Contemporary and rustic create a perfect balance in this ‘modern barn’ retreat

Contemporary and rustic create a perfect balance in this ‘modern barn’ retreat

Our clients approached us with a vision of a serene retreat from the city in the heart of Muskoka. They wanted a space to reflect their contemporary aesthetic and suit its natural surroundings at the same time to provide a warm and inviting space for family and friends.

Interior Designer: Azen Bongard, ARIDO

Design Firm: Studio 8 Design Inc.

Photographer: Kevin Bongard

Predominantly white kitchen with grey lower cabinets and upper white cabinets, and a wooden island in the centre. There are industrial elements like the black metal windows, ceiling pipes and pendants above the island.

Our design inspiration for this property came from the raw, barn-like architecture of the space, and the beautiful natural setting that surrounds the cottage. We came up with a concept of a "modern barn", a space that balances rustic and contemporary elements, and feels connected to the natural world.

Main living open concept area encased in large windows showing views of the woods on all sides. The seating is concentrated around the huge grey brick fireplace

The site being on a ridge required the cottage to be wide and not deep, which became a design feature that allowed for every room in the house to have stunning views of the water. Since the main design objective was to create a space that felt comfortable for clients’ family and friends, something unique yet not impersonal, the family room was designed to feel expansive, with privacy from the front entry with custom barn closet doors separating the foyer from the family room. Maximizing the stunning views in the family room, while also being able to gather around the TV together without sacrificing the serenity of the room was important to our clients. This was achieved by designing a custom cabinet with a TV lift to allow the TV to disappear.

Large serene neutral bedroom with accents of wood, and a contemporary four post bed in the centre, with natural materials throughout
Beautifully serene guest room showing custom barn door cabinetry to hide TVs and provide storage and natural materials throughout
Large bathroom with natural finishes throughout, wood ceilings, granite floors and stunning feature wall. Standalone tub is by a large floor to ceiling window.

It was important for the clients to have two master retreats, and to be able to accommodate overnight guests comfortably, so our design team created three guest rooms complete with ensuites and ample storage space for all of their guest's belongings,  decked with custom barn door closets. To make this a true retreat, a climate controlled custom glass walled sauna and shower providing views to the outside was built in the space, making it usable year round.

custom glass walled sauna and shower that allow views to the outside

A mix of contemporary, rustic, and natural elements creates a most serene and inviting retreat that feels one with nature. The black industrial windows with discreet blinds maximize views, while black metal hardware and lighting add a modern flair. Twig chandeliers, natural finishes such as granite feature walls and floors, wood architectural details, and furniture in linen and wool, create a truly original and unique interior that mixes natural beauty with modern details.

Azen Bongard

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Azen Bongard

Studio 8 Design Inc

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