Suzanne & Arriz's Cottage

An off-the-grid Haliburton retreat.H&H editor-in-chief Suzanne Dimma and her husband, 3rd Uncle principal Arriz Hassam, designed this cottage with the environment in mind. Built completely off-the-grid, they wanted a cottage that would blend in with its natural surroundings. They removed the fewest number of trees to build, never even considering razing the site. To the left, a box-like structure is actually a concealed tool shed and workspace, and elevates the home 24 feet into the views of the lake. Inside, the floors are made from reclaimed Douglas fir, adding a warm and cosy feel to the open-concept kitchen/dining/living room. Even the island is encased in reclaimed wood. The house runs on solar power (even the fridge), and a high-efficiency wood-burning stove provides heat. To round out its self-sufficiency, the cottage also features a propane stove and a compost toilet. "There's something so satisfying about living in a place that runs off sunlight and earth and connects so fluidly with nature," says Suzanne.

Related Design Ideas