Everything Old is New Again on Horseshoe Lake


Charming new cottage is only months old but echoes heart-warming history.

Our Homes Muskoka Fall 2017A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of   OUR HOMES Parry Sound Muskoka Huntsville Haliburton, p.84. Find local businesses in our Muskoka directory. 
Although Mark Wenn and Melanie Valentine’s charming new cottage on the shore of Horseshoe Lake is only months old, it echoes a history that speaks to 50 years of family gatherings, lazy summers, bracing winter snowmobile rides across frozen trails and so much more. 
Mark’s parents first discovered Horseshoe Lake in the early 60s and built the family cottage with no hydro, no road, no modern conveniences. Finally just a few years ago, Melanie and Mark opted to rebuild. Melanie scoured magazines, attended cottage shows, researched websites and eventually found a building plan they both loved – simple, but elegant, open and functional with just the right amount of space to keep it cosy when friends and family get together. As it always was.
They approached Kris Smith, an architectural designer at RONA Building Centre Parry Sound, to finesse the basic plan to meet their specifications. They met and were suitably impressed by Toby Scott of Scott Custom Building and trusted him with the build. 
The interior is relaxed with flowing, uncomplicated textures, from the vaulted great room ceiling, finished in V-groove pine and illuminated with lighting by Northern Iron, to the open shelving, wall units and lovely rustic details. The exterior offers traditional, clean lines of deep blue-grey wood siding, bordered with black window frames and eaves. This cottage is both a tip of the hat to the historic architectural style of the area and an excellent reflection of what can be done today with the latest building materials.
Bay Area Electrical Co. Ltd. of Parry Sound offered excellent advice and did a fantastic job on the wiring, lighting and all the plumbing installation,” says Mark. Melanie and Mark chose a strong, wear-resistant, laminate flooring, in a weathered pattern, that reflects the relaxed feel throughout the cottage.
“We sourced the stone for the fireplace ourselves and Stoneworks Masonry did an amazing installation for us and executed it exactly as we had asked,” says Melanie. (Fireplace via Fireplace & Leisure Centre).Trim, mouldings and doors were supplied by Barrie Trim & Mouldings Inc. Additional cabinetry and shelving throughout the cottage was handled by Mark himself, a carpenter and craftsman at heart who operates Fair & Square Handyman Services. He also takes credit for a handsomely crafted, rough-hewn styled bed-frame in the master bedroom.
Many of the furnishings that so tastefully support the overall design of this exquisite getaway were found at Red Canoe Interiors, Huckleberry’s and HillTop InteriorsThe dining room table, designed by Craig Laaksonen, was custom created out of salvaged shipping pallets.