Chef Christophe Boivin, a Montreal native, and his wife Wispy had been living and working in Toronto, but with young children at home, the timing was right for a fresh start outside the city. A trip to a gathering of chefs at Chef Michael Stadtlander's Southern Georgian Bay property convinced them to settle in Collingwood.
Fast-forward eight years, and Wispy and Christophe are well known figures in the community. “Opening a restaurant in a town where you know no one has been a great way for us to meet new people,” laughs Wispy. Chris is the former owner and chef at The Tremont Café, and Wispy owns Press Market in Collingwood.
With the atmospheres of each of their business ventures, it’s no surprise that the Boivins carry a stunning aesthetic into their homes as well. They’ve moved a lot, but their farmhouse in Nottawa south of Collingwood has been wonderful for the family, says Wispy.
Inside, a rustic, lived-in charm is made grand through washed white linens, faded print textures, thick wool blankets and a sun-dried, chic farmhouse style throughout the entire home.
A white palette (including white painted hardwood throughout the upper floor) is offset by splashes of colour in artwork.
Wispy takes inspiration from local décor shops like Lëuk and Kettlewells, and she bounces ideas off friend and designer Kristen Vermeulen. Despite these influences, Wispy and Chris put their own unique characteristics throughout the house as well. A piano, was painted pure matte white, and sits in the great room. A love of music is expressed through album-cover art and concert posters.
This house was built by Robert and Tracy Gerschwiler, the home’s previous owners, who now live next door. Wispy and Chris were thrilled to have such expert homebuilders who meticulously and strategically designed and built the home. When the Boivins put an addition on the home – a high-ceilinged great room with large open windows and a massive fireplace – as well as extra bedrooms upstairs, the Gerschwilers helped the Boivins immensely with the design and building process.