Parkview Cabana

Inspired by the lush landscape that surrounds their beautiful Grand Bend estate, Tony and Fran yearned to create an outdoor entertainment area that would provide a means for their family and friends to enjoy and engage with the stunning gardens and green space that surround the property, while blending seamlessly with the existing residence. Personally and professionally connected with the Oke family for several decades, the couple knew immediately who to contact to bring their vision to life. “We enjoy the Oke Woodsmith concept,” Tony explains. “Their men are very thorough and follow each job through from start to finish. They always do great work.”

Originally built in 1972 by Tony himself, the property’s main house has undergone a handful of
renovations over the years, most of which have been executed by Oke Woodsmith. Thus, very familiar with the process of renovation, Tony and Fran were not frightened by the prospect of dismantling their current pool house to provide the space to construct a cozy cabana; a serene sanctuary that would not only allow for the appreciation of the scenic estate, but would also provide all of the comforts of a luxurious interior living space. The couple had been captivated by an image of a lavish outdoor room they had clipped from a popular design magazine and had hoped to recreate the space on their own property. After an exciting brainstorming session with the Oke Woodsmith design team, the couple decided that the inspirational design, although beautiful, was limited in terms of functionality.
Building upon the aspects of the original design inspiration that intrigued the couple the most, Oke’s team crafted a beautiful proposal for a space that would undoubtedly be more adaptable to our Canadian climate.

Built within the original footprint of the dismantled pool house, so not to impact the exquisite landscape, the 458 square foot cabana is an oasis; a quiet retreat surrounded by lush gardens, a serene pond, and thick woods. Tony’s garden is most definitely the focal point of the estate. Bursting with life and colour, it is a vibrant space enjoyed by the whole family, including their little dog, Zoe. Equipped with a large retractable screen, the cabana’s sitting room invites you to engage with the surrounding scenery. An intimate seating area was created with comfortable outdoor inspired furniture from Grand Bend’s Casual Industries. Warmth and light beam in through the beautiful large panel windows, while a gentle breeze and the glorious sent of fresh country air filters in through the screen and embraces the space. A soft shag carpet warms the cool grey tile, juxtaposing the comforts of a traditional living space with the present ambiance of the outdoor room experience. With that said, Oke’s designers worked diligently to create a space that was not strictly a summer room, but rather functioned as a three-season haven in which the family could entertain or enjoy independently. The cabana is fully insulated and equipped with a shutter system, electrical heating, and a charming fireplace that is functional and inviting. For the warmer seasons, a sculptural and quirky ceiling fan, purchased from London’s Living Lighting, is fixed to the vaulted ceiling. Whether it is enjoying cocktail hour and a catch up with
friends, or simply settling in with a good book, the cabana’s seating area is universally inviting, providing those who frequent the space with maximum comfort and style.

Designed to be an open concept space, the living area flows freely into a brilliantly designed kitchen, featuring immaculate quality appliances, including the highly coveted indoor BBQ. A stunning manifestation of the clean and almost minimalistic design theme the couple had in mind for the space, the kitchen is composed entirely out of stainless steel, black, and grey fixtures. In an effort to seamlessly connect with the breezeway to the main house – an area that is original to the home and functioned as a hallway to the indoor sauna and hot tub that was once housed there – the entirety of the cabana has been outfitted with rich cedar wood paneling. The wood aesthetic functions as homage to the landscape that truly encapsulates the estate, while simultaneously recalling a nautical vibe: an ambiance that speaks to the family’s interest in travel and sailing. To the left of the kitchen, Oke designed a small bathroom featuring a grand glass shower and luxurious marble accents. Painted in Benjamin Moore’s Alexandria Beige, the elegant bathroom feels warm and indulgent.

In the kitchen, a second retractable screen, fixed above the sink, opens the cooking area to the green utopia that lies just meters beyond the cabana walls. When retracted, the screen reveals an outdoor granite bar, absolutely ideal for hosting formal summer dinner parties, or simply relaxing with casual cocktails. The exterior of the cabana is composed of beautifully textured warm grey stone, an earthy feature that was expertly paired with the sophisticated Benjamin Moore hue, Weimeraner. As the sun dims, an automatic lighting system works to highlight the estate’s exquisite gardens, pond, and gazebo. “We really wanted to do something different,” exclaims Tony. “And we knew that the Oke boys would not disappoint.” And he was right; the family’s finished cabana is an absolute Eden. “We couldn’t be happier.”

Credits: Story by: SYDNEY VAN KERREBROECK , Photos by: kelseyokephotography.com

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