Blimey – we’re running at breakneck speed as our Haliburton cottage reno’ continues apace. If you’ve been watching the series (as we hope you have!), you’ll know we’ve already tamed our bush, trimmed our forest, and vista pruned the sightlines to our lake, where we’ve added a walloping great dock with three commodious levels. It’s a mahoosive undertaking … but we’re nearly there.
Our new dock also features a special ‘fixed upon land’ section that connects to both the floating and the stilted sections. Designed for different sectors of the family who might hope for different things – young adults, for instance, on the floating section, kids on the stilted middle section, and grandparents on the ‘fixed over land’ section – it literally has something for everyone. And we’re not being ageist – we’re simply illustrating the way in which different family factions can aspire to different levels of ‘stability’. That said, we have some very spry older friends who’d almost certainly enjoy the floating section just as much as – if not more than – their grandchildren.
Our dock was built by Interco, who have years of experience constructing custom jetties, floating piers, and all manner of lakeside platforms. Crafted from beautiful cedar with a shiny steel perimeter, ours is a veritable fun park of waterside opportunity. Carefully attired with contemporary outdoor furniture and detailed with jaunty toss pillows from Sassy Digs in Minden, we can’t wait to enjoy it when the ice that’s currently crusting our lake finally yields to Mother Nature’s (hopefully) warmer breath. We can but hope.
Waterside issues complete, we turned our attention to the cabin’s cladding, opting for a combo of jet- and honey-toned lumber board and baton to thoroughly enliven the sorry shack. And what a difference it makes, huh? Cape Cod is a super resource and their two-toned wood finish adds zest whilst keeping aesthetics low-key when viewed from the shoreline.
To protect our cabin from the elements we worked with Kind Roofing, who diligently toiled through dreadful weather conditions to install ‘standing seam’ black metal Vic West product. The finished vision is starkly modern, yet at the same time it’s somewhat traditional in that metal roofs are so beloved of traditional Canadian cottagers. Importantly, the roofing membrane is supremely capable of withstanding even the most dreadful climatic affray; even snow at its most terrifying or ice at its most damning will be little match for a good quality roof such as this.
Jet-toned Euro Vinyl windows and doors – installed by Nortech, who also erected the beautiful Sunspace metal and glass railings – continue the dramatic revamp. The massive sliding portals, it should be noted, glide effortlessly to connect indoors and out, and just like the windows, they’re fitted with bug proof screens. Detail like this is critical at the cottage. Who, after all, aspires to being a vertical human buffet for entomological pests?
Outdoors, we specified Western Red Cedar as the lumber genus of choice for our deck. An environmentally sustainable timber variant, we’ve specified it during ALL our cottage projects thus far as it can weather even the most desperate Canadian winters. Rigid, yet flexible enough to be cut into any shape or corner, it’s a particularly good timber to leave unstained (hello – less work to maintain!) as it takes on the most beautiful, soft grey patina as the elements take hold. And softest whisper grey, in terms of colour, goes with virtually any outdoor scheme. You’ll also find Western Red Cedar used liberally INSIDE this season’s cottage as the medium with which we clad our entire basement family room and guest bedroom.
Our 2,200 square foot wrap-around was built by Boys With Big Decks (great company name, huh?). It’s a commodious entertainment space that views directly onto the lake and around the cottage from all four elevations.
Layering with weatherproof ‘plastic wicker’ sofas from Canadian Tire provided instant usability and atmosphere (we also specified outdoor dining from CT: more of that in a subsequent column), which we further enhanced with a gas-powered fire bowl by Solus. Hey – imagine a rock-solid, attention-grabbing beauty like this, one that’s safe (in compliance with guidelines) for on-deck mounting. Check out their website and prepare to warm the cockles of your heart …
So we’re getting there. It’s a struggle, sure, but we’re already three weeks in and everyone (thus far) is talking. And we promise you this: our reno’s subsequent stages will blow your socks off.
In the meantime we hope you’ll join us on our other show, Game of Homes on The W Network. It’s a wildly entertaining design contest series, hosted by Dave Salmoni, where four competing duos vie to win a house. Yes, you heard that correctly – a house.
The premise is simple: we’re resident judges and, each week, the teams reno’ similar rooms in similar bungalows. Bungalows which, we might add, in their previous lives had been earmarked for demolition (to make way for land redevelopment), but were instead ‘house jacked’ and then ‘monster moved’ across Canada to an outdoor TV studio near Toronto … where Game of Homes begins.
Think of us as the Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell of the property world as we appraise each teams’ efforts each week, aided and abetted by famous design television names. Cue Todd Talbot and Jillian Harris from Love it or List It Vancouver, Kortney and Dave from Masters of Flip, and Cheryl Torrenueva from Restaurant Impossible and The Simply Cher Cher Channel on Youtube. To name but a few!
So come on: dive aboard the C&J design television juggernaut! Whether you’re into life at the lake or urban design, rustic modern, or state-of-the-art contemporary, we’ve got you covered. You won’t be disappointed!
Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure airs Sundays, 9 pm on Cottage Life. The network is currently in FREE preview. Check listings for details. Game of Homes airs on The W Network each Tuesday at 10 pm. Colin & Justin’s Cabin Pressure airs on the Cottage Life television network. For more information visit, visit their website.