Choices Will Last a Lifetime in Wasaga Beach


A couple retires in a stylish home that welcomes four generations together.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of  OUR HOMES Southern Georgian Bay, p.108. Find local businesses in our Southern Georgian Bay directory.
The new and endless horizon of Georgian Bay outside their back door has made the transition to retirement for this couple all the more more special. “We are lucky to get both the sunrise and the sunsets here,” says the new owner of this home. With a Toronto career winding down, the couple were ready to downsize from their Caledon farm property. Friends tipped them off that a three-level house – one of the first built in the Blue Water development in Wasaga Beach eight years ago – would soon be on the market. Within a week, the couple had sold their farm and became homeowners in Blue Water.
“Looking back now, I can’t believe we did all that in such a short time,” laughs the owner. “We worked with the Downsizing Diva to pack up our farm, and she introduced us to Sharon Allan in Collingwood who understood what we needed to do to be comfortable in our new home.”
“This home was such a fun project to design,” says Sharon, owner of Van Allan Design Centre.
“It is a beautiful location and the existing floorplan was already working. We just needed to update the finishes and finish the basement.”
The owners knew that they wanted a neutral base to start with, and they had a few key furniture pieces that came with them from their former home. “We had so much fun incorporating their collection of stunning art pieces,” says Sharon. The couple have a mix of classical paintings, contemporary canvases, Inuit art, watercolours, and some more whimsical farm animal figurines.
“We got to show off our beautiful America’s Cup sailboat replica on the mantel in the living room,” says the owner, “and there was a little alcove already existing in the foyer that is just perfect for our large porcelain ice cream cone sculpture.” One of the family’s heirloom paintings was reframed by Georgian Frame Gallery with a more contemporary style to hang in the home office.
The owners were impressed by the diligence and quality of Steve Whit’s work on the cabinetry in their kitchen (Wood by Whit) and other woodwork throughout the home. Cabinets were painted a subtle Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore, and the island and counters are topped in Caesarstone. Cabinet pulls and hardware contrast in hand-forged black iron.
In the living room, Sharon furnished the space with a pair of comfortable sofas. When a lamp that the owner liked was unavailable, Sharon had a bespoke solution, wiring a similar-looking sculpture to suit. Chantico Fireplace Gallery supplied the gas fireplace insert, while stone for the surround was supplied by Rob Vogel of Georgian Bay Outdoors. A conversation area with a pair of armchairs beside the newly installed west-facing window is a common spot for morning coffee. Flooring is from Dean’s Carpet One Floor & Home.
Outside, Shawn MacDonald Landscaping created a formal stone garden at the front of the home with a walkway leading to a deck and flagstone patio in the back. Overlooking the shoreline wetland is a fire pit where the couple can enjoy their waterfront views long after the sunset. With four generations of the family coming and going throughout the year, perhaps this phase of their lives isn’t so quiet after all.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
The home sits on a tree lined street in the Blue Water By The Bay development and is deceptively larger on the inside than the exterior shows.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
Working with the homeowners was an absolute pleasure for Sharon Allan of Van Allan Design Centre.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
A large canvas with a shock of orange by Canadian colour-field artist Joseph Drapell invigorates the dining room, creating a pleasing marriage between old and new.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
The dining area features two remarkable paintings. One, against a wall of grasscloth, is a historical family portrait of a very young George H. Gooderham, grandson of the founder of the Gooderham and Worts distillery in Toronto.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
Deep seating around the fireplace makes this a perfect after-dinner spot for conversation. The television appears as a piece of art sitting on an easel. The unadorned windows let the view be the centre of attention.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
The replica of an America’s Cup sailboat has an impressive home on the barn beam fireplace mantel.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
An alcove in the foyer is a perfect spot for the porcelain sculpture of an ice cream cone.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
The updated kitchen has a subway tile backsplash and Caesarstone counters. The large island has room for all the grandchildren and was painted in Titanium by Benjamin Moore.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
There is no shortage of storage in the kitchen. The upper tier cabinets are glass fronted and display a collection of pottery and china.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
An open area on the upper floor becomes a quiet sitting room for the bedroom on that level.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
In the main-floor office, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves keep this room organized. The painting of a child eating is by Ezio Marzi.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
The main-floor master bedroom is a serene space with luxurious bedding from Van Allan Design Centre and family photos. The master bedroom is painted in Ice Fog by Benjamin Moore.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
Opening your eyes each morning to the view of Georgian Bay is a beautiful way to start the day.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
In the master en suite bathroom, wallpaper has an embossed pattern. A deep soaker tub is a luxurious treat.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
A second main-floor bedroom is set up in shades of yellow for the owner’s mother who lives with them part of the year.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
The lower level is bright and comfortable with the owner choosing a rich Jabberwocky by Benjamin Moore.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
A bright and colourful lower-level bedroom is ready for fun sleepovers.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
Off the garage is a welcoming mudroom with deep cubbies to accommodate guests who regularly include the couple’s four grandchildren, with more on the way.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
The homeowner’s mother enjoys sitting on the rear deck just off the living room, watching the waves and the swans that nest by the shore through the frameless glass railings.

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Photography by Sandy MacKay
This family enjoys clear blue skies and clear blue water as far as the eye can see from the rear terrace.