This cozy cabin is so much more than a spot to keep warm while the kids play shinny.


A cozy cabin that’s more than just a spot to keep warm while the kids play shinny

Come win­ter­time, the Pix­ley brood doesn’t hole up. In­stead, Clau­dia, 12, Anna, 9, and Wil­liam, 7, don warm lay­ers, lace up and get on the ice. “Our kids want to skate all the time. Once the water freezes over, they’re out here al­most ev­ery night, of­ten with their friends or cousins,” says mom Kristyn, re­fer­ring to the hal­facre man-made pond on the fam­ily’s 10-acre slice of chilly par­adise near Oko­toks, Alta.

For their part, Kristyn and her hus­band, Mike, grew weary of teethchat­ter­ing evenings spent su­per­vis­ing out­doors, so in 2014, they had a tim­ber cabin built at the pond’s edge. Fondly re­ferred to as the “skate shack,” the rough-hewn 180-square-foot struc­ture quickly ce­mented it­self as a hot spot for adults to con­gre­gate and catch up, al­though it was bare-bones and rapidly ac­cu­mu­lat­ing clut­ter. “We de­cided to pol­ish it off to make it re­ally cozy and stylish, so we could all en­joy great com­pany while the kids skate,” says Kristyn, who brought in de­signer Nee­lam Gurm to do just that.

Fo­cus­ing first and fore­most on func­tion, Nee­lam pro­posed stor­age and seat­ing in the form of a built-in bench as well as a small bar area for serv­ing drinks and snacks. Chan­nelling Cana­di­ana, the de­signer

in­tro­duced lay­ers of faux fur, knits and plaid, as well as wood­land-in­spired el­e­ments, such as a cheeky antler-look chan­de­lier. “In a small space like this, it’s fun to ex­plore a theme,” says Nee­lam, who kept to a quiet grey-scale palette to main­tain a modern air.

“It’s been a thrill to learn that the home­own­ers fre­quent the space even when the kids aren’t on the ice,” says the de­signer. Kristyn con­firms: “Some­times Mike and I will have a lit­tle date night here. We’re still on the prop­erty, near the kids, but it’s a quiet place we can un­wind and check in with a glass of wine.”


ABOVE This place is an arena for light­hearted fun, as the play­ful wall hang­ing over the built-in bar at­tests. DE­SIGN, Pat­terns and Prosecco In­te­ri­ors, nee­; tim­ber STRUC­TURE, STOOLS & BAR COUN­TER­TOP, Crazy Creek Tim­ber Frame Struc­tures; Hori­zon OC-53 WALL PAINT, As­phalt CC-548 FLOOR & TRIM PAINT, Ben­jamin Moore; CHAN­DE­LIER, The Shabby Antler; metal STOOL, wire BAS­KET, Struc­tube; RUG, faux fur THROWS, deer can­vas PRINT, cream faux fur TOSS CUSH­ION, HomeSense; cream knit THROWS & TOSS CUSH­ION, grey faux fur TOSS CUSH­ION, Indigo; grey suede TOSS CUSH­ION, grey felt TOSS CUSH­ION, TRAY (on bar), wine CRATE, “fam­ily” LET­TERS, Ur­ban Barn; plaid BENCH & TOSS CUSH­ION FAB­RIC, Tonic Liv­ing; wooden BINS, IKEA; metal PAILS (on tray), Michaels; TIC-TAC-TOE SET, VASES, Crate and Bar­rel.

TOP, LEFT Through­out the space, open stor­age so­lu­tions like cub­bies and hooks turn skate gear into decor. Made from a vin­tage-look hockey stick, this wall hook rack is a whim­si­cal case in point.

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