friends and families. I always feel so blessed to be with them in this magical place.
I hope you enjoyed this visit to one of my top ten cottage destinations!
The setting, the view, the decor and the company. This is perfection in COTTAGE DESIGN!
Listening to great music is an important part of every Weekend at the Cottage! I listened to what else – Handel: Water Music & Music for the Royal Fireworks – Orpheus Chamber Orchestra when I got to our cottage to write this post. Visit iTunes to add this ESSENTIAL music to your collection.