B Y D A L E P E A C O C K / / P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y S A N D Y M A C K AY
Blayne and Jennifer Hutchins’ custom-built
With its cathedral ceiling, tall pine timbers and comfy
furniture, the living room of the Hutchins’ home is a
warm, welcoming space. RIGHT: A wooden church pew
with a sundried finish is a convenient seat for donning
or doffing boots and shoes in the slate-floored foyer.
FAR RIGHT: Tech Air Systems tapped Fairy Lake for
the home’s geothermal heating system.
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6,500 sq. ft. home is perched like a welcoming beacon on 350 feet of Fairy
Lake shoreline at the end of a long country lane. “This is a big house but
we needed both a home and cottage for our large family and as a model for
our business,” Jennifer says. Their business, Attainable Solutions Inc., is
a Tarion-registered builder offering design builds for custom construction
projects from planning to completion. Blayne built their house and did
most of the work with his crew.
The Hutchins’ home has three exceptional features that bring value
and fine aesthetics to any home – an impressive entryway and great room
and a low lakeside elevation. The magnificent soaring timber frame work
in the living room, decks and entranceway is grand but has a natural,
organic sensibility. It is a tribute to the fine workmanship of Timmerman
Timberworks Inc. of Minesing. The house sits on the site in such a way
that “we don’t have to chase the sun” says Jennifer. “It’s always bright, even
on a dreary day, and the sunsets are breathtaking.”
Attainable’s origin as a landscape company shows in the perfect balance
between building and landscape architecture and the natural habitat.
The exterior of the house is pre-stained charcoal board and batten
with cedar shake highlights and accents of limestone four feet from
the ground. Blayne’s favourite building element is the complicated roof
line. It adds visual interest and is something of a design signature for
his company. Continued on page 32
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tree mosaic is the backdrop for a six-burner
gas stove and electric ovens, flanked by
antiqued cabinetry. (2) Seedy glass doors
front the built-in dining room hutch. (3)
Blayne and Jennifer with children Jordan,
10, Jake, 2, Jaxson, 5, and Georgia, 8. (4)
The ground-floor powder room has a granite
countertop with a smoked glass vessel
sink. (5) The three-season Muskoka room
promises cooling breezes and sunset views.
(6) A farmer’s sink with oiled bronze fixtures
fits snugly into the granite counter top.
Jennifer loves the kitchen, with its clean lines and cream-coloured
custom cabinetry with oil-rubbed bronze hardware. The multi-toned
granite countertop provides a meeting place between light and dark.
Joseph Giorgio was their sales associate at Caplan’s Appliances in
Toronto. “He was knowledgeable, helpful and kind,” remembers Jennifer.
“He asked about how our family lives and then tailored his suggestions
accordingly. When he realized that we were going to hide some appliances
behind custom doors he recommended a KitchenAid fridge over a pricier
Sub-Zero model.” A double-layer chocolate cake sitting on the granite
counter attests to the frequent use the Dacor double-oven range gets
each and every day. Continued on page 34
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A gas fireplace, surrounded by stone and a wooden
hearth, helps make the great room ruggedly comfortable.
OPPOSITE TOP: An elegant dining area bridges the kitchen
and living room. OPPOSITE BOTTOM: The distinctive
roof line is an Attainable Solutions Inc. signature feature.
Aquatech installed the outdoor lighting. Jennifer enlisted the help of Urban Rustic Living’s Tary Roossien
in the interior design, “because she has an eye for design that I don’t have.”
Tary smilingly disagrees, “Jen has a great sense of style and she knows
what she wants. The house had great bones when I arrived. I just helped
with some finishing touches.”
Part of the design cohesion derives from the wide-plank pine flooring
and the unified colour scheme in the main living spaces. Featherdown is
a soft understated shade by Benjamin Moore from Wilson’s The Paint
Store in Huntsville. Jennifer chuckles, “Our last house had at least 25
different colours and shades and I swore that in this house one colour
would be predominant.”
Tary calls the overall esthetic, Muskoka chic, saying “It’s not rustic
but it has the feel of country that combines practicality, comfort and style.
Continued on page 36
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We used corduroy slipcovers on the living room sofa that can be switched
out in the summer to something lighter. Custom pillows add a nice shot
of colour in all of the rooms and they make for an easy change.”
The home is also school for the Hutchins’ four children, Jordan,
Georgia, Jaxson and Jake. The decision to home school followed the loss
of baby Darcy six years ago and the realization that their son Jaxson,
now healthy thanks to sister Georgia’s bone marrow donation, had the
same immune deficiency that made normal childhood exposure to germs
potentially life threatening.
A picture wall assembled under an Always and Forever vintage
sign holds family photos, including those of little Darcy. “It’s Jen’s
favourite spot,” Tary says. “We did the wall in such a way that it tells
the family story and it helps keep Darcy’s memory alive. The canvaswrapped frames add a lovely design element and the collection is in an
area that has space to stand back and ponder the photos and to really
appreciate them.”
The master bedroom features a live edge bed made of local kiln-dried
pine by Urban Rustic Living. The en suite bath is crisp and modern, but
pops of colour in the pretty linens and a rustic stool and nubby throw
rug add warmth and texture to the space. The kids’ bath time often takes
place in Mom and Dad’s oversized cast-iron Recor tub that sits perched
atop four chrome-plated feet. Continued on page 40
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: (1) Stairs made of
laminated hemlock lead to the second-floor bedrooms.
(2) Pretty linens add pops of colour to the en suite
bathroom. (3) A comfy tub overlooks the lake. (4) A
countertop of honed Algonquin limestone surrounds hisand-her sinks. (5) The master bedroom’s pine ceiling and
trim complement the live edge bed by Urban Rustic Living.
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Bringing the Best out of the Forest
Full Planning & Design Services
Cottages, Homes, Boat Houses,
Pergola’s, Gazebo’s
Additions & Re-builds
Always & Forever, the picture wall of
canvas-wrapped photos in the hall near the
master bedroom, tells the family story.
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LEFT: A bright, cheery space with big
windows on the ground floor is the
classroom for the Hutchins’ children
who are all home-schooled. BELOW: A
white iron bed offers tranquil comfort
in a guest bedroom upstairs. BOTTOM:
Georgia’s pink and white bedroom has
a window seat that overlooks the lake.
It suits the family’s “faith, family and friends” philosophy to spend
vacation time right at home. “I was inspired by the open door policy of the
Anderson family from Faith Baptist Church when I was a child,” Blayne
recalls. “I want our home to be the same kind of place for people of all ages
to gather and go for a swim or water-ski or to challenge each other to a
fun game of beach volleyball.”
Looking back, Jennifer and Blayne recall the year-long building process
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as relatively smooth. “Construction goes much faster when you only have
to turn to one another to get a decision,” offers Blayne. Jennifer interjects,
“Honestly, building this house was such a pleasure that I can imagine
doing it again.” Blayne laughs and teases, “Maybe that’s because you didn’t
do the actual building!”
Given the joy the family feels for their home, another move doesn’t
seem likely anytime soon. OH
Solutions Inc.