Monday, June 6, 2011


We are thinking about getting a cottage up north (muskoka)...ok, what I should say is I REALLY REALLY PRETTY PLEASE want a cottage in the muskokas...

I don't know the first thing about finding a cottage.  I suppose "get a real estate agent" is good advice.  Maybe "convince your husband" comes slightly before that...

I day dream about spending two months of every summer with the kids, lakeside, in a small dwelling, something that keeps the bugs away while you sleep.  Indoor plumbing and a roof that doesn't leak are suggestions...I am not sure that we NEED electricity...but, I think you need power to keep the hot water tank humming (I definitely NEED hot water, don't I?)...Candlelight scrabble games, and songs around the bonfire are enough evening entertainment for me.  No internet, no TV, no coffee machine, no stove, no video games, no movies, no air conditioning, no rice cooker, no hair dryer...these are city perks! 

I want to fill the crooked, hand painted (by me) kitchen cupboards with thrifty mix n' match dishes...and drape the most garish floral tablecloths over the dining room table that came with the property (we would need at least two table cloths because the table is ridiculously long, in fact although its in pretty good condition, the last owners didn't take it because it was just too was probably built by their handy uncle)..

I volunteer to mow the lawn, tend to the tomato plants and herb garden, repair the screens on the windows and caulk everywhere (to keep the bugs out)...but I may need some help to repair the old dock...

I will give the exterior, and interior, a nice fresh coat of paint...and wouldn't the old hardwood floors be charming painted a soft green colour?...I will scout for the perfect pull out couch bed (a comfy one, brand new, for guests) and scour garage sales for pre-loved coffee tables and a chair...

I'm not worried if the drive, the lack of electricity, or the slanted floor of the screen porch keeps some visitors from returning...I know my idea of cottage living is not for everyone!

I haven't spent much time wondering how the laundry gets done, or where the groceries come from, or how much sunscreen & polysporin you need to bring with you to last the full season...I'm not sure what we will do about the leaky faucet (let it keep dripping or consult the old TIME LIFE diy books sitting on the windowsill?) ...I'm not really pre-occupied with these details.

Am I looking for a brand new winterized four bedroom modern home on the water, or a condo at blue mountain?  They are shiny and new and convenient.  Except I want rustic, old, and comfortable.  I am not looking to duplicate what we have in the city, I want an escape. You know when you take a deep breath in and then slowly exhale, you know that moment of relaxation and release you get from such a simple exercise? This is the feeling I want to capture in our cottage.


  1. I think you can find something that gives you the rustic feel but still has a stove :-)

    Some of my favourite cottage memories are going to the cottage for Thanksgiving - crisp fall air, leaves changing colour and the smell of the turkey in the OVEN.

    Trust me, you'll want electicity and a stove. I'm down with no tv and lots of board games, but girl, you might want a warm shower or the ability to make a meal without lighting a fire :-)

  2. Ok J...perhaps solar panels for basic power necessities, and so that I can make you a proper thanksgiving meal!

  3. Sounds heavenly! Except that indoor plumping would definitely be on my requirement list.

    We are going to a cottage in the Muskokas with my family this summer, a cottage with 200 acres and it's own private lake. I fully expect that, coming home, I'll be thinking about a second property before our first is even done being renovated!

  4. As someone with a cottage in the Laurentians outside Montreal - electricity is a good good thing, as is a hot shower, especially with kids.


  5. i admire those who want that full on rustic on the other hand, need the full out amenities..

  6. We bought our cottage at the end of last season when my wife was pregnant too (by the way - CONGRATULATIONS!), ended up closing on the cottage 2 days after our daughter was born. Made for an incredibly busy and eventful fall.

    I agree about keeping it rustic, old and comfortable, but personally i would recommend electricity and indoor plumbing.

  7. Sounds lovely. I was with you the whole way EXCEPT a coffee maker is a must at the cottage.

  8. hmm - just thinking that a fridge is pretty important...

    ...we have a french press that will take care of any need for caffeine!!!

  9. I love the idea of going off the grid! Solar panels can definitely take care of any power requirements in terms of cooking, etc. and really, who needs to shower at the cottage? That's what the lake is for! :)

  10. Sounds lovely. I was with you the whole way EXCEPT a coffee maker is a must at the cottage.