A Place of Their Own
A unique loft hideaway for the grown-up kids.
As a family grows up, and the kids trade in their pails and shovels for more mature toys, it might be a great idea to create a special hideaway that gives the teenagers some privacy, but still keeps them close enough for parental comfort.
Builder Trent Topping recently had the chance to work on just such a project, constructing a dual-function building that houses the canoes, tools, and snowmobiles in the lower level garage, while opening up the ideal entertainment and games room in the loft above.
This building is certainly not your average two-storied garage! The floor on the lower level glows with an epoxy gloss finish embossed into the concrete. Rustic storage cabinets are designed to perfectly fit the space, as well as serving to hide the hot water tank and pump. The workbench provides plenty of room for a handyman, and there is a custom-made rack for the canoes. Even the garage doors have visual appeal, with intriguing black hardware highlighted against the warm wooden tones.
Quirky design in the loft
A sturdy post and beam exterior stairway leads to the upper loft, which is full of appealing quirky touches and a relaxing but creative interior design.
The ceiling consists of whitewashed narrow horizontal wood slats, contrasting with broader vertical whitewashed boards on the wainscoting. The rough natural rustic timbers show up beautifully against the pale wood surfaces. The flooring is rough-sawn hemlock, and there is a stone propane fireplace, complete with stylish antique grates for safe venting.
Skylights add a cheerful vibe to the main room. Overnight guests can use the pull-out couch, and the central ping-pong table can be easily relocated and stored. The room is fully wired for sound, with equipment tucked away out of sight.
Another skylight illuminates the washroom, which captures the rustic style through its stone flooring and matching countertop displaying interesting colour striations.
The ‘Fred Flintstone’ touch
The highlight of the room is the utterly unique beverage counter. “The owner asked for a ‘Flintstone’ bar,” says Trent, “and he was thrilled when he saw what we did.”
A hardwood tree from British Columbia was cut flat on the top, leaving the original bark on the sides, complete with its naturally decorative cluster burls. After careful cleaning of the burls with a dremel tool, a clear satin varathane was applied to highlight the grains, knots, and contrasting hues. The spalted maple provides beautiful shades and patterns in the wood.
The entire bar is supported at both ends by massive stone slabs, each weighing approximately 700 pounds and precision-cut for an exact fit. Rustic cupboards underneath the countertop complete the effect, together with a copper sink and antique-style faucet.
A retreat like this is bound to attract lots of guests, but it is also sure to keep them happily occupied when the weather isn’t conducive to the usual outdoor activities. With a room of their own, it’s a pretty safe bet that the teenagers will be happy to come up to the cottage, but it should come as no surprise if they want to bring their friends along to share such a fabulous hideaway. CCH
Photos: Robert Nelson