Modern Integration on Georgian Bay Waterfront


This contemporary home on Georgian Bay is a masterpiece.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of  OUR HOMES Southern Georgian Bay, p.136. Find local businesses in our Southern Georgian Bay directory.

The walls are open all summer long at this contemporary home near Thornbury. The expressive house was built by the father-daughter team of Dave and Christine Harrington of Absolute Craftsmen three years ago. The owners, a successful entrepreneur, his wife and their two children, wanted the home to have the open feeling of an estate in the hills of California or the oceanfront in Miami, where they have spent time.
Brad Abbott of Abbott Design drew the home’s plans to maximize the 180-degree water views over the bay. “We stay here as much as we can. The natural environment has brought a balance to our lives that we wouldn’t have if we lived all our time in the city,” says the owner.
The family was immersed in the collaborative approach to the home’s making. They started spending winter weekends skiing and snowboarding in the region over 10 years ago when their children were young. With a peaceful hour-and-a-half distance on country roads from their home north of Toronto, the commute has become an opportunity to decompress.
Dave and Christine credit their team at Absolute Craftsmen with making the build come to life. “We have a truly perfectionist core crew that have been with us for many years,” says Christine. “You can see how proud they are of the work that they do, and we couldn’t execute the quality that we do without them.”
Inside the front entry, a series of pivoting ivory and glass panels create a visual break to the view beyond. A custom chandelier with coloured glass panels in the foyer and is repeated in the kitchen with turquoise and sea green tones. Oak panel feature ceilings in the 10,000 sq. ft. space bring warmth to the home’s bright, sleek aesthetic. 
Mirrored glass is used as the kitchen backsplash. “When we have guests over, of course we congregate in the kitchen, so we might have 10 people seated at the island facing inward. With the mirror, they still have a view of that water,” says the owner. The two-way glass also serves to draw light into the pantry tucked behind the wall, which would otherwise be a dark space.
Upstairs in the master bedroom, Absolute Craftsmen designed and built a custom quarter-sawn white oak bed with built-in side tables. The ceilings feature the same white oak panels that appear on the home’s main level and the walls are painted Benjamin Moore’s Pashmina. All motorized window coverings by Ashton’s Blinds Draperies Shutters.
The children's rooms are given equally interesting treatments, with Absolute Craftsmen creating custom platform beds for each, while the son's room gets a spectactular integrated ceiling and wall treatment behind the bed.
Outside, five fire features contribute ambience across the back of the home. The family worked with The Landmark Group on the landscape architecture and design, while Parklawn Landscaping handled the landscape construction and Thornbury Clear Choice Pools & Spas installed the lap pool.