When Dan Kelly enlisted the help of his daughter to design the cottage he and his wife Lorrain were building in Norway Bay, he did what any proud father would do - he took her first design and ran with it! Interior designer Karen Chadwick recalls she was a little taken aback with his impulsiveness.
"Before I even knew what was happening my dad had taken my concept to the local builder who promptly got a permit. I was worried because my concept was rough, but they started building with it immediately."
The Kellys were Karen's first clients even before she had completed her two-year interior design program at Montreal's LaSalle College. The whole project turned into a family affair when Karen's sister jumped on board to help with some of the furnishings. But Karen was the professional and had free rein to design and execute the build.
With the budget established and a specified timeline, Karen worked diligently to play up the natural attributes of the lot, which sits right on the Ottawa River. The Kellys had purchased a waterfront cottage and originally considered renovating, but with no family history to the dwelling or the area, the decision to build from scratch was easy. The only sentimental element was the deck, which was built by Karen's late uncle, and she credits contractor Eric Pilon for incorporating the old deck into the new design.
"The contractor did a great job of allowing us to keep the deck intact. It is a nice reminder of good times with my uncle, who my father was very close to."
The views from the year-round cottage are impressive with an overall layout that plays up the location. A NanaWall system of folding glass doors allows for the water to become the focal point, and the river is visible from all aspects of the three-bedroom cottage. Expansive windows create a light, airy feel and the whitewashed pine walls keep the look fresh. Fabrics have a cottage vibe and pay tribute to the laid-back lifestyle that is enjoyed within.
A cottage-style décor includes some vintage-inspired pieces such as the dressers in the master bedroom and the dining table and chairs. Ceiling beams and floors are from Logs End, using reclaimed wood from the Ottawa River. A touch of contemporary styling comes into play in the grand upper bathroom that combines modern fixtures with country fabrics.
The cottage now serves as a family gathering place and really comes alive during the holiday season with Karen, her sister and their families all enjoying the space. In true Norway Bay spirit, the Kellys entertain and keep their doors open to all who wander by. A large centre island in the kitchen functions as the main social hub, which is right in character for a newly built cottage in a community known for serving food and drink whenever the mood strikes!