Home design projects sometimes focus on seasonal living, like this Lake Rousseau Retreat did. This Muskoka Cottage project was a lot of fun to design and coordinate. The owners had an existing older cottage on the property they wanted to tear down and rebuild into a more stylish retreat.
They came to the first meeting equipped with ideas and inspirations. They’d even brought pictures of cottages they liked. One of the good things about these clients was that they knew exactly what they wanted their home layout to look like. They visualized their master suite on the main floor, along with the entertainment space, which was covered by a two-storey, vaulted ceiling.
They wanted plenty of living space on the second floor for kids or guests to spend the night and be close to nature. And of course, what’s a Muskoka Cottage without a great big Muskoka room!
The clients wanted the house to be nestled in the woods, blended with nature, and close to water.
Where it was as smooth as butter to build the interior, the exterior had its issues.
As always, building near water requires tact. There are rules guiding the minimum setback from the high water mark to meet the required bylaw. The previous build had a detached two-storey boathouse on the water, which is a rare find, because these attachments can no longer be rebuilt the same way.
With recent climate changes, the high water marks on properties all over Lake Rosseau have been reassessed. This sometimes takes way from the piece of land for which we set out to design a house.
But we found innovative ways of fitting the lavish cottage on the lot. Even if it meant maximizing all size allowances to fit in all the features they desired in their hideaway.