Five Acres of Hardwood Bush and a Bright Red Front Door


Happiness is this renovated post-and-beam cabin in the woods.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Ski Season 2019 issue of  OUR HOMES Southern Georgian Bay, p.114. Find local businesses in our Southern Georgian Bay directory.
After purchasing a weekend home near the ski hills of the Blue Mountains, a couple and their three sons realized that the sounds and activities that come with a small lot and close neighbours was similar to what they already had at home in Toronto. They craved more more privacy, more land and more peace. They spotted a home for sale with five acres of property, but it looked rather drab and the interior, dated. Once they stepped inside the post-and-beam home, however, they could see its potential. 

One son suggested they call Evan Reid of Evolution Custom Building, who had coached him at Alpine Ski Club and was a good friend. As easily as that, the home's renovation fell into place.

The home had an unfinished basement with a walkout that would be a natural way to expand the cabin’s bedrooms without changing the all-important cosy feel. Architectural Technologist Pamela Farrow suggested a simple addition to the front of the house where they could shift the stairscase and open up the space inside.
The larger front entrance offers lots of windows from Van Dolder’s Custom Exteriors as well as built-ins for storage. The plans allowed for two new bedrooms and a bathroom in the basement plus a powder room on the main level. As a result, a new septic had to be installed. Jake Cassidy of Clearlite Electrical Excavating & Haulage handled the new system and the landscape work around the house.
Designer Katie Barnstaple of Corinthian Kitchen & Bath Studio designed the new kitchen for more storage and a better flow. One of the simpler changes to the interior was painting the wood walls between the beams Polar White by Benjamin Moore.
In the living room, the fireplace mantel showcases a sign “this is my happy place.” The sectional sofa was purchased at Chatterson’s Home Furniture and Appliances.  

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The owners reimagined this private cabin with red front door. It is a welcome pop of colour at the end of the lane.

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Builder Evan Reid of Evolution Custom Building enjoys the sunshine in front of the home's beautiful addition.

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In the new front entrance, Collingwood Tile installed the plank tile in a herringbone pattern. The benches on both sides offer lots of spots to tuck outdoor footwear and ski boots underneath and out of the way.

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The open plan main floor allows everyone to be part of the action. Wire-brushed white oak engineered flooring was installed on all three levels.

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This cosy cabin was reconfigured to allow a better flow in the kitchen. The adjacent dining area features a large farmhouse table and an aged sideboard.

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The two-storey vaulted ceiling in the living room is clad in pine. Cosy and comfortable seating surrounds the wood-burning fireplace. “This is my happy place” has pride of place on the mantel.

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The fireplace was refaced with natural-veneer drystack stone. Originally the facade went halfway up the wall, it was the owner’s decision to carry it to the ceiling.

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Laundry is located in the lower level. A sliding barn door closes it off from the rest of the lower space when in use.

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French doors in the new lower level family room walk out to the backyard.

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A new two-piece bathroom on the main level near the front stairs was added as part of the renovation. The live-edge, open shelf vanity was custom made.

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The builder and his team went to great lengths to match the stain of the original beams to the new in this home’s addition. A new staircase was added at the front of the home, which opened up the rest of the house considerably.

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The main floor master bedroom has lots of windows and a walk-out to the rear deck. White walls and a white pinstripe duvet add to the fresh brightness of this post-and-beam space.

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A double vanity in the master en suite sits on a live-edge slab with an open base.

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Solid wood bunk beds from Kaon Furniture fit snugly under the peak of this shiplap-walled bedroom. An arched window is as good as a crow’s nest for the family kids.

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The upstairs bathroom shower took advantage of the sloping ceiling with tile lining the entire shower stall. The same tile appears on the floor.

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Although not attached to the house, the two-car garage is just a few steps away and is handy for moving freshly tuned skis in and out of the lower level walkout.