A Dreamy Lakeside Cottage Embodies the Spirit of Simple Living

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Thanks to its relaxed character and peaceful environment, this warm, simple wood dwelling captures the essence of cottage life.

Just steps from the calm shores of Lac Plaisant in the Mauricie region of Canada is where you'll find the two-story residence known as "Window on the Lake." Designed by Québec–based architecture studio YH2, this 1,507-square-foot home stands on a grassy clearing and overlooks a calm lake.

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With invisible foundations, the house appears to hover above a grassy carpet.

With invisible foundations, the house appears to hover above a grassy carpet.

The house has an expansive open layout, and was designed to serve as a vacation home for the owners. The ground level features a kitchen, living room, dining area, bathroom, and two bedrooms, while a home office and dormitory are located on the second floor.

A look at the slender wooden porch that looks out to the calming waterfront.

A look at the slender wooden porch that looks out to the calming waterfront.

The roof and exterior walls of the house are clad entirely in white cedar boards to present a light volume. The uniform façade exudes purity and calmness. Because the home's foundation is hidden from view, the house appears to float above the grass.

A view of the entrance to the house.

A view of the entrance to the house.

Floor-to-ceiling glass windows seamlessly connect the indoor spaces to the outdoors.

Floor-to-ceiling glass windows seamlessly connect the indoor spaces to the outdoors.

The interior structure, including the floors, walls, and much of the fit-outs are also made of wood, which gives the space a clean, crisp, Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic.

Simple furnishings assist in creating a tranquil indoor/outdoor setting.

Simple furnishings assist in creating a tranquil indoor/outdoor setting.

Three tall glass panels are fitted along both sides of the house, making the inside space feel similar to a light-filled pavilion.

Three tall glass panels are fitted along both sides of the house, making the inside space feel similar to a light-filled pavilion.

The entire lake-facing side of the house is fitted with glass to create a strong visual connection between the lake and the main living areas. On the southern façade, the large double-height gable extends outward to serve as shelter for a small porch.

A small porch on the southern facade leads down to the lake.

A small porch on the southern facade leads down to the lake.

Throughout the fall and winter months, the transparent façade brings in plenty of sunlight to naturally warm the interior, while the trees between the house and the lake help shield the property from the sun's heat during the summer. 

Here is a look at one of the two bedrooms on the ground floor.

Here is a look at one of the two bedrooms on the ground floor.

"The balloon frame, with its exposed wooden studs and joists painted white, gives the building a unique rhythm of shadow and light," says Marie-Claude Hamelin, co-founder of YH2.

There are also two beds in the dormitory on the upper level.

There are also two beds in the dormitory on the upper level.

"Its architecture is restrained and its scale modest, in tune with the clearing and lake. Thanks to its simplicity and refinement, the house embodies our attempt to capture the essence of cottage life—a wooden home designed for vacations, that enable true communion with nature," explains the firm’s other co-founder, Loukas Yiacouvakis.

The gorgeous view from the southern facade.

The gorgeous view from the southern facade.

High ceilings painted white, give the interiors a bright and lofty feel.

High ceilings painted white, give the interiors a bright and lofty feel.

Project Credits:

Architecture: YH2

Builders: Construction Daniel Matteau