Toronto Weekenders Finish Chalet with Sweat Equity


Creative ingenuity – like a slab of driftwood that lights the kitchen island – abounds in cottage.

OUR HOMES Peterborough Fall-Holiday 2016A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall/Holiday 2016 issue of  OUR HOMES Peterborough Kawartha Lakes Cobourg Port Hope Brighton Bancroft, p.22. Find local businesses in our Peterborough directory

OUR HOMES Peterborough Fall-Holiday 2016Two professionals who work in Toronto have made their home in a new log chalet on Pigeon Lake, a two-hour drive northwest of the city. Their city apartment, like a college dorm, is a bare-bones place to stay while working weekdays. But their new lakeside country home embodies their personalities and skills. The owners finished and furnished their two-bedroom, eastern white pine Discovery Dream Homes cottage with imagination and sweat equity.
C4 Construction prepared the building site and assembled the six-by-12-inch squared logs and timbers supplied by Discovery Dream Homes to create a 2,080 sq. ft. structure with a full basement. Rock unearthed for the foundation by C4 Excavation was used to landscape the upland yard.
The master bedroom is in a second floor loft that overlooks the great room and lake. To one side is an en suite, to the other, a walk-in closet and laundry room. Sliding barn doors to these amenities flank a large bed they built with leftover timbers. At the room’s centre, they had builders create more headroom with a timbered peak punctuating the pine ceiling.
On the ground floor, the owners tiled the bathroom and kitchen with Italian porcelain. They installed pine flooring in the great room and guest bedroom. Using scrap building materials, they crafted a sturdy kitchen island with illuminated liquor shelves and a wine cooler. They transformed a dried piece of driftwood into a unique light fixture over the island and built an industrial-strength coffee table that mimics an old factory cart. Guests and visitors tend to gravitate to the kitchen island, the focal point for gatherings.
On the front deck, chaise lounges are covered in brightly striped cushions. A hot tub and outdoor shower, a barbecue and kitchenette furnish a side deck, while canvas sails shade a dining table and chairs on the main deck, shielded with glass railings.
A thriving vegetable garden grows in the front yard. Nearer the lake is a fire pit, just steps away from a screened and curtained gazebo containing a sheltered sitting area. Mature willows at the edge of the lake shade a sandy beach and stone stairs that descend into the water. Moored boats gently bob at the dock.