Manitou Lodge

Good food is a huge focus in Canadian households and the Manitou Lodge delivers one uber cool kitchen space for weekends away.

Photos by Sergio Sabag

Let’s face it everyone is cooking crazy these days, every time I watch MasterChef I genuinely consider having a blast chiller installed in my kitchen – so to see this amazingly adapted kitchen which is the central focus of the Manitou Lodge, in Ontario Canada which has been renovated by Prototype Design Lab (PDL) I nearly flipped a gasket.

The original space had a commercial application so PDL's mandate was to transition the client's desire for a restaurant kitchen that maintained a feeling of homeliness to become in essence their home away from home.

What is lovely about this space is that it is a mix of modern and vintage fixtures. Cool grey marble benches and barn style wooden beams contrast spectacularly against a cook top that was definitely designed for professionals.

The overhead pendant lights shadowing the bench, and dining stools together with the contemporary proportions of this communal table speak of both industrial and commercial. Yet there is also an atmosphere that harks back to some bygone era when kitchens were enormous cavernous spaces with dozens of staff.

These contemporary design elements are fused by chalk boards and cool fonts that juxtapose nicely against the contemporary version of this modern bureau – which houses all the dinnerware for each dazzling dining occasion that takes place here.

One of my favourite inclusions is the casual representation of the scrawled upon table with cool etchings that urge you to love what’s on your plate. It's this sentiment that makes Manitou Lodge, cool, edgy yet feeling like home. Oh and I want to be locked into one of those industrial cool rooms at the end of kitchen, but the hope of it being full of wine has rather been seen to in the purpose built wine room where fridges and thick wooden beams are both contemporary and cellar from the past all at once.

The living area with its grand fireplace and wood storage competes as a visual feature against the outside garden vista that becomes a focus via the overwhelming floor to ceiling windows.

Black modular L shaped sofas reside rather nicely against the eclectic shapes of the white, black and red chairs which have been further complimented by the modern contemporary chandelier.

This house is an entertainers paradise, complete with bar and neon sign urging visitors to drink, it couldn’t get any cooler with the pool queue racked to the left. It also only took seven and a half months to complete.

The bathrooms are an oasis for calm and use stone and lighting to its best advantage. The down lighting and bulkhead lighting under the mirrored cabinetry adds warmth to an area that could have bristled cold without these design features. The raised tub on the wooden flooring and bench seat opposite remind us that sauna's have always been part of people’s ablutions in cold climates.

The cool art of neon lit tree trunks in the theatre room, and the bronze tiles that feature from outside (not pictured) are delightfully interesting features that the clever architects at PDL incorporated to make the Manitou Lodge, one cool retreat.

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