A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall-Holiday 2017 issue of OUR HOMES Peterborough Kawartha Lakes Cobourg Durham Region Port Hope, p.22. Find Find local businesses in our Peterborough directory.
For Robert and Corinne Hynes, home is more than a place to hang your hat. “This house was built to enjoy,” says Robert, a former firefighter, renovator and cabinetmaker who designed and built their country house in the hills of rural Kawartha. As the owner of Your Own Design, he specializes in designing custom homes and renovations that meet the needs and reflect the tastes of clients. “The concept is to take your dream and make your project,” he explains. He and his son Mitchell design homes in a glass-walled studio behind the house.
The couple’s four-bedroom home is a combination of Robert’s skills and expertise with Corinne’s imagination and hard work. "He likes to do the building and I do the gardens,” says Corinne.
Built on a slope to maximize living space with a ground-floor walkout, the home has two adjoining wings. One, containing an open-concept great room and kitchen, faces a little to the west. The other wing, with the master bedroom, en suite bath and a games room, is turned slightly east.
Connecting the two is an oversize, dog-legged hallway with a wicker-furnished sitting area and large windows overlooking the backyard waterfall, gardens and pond. It’s a favourite spot to sip morning coffee and watch the wildlife. It’s also a nice place to relax in the evening.
The open-concept great room with its cultured stone fireplace, adjoining kitchen and dining area, is one of Corinne’s best-loved features. Leather sofas and chairs invite gatherings around the fireplace. Slightly distressed, three-quarter-inch alder covers the floor.
Outdoors is an integral part of life at the Hynes home. Their upper deck, built with pine timbers, steel trusses and dark-tinted glass railings to keep out the heat, overlooks a beautifully landscaped backyard. A three-inch water main from a dug well feeds a large pond rimmed with armour stone and equipped with a dock. The tiny lake is home to goldfish and three resident red-eared slider turtles that the couple rescued.