Oke Woodsmith enhances outdoor space
Inspired by the lush landscape that surrounded their beautiful Grand Bend estate, Tony and Fran yearned to create an outdoor entertainment area that would provide a place for their family and friends to enjoy.
They wanted it to 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. “They 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 had undergone a handful of renovations over the years, most of which were executed by Oke Woodsmith. Thus, very familiar with the process of renovation, Tony and Fran were not frightened by the prospect of dismantling their former pool house to provide space to construct a cozy cabana. 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 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 adapted to the Canadian climate.
Built within the original footprint of the dismantled pool house, the new 458-square-foot cabana was an
oasis. Equipped with a large retractable screen door, the cabana’s sitting room invited you to engage with the surrounding scenery. An intimate seating area was created with comfortable outdoor inspired furniture from Grand Bend’s Casual Industries. Oke’s designers worked diligently to create a space that was not strictly a summer room but would function as a three-season haven in which the family could entertain or enjoy independently. The cabana was fully insulated and equipped with a shutter system, electrical heating, and
a charming fireplace that was functional and inviting.
Designed to be an open concept space, the cabana’s living area flows freely into a well-designed kitchen, equipped with high-end appliances, including an indoor BBQ. Mirroring the clean and almost minimalistic design theme the couple had in mind for the space, the kitchen was outfitted with stainless steel, black, and grey fixtures.
The entire cabana was finished with rich cedar paneling. The wood aesthetic functioned as homage to the estate’s landscape, while simultaneously recalling a nautical vibe. To the left of the kitchen, Oke designed a small bathroom featuring a large glass shower and luxurious marble accents.
In the kitchen, a second retractable screen, fixed above the sink, opens the cooking area to the green utopia that lies just metres beyond the cabana walls. When retracted, the screen revealed an outdoor granite bar, which was ideal for hosting formal summer dinner parties or simply relaxing with casual cocktails. The exterior of the cabana was composed of beautifully textured warm grey stone.
When the sun set, an automatic lighting system illuminated the gardens, pond, and gazebo. “We really wanted to do something different,” exclaims Tony. “And we knew that the Okes would not disappoint.”