Project LAKESIDE: A Contemporary TAKE ON A CANADIAN COTTAGE

The Challenge:

Source art for a cottage where nature is the real hero! The art had to stand out while not stealing focus from the beauty of these surroundings. And beyond that, the gorgeous architectural details, such as the double height ceiling in the entrance and a cathedral ceiling in the living room, had to be carefully taken into account when finding the right artworks. The goal for this country escape was to find interesting and varied contemporary Canadian art but not fall in to the thematic traps of a second home (ie. “cottage art” or anything traditionally Canadiana. No plaid. No moose.)

Melanie Authier

Melanie Authier

The Solution:

We started by identifying our key “art walls”. It can be tempting to fill all the walls, but we really focused on large-scale attention worthy pieces in specific locations. Like these two, very different, show-stopping paintings by Anthony Burnham by the entrance and staircase, and gorgeous + vibrant Melanie Authier in the Living Room. In rooms where there is a lot of natural light (like these) we highly recommended paintings (vs anything framed behind glass which - even with quality glass - would be too reflective). We looked for paintings that were abstract, but with interesting compositions and styles that would complement each other.

Dil Hildebrand

Dil Hildebrand

In the Dining Room and Kitchen area, we integrated different mediums. Variety is key - a mix of textures and scale creates visual interest. Lucky for us, Dil Hildebrand’s series showing his process fit perfectly. We had to be mindful with this particular wall since it was both part of the Dining Room and a staircase wall so the art had to work for both. And two Jessica Eaton colorful and graphic images now anchor either side of the dining room with a bit of a punch + pop of color.

In the upstairs hallway we had a little fun installing this awesome Adam David Brown mylar smoke drawing ‘ouija board’. It is visible from all angles of the upstairs but the real magic is when you get up close!


The end result defies stereotypes of Canadian cottages and though maybe steals a little attention from the outside, we think it’s a worthwhile compromise!

Photos by James Rosen