We want all the benefits of contemporary living, but we prefer and old-home feel so when we saw Ian Macdonald’s latest project we fell in love instantly. Called the Go Home Bay Cabin, the dwelling is nestled in a forested slope of Canada’s Georgian Bay archipelago in southern Ontario and is a great example of how to mix traditional architecture with modern ideas.

Taking its inspiration from the humble wood cabin, the house provides a contemporary spin on this centuries-old housing scheme, losing none of its charm and modesty. The charcoal-colored cabin cantilevers over a rocky hillside and is oriented toward the water, with trees partly hiding it from view, blending into the surrounding forest. The architect aimed to create a sense of anticipation for visitors, who access the home by boat.

Designed with the option to be inhabited all year round if needed, the low-slung cabin features large openings that open and connect indoors and outdoors, when the weather allows, but also cozy corners – such as a sitting cove, complete with a woodstove – for the colder months.

In opposition to the black-stained cedar shingles that clad the exterior, the interior is defined by amber-hued fir, creating a contrast that reinforces the desired feeling of the cabin as a cozy place.

Simple and efficient, the dwelling contains a sequence of spaces intended to underscore the home’s connection to the scenic terrain. The view unfolds as the visitors enter the house and pass through the long kitchen that runs through the house, also serving as a corridor. The generous living area on one side is matched by bedrooms on the other end of the long, rectilinear building.

Floor-to-ceiling windows that meld with a screened-in porch with glass doors frame the bay’s spectacular views while exposed ceiling beams and built-in furniture — all made of wood — help create a warm ambiance.

Ian Macdonald’s contemporary cottage is the perfect woodland retreat for a family who loves the outdoors. It represents reflection of nature packaged in a humble, yet beautiful, modern cabin – providing a clear vision into the future of this well known and cherished architectural archetype.

Contemporary Cottage Designed By Ian Macdonald (1)

Contemporary Cottage Designed By Ian Macdonald (2)

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island cottage hidden in the woods by Ian Macdonald (3)




woodland retreat in Ontario Canada (4)

woodland retreat in Ontario Canada (5)

cozy cottage interior - Ian Macdonald (8)

cozy cottage interior - Ian Macdonald (6)

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warm cottage interior - project by Ian Macdonald (6)

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warm & cozzy cabin interior (9)

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photo credit : Ian Macdonald