Laurie and Mark Murray had always liked Huntsville and Deerhurst Resort where they’d bring their four children for week-long holidays. When Deerhurst held a lottery for cottage lots, Mark won the chance to buy a property where they could build a home of their own design. But they had to go back to the drawing board when they learned what the rock work for their new cottage would cost.
They began planning anew with builder Peter Smith, owner of Peter Smith Construction, whom they met at a cottage show in Toronto. Smith redesigned the house with the front entrance on the north side of the home, a move that significantly cut excavation costs.
Smith helped revise their design to suit the shape of the lot and the couple worked with Jennifer Pink of Design Interiors to make the countless detailed decisions about the project. As envisioned, the panelled great room, painted in Benjamin Moore’s Sea Salt from Wilson’s The Paint Store, overlooks the golf course through high windows that catch the sunrise and sunset.
Thick wooden arches intersect the cathedral ceiling and a stone-faced fireplace by The Fireplace King invites gatherings at the room’s centre. Window Quilt Muskoka supplied window shades throughout the home.
In the kitchen, Di Pietra Design supplied and installed Caesarstone counters in a light, subtly-patterned design called Calacatta Nuvo.
A second-floor balcony provides a birds-eye view of the dining room and the forest outside. The upper floor contains three bedrooms, including the master bedroom with its en suite and walk-in closet. Builders installed a pocket door to make more room for the shower and extended an exterior wall to create space for a tub.
Thermo Seal Insulation Systems, specialists in blown-in fibreglass insulation, ensured the house stays warm in winter and cool throughout the sultry summer days.
One of the couple's favourite spaces in the house is the screened Muskoka room. “I can go out there and listen to a Blue Jays game. It’s relaxing,” says Mark. The couple plan to eventually make their cottage their full-time home. “I love it,” says Mark. “It’s very, very quiet.”