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

Now just picture it… your perfect custom cottage. It’s likely that some features come immediately to mind, but others may be less clear. During April we’re sharing some thoughts about cottage design to help you develop your vision. This week we discuss the bedrooms, mudroom and deck/patio.

Bedrooms and Guest Rooms

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 3.01.34 PMIf possible, it’s best to locate the bedrooms in your custom cottage away from common living areas as noise travels and family members and guests may have different sleeping patterns. Consider locating guest bedrooms in the lower level to give them more privacy. It’s nice when early risers and night owls can live together in harmony. Sound proofing the walls, floors and ceilings helps to ensure privacy and good rest.

Since people spend most of their waking hours in other areas of the cottage and outside, the bedrooms can be simple and of modest size. Consider easy-to-clean flooring instead of carpet and provide guests with a small closet with a shelf and Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 3.01.49 PMhanging area. Don’t forget a spot for a suit case or overnight bag.

Keep the Mud in the Mudroom

You’ll be glad you did if you plan a rear or side entry directly into a traditional mudroom for your custom cottage. Since cottage life is all about outdoor activities, having a place to clean up before entering the rest of the space will mean more time having fun and less time cleaning. In the summer the mudroom can be a stopping place for wet suits, swimsuits, fins, snorkels, masks and towels. Everyone can access the clothes line or other drying equipment as they enter and with a powder room close by, kids can access the bathroom in their wet swimwear without leaving little footprints and puddles across the great room floor.

A mudroom is appreciated even more in a four-season vacation home when winter clothing, cross-country skis, snow shoes, snowmobiling suits, helmets and boots can be contained and have a spot to dry without entering the main part of the home.

Do you have a dog? The mudroom is the perfect place for a shower/tub to wash off the grime before they want to cuddle on the sofa with you.

The laundry room should be part of this room or very close at hand. If designed well, it’s also the ideal place to store coolers with extra beverages and food to accommodate a busy week of visitors.

Inside Out — Decks and Patios

Consider what you want from your outdoor deck or patio. Are you a sun lover or do you head directly for the shade? What about the rest of your family? A covered area is always nice, to protect you from direct sun, for sitting out on a rainy afternoon or as a safe zone for storm watching. It’s very practical to plan a place for the BBQ in a covered area, but ensure there is sufficient airflow for safe operation.

To create an outdoor living space with flexibility for entertaining larger groups, work with your architectural designer to optimize the deck or patio for the type of furniture and configurations you prefer.

No one wants to spend a beautiful summer day at the cottage scraping and staining a deck! Make it maintenance-free with composite or aluminum decking, but choose the colour wisely. Darker colours will become very hot in the sun. A well-built patio is also maintenance-free and will serve you for many years to come.

Jim Bell has designed many gorgeous custom 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.


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