By Hebe Hatton
Perched on the edge of the idyllic Lake Simcoe in southern Ontario, this beautiful modern home is a fabulous wonderland of texture, color, and pattern. The property is the vacation home of a couple and their two sons, who wanted a quiet place to escape the bustle of downtown Toronto. The family brought on Sabrina Albanese to transform the property. The brief was simple – comfortable, colorful and creative. And a blue kitchen was a must. The rest was left up to Sabrina who expertly blended modern beach house style with a more traditional Swedish vibe.
The lake house has three bedrooms and five (all very unique bathrooms). There's also a great room – an open plan living space with the kitchen, dining room and living room – and a home bar with a colorful snug. Plus, there's plenty of gorgeous outdoor spaces that look out over the lake. This home is all about relaxing and entertaining and that laid-back but vibrant feel is reflected throughout the interiors.
The great room
Ah, the blue kitchen. The only thing the homeowner was set on. A nice change from the classic white or grey, the blue was chosen to reflect the surroundings – giving the space a beach house like feel without being too... beachy. In fact, Sabrina skipped those classic washed-out blues that are synonymous with beach houses and went for a bold true blue, combined with the deep charcoal scalloped tiles and brass fixtures.
The kitchen sits in the great room. A large, light-filled space that's made up of the kitchen, dining room, and living room. Creating spaces perfect for socializing was top of the agenda for the homeowners so opting for an open plan layout where you can cook, eat and relax all together just made sense.
The dining room features those more pale beachy blues, but it still feels like a contemporary space, with a mix of oranges and greens. Plus the statement chairs gives the room a more contemporary edge and the built-in bench creates a more informal layout by breaking the symmetry.
The main feature of the living room is the bold display of wicker discs adding a playful rustic element to the room. The furniture is a mix of vintage second-hand finds and custom pieces, resulting in a room that feels eclectic but curated and balanced.
There are pops of color but really it's the texture that's adding all the interest – cane, bamboo, velvet, wicker, marble, glass, rattan, all come together to create tactile layers.
As well as the living space in the great room, there's a second sitting room that's more of a snug with a TV and a very impressive home bar. The colors are bolder in here, with teal blues sitting with bright yellows and vibrant pinks.
There's still plenty of texture that tones down the bright color scheme, so the space is still fun and vibrant (as any home bar should be) but there's a rustic element too that's mirrored in the other rooms.
A dramatic dark staircase, leads up to the second floor. Even amongst the dark tones of the hallway floor and ebony staircase, there are splashes of color so it doesn't feel imposing or gloomy.
All of the three bedrooms feature soft muted grass cloth walls, which adds a tactile warmth that balance out the bright colors, so the rooms all feel soft and inviting, even with the pops of bolder shades.
In the master bedroom muted green walls are the backdrop for hints of vivid red, creating a color clash that lifts the mossy tones so the shades all feel fresh and invigorating.
The blue guest bedroom has a lovely traditional feel to it, with a pinstriped upholstered headboard, dainty print curtains, and retro shapes in the bedside lamp and table.
The second guest bedroom has a warmer color scheme, with textured toasty orange paper adorning the walls and peachy bedding on each bed. The stark black accents and the layering of simplistic black and white patterns give those warmer tones a contemporary update.
Green and gold give this master bathroom a very elegant, luxurious feel. The minimalist grey vanity and white marble flooring lift those sumptuous tones so the room still has a light and airy feel.
Throughout each of the bathrooms, Sabrina created a subtle nod to the coastal vibe using a mix of bold wallpapers. One bathroom features sketches of yachts, the other is seashells – both in a simple black and white to keep the rooms contemporary.
And in this guest bathroom, two wallpapers were used – a classic blue and white floral motif for the walls and a fun animal print on the ceiling to add something unexpected to this otherwise quite traditional space.
Outside there are multiple decks to choose from, all overlooking the water. The same colorful, textured style is embraced out here with rattan and cane furniture paired with sunny hues and vibrant prints.
Hebe is the Digital Editor of Livingetc; she has a background in lifestyle and interior journalism and a passion for renovating small spaces. You'll usually find her attempting DIY, whether it's spray painting her whole kitchen, don't try that at home, or ever changing the wallpaper in her hallway. Livingetc has been such a huge inspiration and has influenced Hebe's style since she moved into her first rental and finally had a small amount of control over the decor and now loves being able to help others make decisions when decorating their own homes. Last year she moved from renting to owning her first teeny tiny Edwardian flat in London with her whippet Willow (who yes she chose to match her interiors...) and is already on the lookout for her next project.
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