“I guess I’d call it urban country,” interior designer Catlin Stothers says of the look she helped her clients achieve with an addition to their lakefront home in the Laurentians region of northern Quebec, Canada. The existing house, set on a spectacular site surrounded by nature, was full of industrial metal, white walls, concrete, glass and wood accents. Stothers incorporated views of the site and materials used in the main house into the addition, which she designed with the help of a builder. In the new master suite, she incorporated the comfortable touches a bedroom needs, creating a space that’s not only clean-lined and spacious, but also warm, cozy and inviting.
Photos by Drew Hadley
Master Suite at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple with grown children
Location: The Laurentians, about an hour’s drive north of Montreal
Size: 460 square feet (43 square meters) for bedroom; 200 square feet (18.6 square meters) for bathroom
Designer: Catlin Stothers
The new master suite is on the second floor of the home’s addition, which also includes an office, a laundry room, guest bedrooms and more.
“The existing house had an industrial feel, with concrete floors, lots of glass and metal, catwalks, and wood ceilings,” Stothers says. “We wanted to create continuity with the architecture but also make it a cozy sanctuary space.” By using warm wood, a stacked stone fireplace and timber construction, the room can swing modern or more rustic and traditional, depending on the furniture and accessory choices. These homeowners wanted to keep things on the modern side.
The walnut floor matches the hardwoods in other parts of the house. The ceiling and beams are carefully selected pine. “We used the least knotty pieces we could find and really labored over the color. We went through many, many samples of stains to make sure they weren’t too yellow or orange,” Stothers says. She chose a matte finish to keep the wood looking raw and not too processed.
The beams around the room have recesses for LED light strips that are set on dimmers. “They glow and make it so cozy at night,” she says.
The plush bed has a thick upholstered headboard, a soft contrast to the hard surfaces. “I like a low-profile, clean-lined bed for a modern look — especially in here, where it keeps the view out the windows open,” Stothers says. “But this room’s proportions could also accommodate a bed with a high headboard or even a traditional canopy.”
Gray stain and oil finish: Prato-Verde
Stothers also designed a new fireplace that works with different design styles. With hot rolled steel on the surround and clean lines on the hearth and bench, the fireplace works well with modern styling. But because she chose stacked stone, the room could go more rustic. The quartz ledge serves as a bench and display shelf.
Working with the contractors who were designing the way the timber construction’s exposed trusses would work, Stothers got busy planning for the windows and the fireplace. “The rest of the house has these wide walls of windows that make the most of the views,” she says. “The homeowners tell me they are in awe of how much the landscape changes every season up here, and the views give the master suite a treehouse-like feel.”
Stacked stone: Alderwood, Eldorado Stone; gas fireplace insert: Valor
The designer exaggerated the window openings to make the most of the views, which function like art that changes with the seasons. She also opted to go with wood frames for the trim rather than the black metal used in the rest of the house. This lends a cozier, woodsier feel.
The spheres are made of wicker. “A lot of times, people feel like they have to fill a corner with a piece of furniture, but sometimes all it takes is just a form. I love to use spheres like this. They add a sculptural detail.”
The walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace. “I love this white because there is no yellow in it, it’s not cold like some decorator whites, and it really takes on the environment around it,” she says.
Her clients found the antique rug, which pulls in the subtle grays found in the wood stain and on the rocks and silvery frozen lake outside. “We didn’t want anything flashy or with too much pattern,” Stothers says. “This one is just right. It’s distressed, muted, adds a little texture and can stand up to their two dogs.”
The master bath and closet originally proposed by the builder were small. “It was disproportionate to the rest of the house, and we really needed a nice flow from the bedroom to the bathroom,” Stothers says. An oversize barn door in coordinating pine adds just a few black metal details to tie in with the rest of the house. The bathtub and a wide-open view to the hillside behind the house can be seen from all the way across the bedroom.
“I wanted everything to feel really organic and natural in here,” the designer says. “Not 1 inch of drywall.” She knew that covering the walls and floor could be really expensive in so much square footage but lucked out when she found the last batch of a stonelike ceramic tile for about $3 per square foot. “It really feels like stone and is an even warmer gray than it appears in the photographs,” she says.
Speaking of warm, all these windows are triple-paned and keep the house well-insulated. The floors have radiant heat, and there is a towel warmer next to the shower. The baseboard-style heater below is heated by hot water and helps keep the room nice and toasty.
The door to the right leads to a small water closet that contains the toilet and a small sink.
She chose a clean-lined and minimalist vanity in blond white oak to keep the focus on the bathtub and window. The door to the left leads to the master closet. The light fixture with the bare bulb introduces the texture of rope and adds an industrial element.
Vanity: Wetstyle; light fixture: CB2
Balconies extend across the front and back of the house. Stothers chose railings made of aviation cables to keep the views clear. “The large rocks out the window are just incredible. It almost looks like an art installation,” she says.
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