National Post .  Jul 28 2005 . Lisa Van de Ven

Natural elements and comfy furnishings: ‘Cozy cottage’: Design inspired by gorgeous views from every room

“Rustic elegance” is how Janice Wilson sums up her design at The Pine model for TrailsHead Golf & Residence Club in Collingwood.

Looking for a relaxed ambience, Ms. Wilson — of Janice Wilson Design in Toronto — integrated comfortable furniture pieces and natural elements to establish a cozy cottage feel.

“The whole idea … was that it would be very rustic but elegant,” says Ms. Wilson. “I wanted to create a real textured effect.”

The 1,698-square-foot three-bedroom cabin combines model vignettes with sales office elements, all designed by Ms. Wilson to showcase the furnished fractional ownership log cabins available at TrailsHead. She centred much of the design around the views outside, with open-concept spaces styled to make the most of the sightlines. “Every time you walk into a room, you have a gorgeous view, a sightline that’s going to get your eyes to gaze outside,” the designer says.

Drawing on those outside views for inspiration, Ms. Wilson centred the cabin’s great room around a fireplace laid by hand using stones indigenous to the Collingwood area. The space also features a custom-designed sectional sofa upholstered in cream-coloured faux suede with accent cushions adding colour to the space. Two buffalo-leather club chairs finish off the seating area. “It’s actually American buffalo hide,” says Ms. Wilson. “When you sit in it, it’s a very rich texture. A wonderful seat that you can sit back in and read or share a drink with friends.”

A sisal area rug defines the space, offering contrast to hickory hardwood installed on a diagonal throughout the rest of the main living area. The hardwood, end tables, sideboard and coffee table have a distressed look to create an antique effect. “I chose furniture that you could feel comfortable with if you wanted to put your feet up, without feeling ‘Oh my God, I’m wrecking the coffee table,’ ” Ms. Wilson says.

In the kitchen, the designer used a lighter wood for the cabinetry — maple with a rubbed finish — and offset them with glass panels. She paired those with a rough-hewn mosaic backsplash in neutral shades and bright-green pots for colour. The countertop is made of Labrador granite from the Canadian Shield. “You want to be able to use materials you can get from your own country,” says Ms. Wilson.

She used the same granite on the kitchen island, which was designed as a casual dining space for eight with stools surrounding it, stained and glazed to match the cabinetry and featuring a country-style design with a plaid upholstered cushion on the seat. “I chose quite an aggressive, woven, tweedy texture for the seats,” the designer says. “Mostly because they stand up better to wear and tear, which you would expect around a kitchen like this, where you’re eating and serving and having friends over.”

The powder room integrates the same Labrador granite countertop as in the kitchen, with medium-toned maple cabinetry and grasscloth on the walls. The mirror is antiqued iron with cut-outs around the perimeter.