This Muskoka cottage gets a beautiful makeover


Located along the shores of the iconic Lake Joseph in Muskoka is a picturesque four-bedroom cottage ready for a modern update. Adorned with quintessential cottage features such as large dormers, peaked roofs, and hemlock floors, it exuded timeless charm. However, despite its inherent beauty, the cottage was due for a rejuvenation to align with contemporary design sensibilities. That’s when interior designer, Jane Lockhart, was called in.


Lockhart’s mission was simple: To blend modern design elements with the cottage’s rustic character. With a keen eye on preserving its original features, every aspect of the transformation was carefully curated to enhance functionality, efficiency and aesthetic appeal.

Central to Lockhart’s design philosophy was a deep-rooted connection to nature. Furniture and accessories were thoughtfully chosen to harmonize with the surrounding environment, foregoing flashy elements in favour of understated elegance. The colour palette was kept neutral, with hints of colour reflecting the area’s beauty. Window coverings were reimagined to offer flexibility and allow the homeowners to bask in natural light while maintaining privacy when desired. Wood and stone integrate organically into the entire look of the cottage, while curated photographs on the walls exhibit the area’s outdoor splendour and serve as poignant reminders of the cottage’s idyllic setting throughout the seasons.

Bathrooms and showers were completely redone from studs to fixtures. Plumbing fixtures and vanities were carefully selected to elevate visual appeal, with tiles and lighting choices bringing a sense of brightness and airiness into the spaces.

The heart of the home, the kitchen, underwent a striking change. A newly painted tongue-and-groove ceiling was strategically dropped between existing hemlock beams and facilitated the installation of modern LED pot lights, which accentuate the soaring architecture. Gone are the dark hues of yesteryear, replaced with light, refreshing tones to highlight a sense of space and serenity.

The kitchen renovation was not without its design challenges, however, particularly with the installation of a new hood fan amidst exposed beam structures. Innovative design solutions ensured that functionality was able to coexist with aesthetics to preserve the integrity of the original design concept.

Serious attention was paid to sourcing materials locally, minimizing emissions and reducing the environmental impact. This commitment to sustainability underscored every aspect of the renovation, further enhancing the cottage’s intrinsic connection to its surroundings.

The result? A harmonious fusion of modernity and tradition, where contemporary comforts intertwine with rustic charm to pay homage to Muskoka’s rich heritage.

Sara Duck
Sara Duck

With over 15 years' experience as a magazine editor, writer and content creator, Sara brings her passion for design and decor to our pages each issue. @bysaraduck

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