Charming cottage retreat on Lake Ontario gets a casual country makeover


This family beach style cottage retreat is interior designed by Emily Griffin Design, nestled along Crowe Lake, in Peterborough County, Ontario, Canada. Constructed for a family with three children, this home encompasses 2,200 square feet of living space with five bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. The father of one of the homeowner’s purchased the property itself back in 1953. It once only had a fishing shack built on it for family fishing trips. After inheriting this home, this Toronto-based family decided to build a cottage on it for family gathering and entertaining.

Although this cottage retreat was beautifully built, little thought was given to the interiors. On the interiors, the walls were just drywall, which felt too city for the designer. Walls were given various treatments to give lake house charm, this includes wide beadboard, horizontal shiplap, knotty pine and wallpaper. Carpeting in the bedrooms was taken out, replacing them with area rugs to ground the spaces. All the living spaces were furnished and accessorized. The kitchen and master bath were given a full scale renovation, including new windows. The original hardwood floors were preserved.

Above: The dining table is from Restoration Hardware, while the farmhouse chairs are Crate & Barrel. Pendant lights are vintage, soured from The Door Store. Grounding the space is an area rug from Ikea.


For the interior style of this cottage retreat, the homeowner’s were looking for a relaxed Hamptons-inspired country style. Larger furnishings were found at West Elm, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. To avoid looking like a showroom, the designer added paneling and wallpaper. She also picked up finds from local antique and thrift stores, while repurposing pieces of the homeowner’s.

Above: Kitchen cabinets are from Walden’s Kitchen Centre, while the hardware is from Upper Canada Hardware. The sink is from Franke, while the faucet is Perrin & Rowe. Window treatments is custom fabricated by H Sewing using Kravet fabric.


Above: The kitchen prior to the renovation.

What We Love: This cottage retreat offers a wonderful redesign that is beautiful and livable. There are many lovely elements spread through the house, including the stone fireplace in the living room, airy and sophisticated master bedroom and the pine wall in the kids bedroom. The redesigned kitchen is welcoming. Even the change in style in the master bedroom works beautifully in this home. Casual country with a touch of elegance!

Tell Us: What do you think of the transformation of this lake house retreat. Is there anything you would like to have seen done differently in the design? Let us know in the Comments below!


Above: Throughout the interiors of this cottage retreat, walls are painted in Oxford White CC-30 | Benjamin Moore. The living room features Ontario stone on the fireplace, covering the more traditional styling of the drywall and adding a country aesthetic. The sofa and chairs are from Pottery Barn, while the coffee table is Crate & Barrel. Next to the sofa is an elephant stool sourced from L’Atelier Home.


Above: In the sunroom, the coffee table is by West Elm, while the sectional is sourced from Shelter Furniture. Illuminating the space, the beaded chandelier is by Regina Andrews. Grounding the space is an area rug from Pottery Barn.


Above: The style of the master bedroom is a departure from the rest of the home, inspired by the homeowner’s colonial-style bed. They are influenced by their love of traveling to the Caribbean island of Jamaica, whose style is British Colonial.


Above: On the walls is a more elegant touch, featuring lotus leaf wallpaper by Farrow & Ball.


Above: The original master bathroom is pictured below, where the tub had large tile decking around it, taking up half the space. This left little room for a shower or dual vanity. A beautiful Restoration Hardware vanity features a custom countertop of Riverrock granite, from Olympia Slab. The flooring is cement brick tile in a herringbone pattern from Creekside Tile, while the shower floor is river rock pebble tile. Adding decoration to the space, the African basket hamper is from Serena & Lily.


Above: The bathroom prior to the renovation.


Above: A window next to the bathtub overlooks the lake. On the wall, an antique glass cabinet offers a space to store toiletries. The tub caddy features a repurposed wooden cheese board from Crate & Barrel.



Above: In the kids bedroom of this cottage retreat, an accent wall of knotty pine infuses a camp-style touch.


Above: In the corner of the bedroom, the chair is from West Elm. On the wall above, are framed vintage covers of the Canadian magazine, Chatelaine. 


Above: In the guest bedroom, a distressed antique mirror along with a vintage wicker starburst mirror were spotted at a Toronto thrift store. The Waverly Classics Fantasy Fleur Wallpaper by York Wallcoverings adds an elegant touch.

Photos: Sian Richards

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4 years ago

Hello! Can you please tell me what the beautiful blue kitchen tile is? I need to name so I can use it in my own kitchen! Thank you!