Tri­cia Mc­mas­ter be­lieves in tak­ing the long way home. That, af­ter all, is how her

Country Sampler's Prarie Style - - Modern Pioneer - By tak­ing a scenic route home from his job as an


hus­band, Mark, stum­bled upon the log cot­tage in ru­ral On­tario, an hour west of Toronto, which soon would be­come their dream home. “We’re from a small town, and we’d been look­ing for a place in the coun­try for years,” says Tri­cia, who par­layed her ex­pe­ri­ence as an an­tiques dealer into a new ca­reer de­sign­ing jew­elry from vin­tage pieces. The en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tist wasn’t per­fect—a bad roof and floors were just a cou­ple of the in­dig­ni­ties it had suf­fered since its dove­tail as­sem­bly from a Pan Abode kit in 1974. “But we had a vi­sion,” Tri­cia in­sists. “On 25 acres at the end of the road, the house is on a hill over­look­ing two small ponds. We didn’t care that it needed a lot of work. To us, it just said, ‘Wel­come home.’ ” It also said one-of-a-kind char­ac­ter. “This wasn’t just a reg­u­lar big-box house. It was a re­ally dif­fer­ent, cool house that fit us per­fectly,” Tri­cia ex­plains. Its in­ter­lock­ing 6 x 4 formed red-cedar tim­bers were stun­ners. They cre­ated vis­ual rhythm on the walls and ceil­ings, wrap­ping spaces like the sunny, multi- win­dowed liv­ing room in warmth even on cold win­ter days. “They were pretty much what the house had go­ing for it,” Tri­cia notes. That, and a quirky floor plan that re­sulted, in part, from prior ren­o­va­tions. “Though not large, the house has a wind­ing feel. There’s noth­ing stan­dard about it.” What was orig­i­nally a porch, for ex­am­ple, is now a long, lean din­ing room. It flows through the home al­most like a cen­ter hall, with the kitchen and liv­ing room on ei­ther side. It, along with 12 other ar­eas, jux­ta­poses rus­tic logs with el­e­gant crys­tal chan­de­liers that Tri­cia sourced while an an­tiques dealer. Tri­cia ap­proached dec­o­rat­ing as she does fash­ion and her own jew­elry de­signs. “It doesn’t have to match, it just has to go,” she says. To give the house con­ti­nu­ity, she re­placed all six ex­te­rior doors (“For a small home, it has a lot of en­tries!”) with leaded- glass wood-frame doors that let in the light. Then she painted each door black. “Black works with the log ex­te­rior, and it dis­tin­guishes these doors from the oth­ers inside.” “The doors, hard­ware, flooring and win­dows are what I wanted to be the fo­cal points, so I off­set these with a blank can­vas,” Tri­cia notes. The liv­ing room fur­ni­ture is comfy white leather; din­ing room chairs sport more rus­tic ivory paint; white bead­board cloaks the bath­room walls; and a white chest makes a cameo in the sun­room. “I dec­o­rated with neu­trals as a start­ing point— cream, white, gray and black—and then threw in pops of color as I found them,” Tri­cia says. “I never rushed out to put some­thing in the house just to get it done. This house is a re­sult of many years of deal­ing an­tiques and stum­bling across these cooler pieces.”

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