Galetta Country House

Galetta, ON

A Not-So-Big country house is environmentally friendly and big on warmth and charm and flexibility.

The house is set on a 2 acre wooded lot along the Ottawa River, near the village of Galetta. The inviting wrap around front verandah, the oversized river-facing roof overhang, and the side screened porch all speak of lots of places to laze about on long summer days. The airy and open rooms of the interior plan contrast with the complex jumble of distinct exterior forms. These multi-textured forms create the interesting dormers and identify the separate interior zones of space. The contrasting interior-exterior theme continues with the stately Arts & Crafts cladding and the warm "cottage-style" knotty pine clad interior beams and mouldings. Horizontal stone banding, giant wood brackets and a mixture of cedar shingles and pine trim soften the formal "castle-like" stone face of the house. The many dormers of differing heights, sizes and materials animate a majestic and steeply pitched roofline.

One dominant exterior form is the octagon-turret, which houses a large kitchen on the ground floor and a Master bedroom on the second floor, all with spectacular views in 4 directions. The sophisticated kitchen uses inlaid maple and cherry cabinets and a large butcher-block island for full participation in family cooking. As a modest 2,600 s.f., 3-bedroom home with no basement, built-ins, like desks, loft-beds, a pantry, mudroom cubbies and bookcases are essential features for keeping the clutter of life under control.

The country simplicity theme is continued with an exposed, but painted, heated slab ground floor and radiant heated exposed plywood second floor. Modest children's bedrooms are dramatised with soaring ceilings, built-in lofts and interconnected with sliding doors. An oversized and naturally light hallway accommodates a shared computer-office space. Overall the home is a study in contrasts of simplicity and complexity, openness and privacy and country-warmth with stately charm.