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, neelamgurm.com; 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.