It’s Time to Design YOUR Dream Custom Cottage—Considerations for achieving your vision Part 2

In our continuing mission to provide you with tips for designing your dream custom cottage, this week we discuss open space, natural light, and the all-important kitchen area.


Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 1.45.36 PM

Open Space and Natural Light

Open space, high ceilings and tall windows… all elements you will love in your new custom cottage. Large windows not only bring in the beautiful views but also fill your space with natural light and make the rooms more inviting. Create compelling and dynamic images by positioning large windows to take full advantage of the water, forest or mountain views around you. High ceilings open to a loft area have impressive visual appeal and allow for a two-story wall of large windows, inviting in the view from all angles.


Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 1.47.09 PMOpen spaces are more flexible, allowing for entertaining or dining with large groups and accommodating extra guests for sleeping. Think multi-functional! An architectural design firm like Jim Bell Architectural Design Inc. can help you design for uses you may not even realize you need right now and prepare you for full enjoyment of your property for many years to come.


Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 1.47.23 PMAnd don’t be concerned, entertaining in the open space will still feel cozy and inviting when the layout, materials and details are well-designed. Incorporating a fireplace adds warmth to the room, both literally and figuratively. However, you do not want the fireplace to obscure you’re view; so keep it off to one side or in between the great room and dining room but still visible from anywhere in the room. And a caution about placing it between the great room and kitchen–– although it may look nice, it is likely to impeded flow in a high-traffic area and create a barrier between you and your guests during meal preparations. Though many cottages have wood-burning fireplaces, propane gas is also a viable option… the choice is yours. Don’t forget to design a place to store the wood!


Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 1.47.37 PMAll of these considerations are the types of things Jim Bell will not miss because of his extensive experience. Enlist the help of a professional during this exciting, but complex, design process.


Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 1.47.56 PM

Cottage Kitchen… not just “country” anymore

Rustic, modern or traditional… have the look you want, and all of the modern kitchen conveniences you need, to make cottage life easy and comfortable. Preparing the meals is part of entertaining and the design of the space needs to incorporate a place for guests, family and friends to be close by. For example, you may want an island in the kitchen with seating and have the kitchen open to a great room where guests can sit and relax but still converse with those in the kitchen.
Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 1.48.11 PMCottage guests often like to help with the cooking and great kitchen design will facilitate this with plenty of counter space, efficient layouts and easy-to-clean surfaces. You’ll want dividers in drawers and organizers in cabinets to keep everything in its proper location for easy identification and use by you and for your guests.


Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 1.48.22 PMIt’s great to have an easy-to-access coffee or wet bar area but place it strategically as to not disturb the flow of the kitchen. If it’s off to one side or across the way everyone will be able to access and enjoy it without creating a bottleneck for the people working in the kitchen.


Of course you’ll want a direct connection from the kitchen to a deck or patio with easy access to the BBQ, often the primary cooking appliance on those hot summer days.
No one likes doing dishes but is more enjoyable if you have a beautiful view through the window and an effective kitchen design that allows 1-2 people to join in and help dry while engaged in conversation.
Jim Bell has designed many gorgeous cottage and vacation homes for clients with very diverse needs. As a highly-experienced architectural designer, he seeks to understand your vision and has the expertise to design a vacation home that is sure to “wow” you. With offices in both Ottawa and Pembroke, Jim welcomes the opportunity to meet with you for a complimentary site visit or consultation to see if the fit is right for you.


< It’s Time to Design YOUR Dream Custom Cottage––Considerations for achieving your vision Part 1

It’s Time to Design YOUR Dream Custom Cottage––Considerations for achieving your vision Part 3 >