One of Canada's Top Designers Updates an Old Family Cabin in Cottage Style

Colette van den Thillart worked for years for Nicky Haslam in London before returning home to run NH Canada. 

Van den Thillart states that this lakeside cabin has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember.  The original cabin was built by her grandfather, then used by her parents during her childhood and has now fallen under van den Thillart's care.  As the years go by, the size of the crowd enjoying the cabin has increased (as is often the case with family cabins) and it finally became obvious that additional space was needed.

According to Van den Thillart, she wanted to avoid "Canadiana" in her decorating of the remodeled space.  Instead, she has come up with a fresh, pretty, definitely English-cottage-influenced style for the cabin. However, the look is at the same time both more casual and more stylish than traditional English cottages, and yet, surprisingly perfectly suited to lake house living. The entire effect is one of old mixed with new.  Colette says that as she looks around, she sees many objects from her past, but there is also so much in charm and livability that she has added.

See if you don't want to be there as much as I do...

Van den Thillart placed Canadian barn siding on the walls of the new living room and searched out an antique mantle for the fireplace.  

A pretty seating area.

Adjacent to the new living room, a dining room with additional seating was added.  While the ceiling tongue and groove was left untreated, the log walls were painted a soft grey blue and the trim a crisp white.  The overall effect is pretty, comfortable and fresh.

The kitchen cabinets were found in her London neighborhood and shipped to the cabin's location in Muskoka Canada.  The kitchen has the look of "collected" cabinets that you see in English country cottages.  This part of the cabin was original to the house.  Van den Thillart states in the video how much she loves the old wood patina on the ceiling and floors.  Again, the softly painted log walls are so pretty.  These work beautifully here because of the old wood surfaces contrasting with them.  If the ceiling had also been painted, it would not have quite the charm.

Colette in her new casual but oh, so pretty new blue and white Master.  

A casual mix of fabrics and cottage furnishings in this light-filled room. There is nothing so fancy here that you can't lounge around and be comfortable.  And yet everything is an absolute pleasure to the eye.

To really appreciate this cottage and see more on how it all came together, you really must see the video below.

Click here to see the video. 

Source:  House and Home

Get the Look...some of our favorite blue and white fabrics for a fresh and pretty cabin bedroom:

Chardon in Blue $243 per yard
Animal Farm $255 per yard      
Gazelle in Summer Sky $129 per yard
Erevan in Cyan $227

Glenrinnes Lodge Teal Bird $187 per yard


We always love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for commenting!