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“We had one shot to get everything up the ski hill.” Nestled between runs at a Collingwood, Ontario, ski resort, this A-frame chalet wasn’t exactly a cinch to outfit in the dead of winter. “We did it right before Christmas, because the slopes were closed for one day. We packed this 53-foot trailer full of everything—bedding, pillows, accents, throws, books—so it could be dragged up the hill by the grooming equipment,” recalls Natalie Hodgins, a designer at Sarah Richardson Design. The clients, a couple with three children, live most of the year in nearby Toronto, and wanted a place to host their wide circle of family and friends after a day hitting the trails.
“It’s the de facto drop-in center,” says Hodgins, who worked closely with her fellow designer Shannon Morrison and Ray Murakami, architectural designer and principal of Murakami Design, on the build. Now guests can ski into the mudroom (equipped with custom cabinetry hiding handy ski-boot dryers) before heading into the sprawling great room. Combining a living room, dining room, and kitchen in an open floor plan, the long space is lined with floor-to-ceiling windows framing a forest of ash and pine trees. A freestanding, double-sided fireplace sections off a cozy lounge and bar at one end.
“When it is only family, there are more intimate areas to sit and hang out,” Hodgins notes, “but when you’re entertaining, it’s very open and allows everyone to mill around.” Because of the fluid transitions in Murakami’s floor plan, Hodgins and Morrison stuck to a consistent palette of gray stone surfaces, pale ash walls, and black metal details, which give weight to the otherwise airy rooms. “They asked for really clean lines, nothing fussy,” the designer says. “Everything’s pretty monochromatic and simple because it’s surrounded by trees and ski hills and woods. We wanted the house to feel really natural—that it belongs where it is.”
Once après-ski winds down, the family and guests can retire to the home’s seven bedrooms, which are furnished in the same warm but minimal style as the common areas. Three bedrooms are situated on the top floor, including a primary suite overlooking a ski run, while in the basement stacks of bunk beds host a revolving door of friends and their children. “[The clients] wanted something contemporary but comfortable and family-friendly,” says Hodgins, “where guests would always feel welcome.”
A Bogdan Molea work above the hearth glides up on a track to reveal the television.
Fireplace: Marquis Fireplaces. Armchair: Selamat Designs, with pillow in Kravet fabric. Floor lamp: Kelly Wearstler. Sofa: Sarah Richardson Design, in Kelly Wearstler for Kravet fabric. Pendants: David Trubridge. Rugs: Elte Mkt (background); IKEA (foreground). Dining chairs: Design Within Reach. Table: custom.
A dramatically veined gray stone called Piña Colada (sourced from Ciot) was used for the backsplash and waterfall island. “We wanted something that felt very organic,” Hodgins says, “to tie in with the forest outside the window.”
Range and hood: Wolf. Pendant and counter stools: Hollis + Morris. Cabinetry: Barber Millwork. Hardware: Emtek. Faucet: Dornbracht.
Rather than engineer custom treatments for the whole wall of windows, Hodgins took the clients’ lead and went without.
Chair and ottoman: Design Within Reach. Rug: Elte. Headboard: custom, Sarah Richardson Design, in Bilbrough fabric. Bedding: Au Lit Fine Linens. Pillow fabric: Kravet. Sconces: Artemide. Nightstand: Serena & Lily.
A double-sided Stuv fireplace set in a powder-coated steel hearth sections off a cozy lounge area.
Chairs: vintage. Art: Swimming Bear by Ningiukulu Teevee.
Perforated panels on the cabinets allow coats and snow pants to dry off quickly.
Bench: Thirty Six Knots. Flooring: basalt, Ciot. Cabinetry: Barber Millwork.
“Because this was a cabin and not their primary residence, they let us go bold with the bathrooms,” says Hodgins.
Fixtures: Rubinet. Marble: Panda White, Ciot (walls); Nero Marquina, Saltillo Imports (floor).
A keg fridge in the laundry room below attaches to a countertop tap.
Walls: whitewashed ash. Hardware: Emtek. Wine refrigerator: Perlick. Faucet: Rubinet. Marble: Piña Colada, Ciot.
“When he’s a bit older, they can replace the papier-mâché stags with something more grown-up,” says Hodgins.
Pendant and baskets: Serena & Lily. Bed: CB2. Lamps: Arteriors. Nightstands: RH Teen. Curtain fabric: Premier Prints.
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