Perched High Amid the Pines on Lake Vernon


This couple built a custom getaway for all seasons to eventually become their permanent home.

OUR HOMES Muskoka Fall 2018
A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of   OUR HOMES Parry Sound Muskoka Huntsville Haliburton, p.86. Find local businesses in our Muskoka directory

Ron and Karen Heyden's new cottage on Lake Vernon is an all-season retreat they'll eventually call home. Ron's parents first bought a cottage on Lake Vernon more than 50 years ago and he has spent most summers and winters at the lake since age three. Ron and Karen began planning their own lake house when a vacant lot next to the original cottage came up for sale.
The couple looked at the work of several builders and settled on Linwood Custom HomesAntler Trail design. They loved the open-concept design, main-floor master bedroom and plenty of bedrooms and space for family and friends. The property, like much of the Vernon Shores area, is steep granite that had to be blasted for the building foundation. They chose siding in a shade called Gooseberry, which contrasts nicely with the natural finish of the home’s wooden shutters. 
In the great room, with its high windows looking over the deck and a surrounding natural screen of tall pines, Randy Nickason of Fireplace King installed a Napoleon wood-burning fireplace to heat all three levels of the home.
Masonry King’s Peter Zantingh finished the fireplace and cottage with more than 600 square feet of stonework. 
Custom corner cabinets for the dining room, as well as furnishings in the bedroom were created by The Cutter’s Edge. In the master bedroom, the couple installed a sliding barn door to access the en suite.
Ron used his electrical expertise to design and build a barn-beam chandelier. He installed a row of Edison bulbs on a reclaimed barn beam suspended above the dining room table.
The spacious cottage kitchen is furnished with Ontario-grown, wormy ash cabinetry and a leathered granite kitchen counter. The backsplash tiles run from the countertops to the ceiling.
Once the home was built, Ron and Karen had help from daughters Kirstie and Amanda and friends and family to finish the cottage. Karen credits her daughters for a lot of help on the lake house, everything from helping carry flooring and tiles, in minus-30-degree temperatures, down a long, steep slope to the cottage to sourcing tables of reclaimed wood, and choosing interior finishes and colours. “They were working their tails off,” says Karen. “Anytime we need help, family and friends are always close by to lend a hand,” she says. “We’ve been lucky.”