Photos by Eymeric Widling

When you live far away from your family, you want the time you do get to spend together to count. And in this stunning Makwa Lake residence designed by Lloydminster-based design-build studio Rosswill Homes, the homeowners have the lucky opportunity to enjoy that quality time with a side of casual-cool design.

The couple live in Puerto Rico, but vacation days are spent lakeside in Saskatchewan, where one of the homeowners grew up. Their new 3,989-square foot, six-bedroom home on Makwa Lake is designed with hosting in mind, built right next to Mom and Dad’s cabin. “There is something about Saskatchewan lake life,” says Cristina Rivett, interior designer for Roswill. “The outdoor living is so carefree; beach days, fishing, surfing, riding golf carts to the ice cream shop, lake views and all those summer sunsets too.” The three-storey cabin Rosswill built is intended to “sleep as many guests as possible,” laughs Rivett. In fact, they installed two different bunk rooms with the help of a local millworker, each of which can sleep up to eight guests. “All the cousins can come for a sleepover.”

The top floor is the primary suite, complete with home gym. (It’s also a space where they can work remotely, while overlooking the lake.) In the ensuite, a Restoration Hardware fixture hangs above the tub, while oversized slab tiles line the shower. It’s one of four bathrooms in the home, and each has its own personality: the Jack-and-Jill washroom between the bunk rooms, for instance, has a playful fish-print wallpaper and teal fish-scale-style tiles.

The design platte is what Rivett describes as “on the beachy side,” but one with a regional twist: a wall of decorative firewood brings a Canadiana balance to the surfboard art prints. “It’s light, but still warm and cozy, so even when it snows, we’ve got that warmth.” Hardy engineered hardwood runs through the whole home, save for the white-washed brick in the entryway; a dark, cozy Restoration Hardware Cloud sofa was selected to stand up to sandy kids tumbling from the beach into movie night.

The dining table is from Restoration Hardware, too, though Rivett sourced dining chairs from Crate and Barrel. The kitchen, of course, is the heart of the project (it connects to the sprawling living room, which in turn opens up to the deck through bifold NanaWall doors). Countertops are crisp white quartz, paired with light wood cabinetry with flat panel doors. “It’s all super easy to clean and maintain,” explains Rivett. But that thoughtful minimalism is anything but cold. “The light fixtures over the island bring in texture so it doesn’t fall flat.” Each of the Palecek lamps is a massive 36” in diameter (“We wanted something substantial”) and more textural interest is found in the seagrass counter stools and the plaster-finish hood vent.

But really, all this clean minimalism belies the deep consideration that went into every little detail here: a design plan that takes care of all the practical considerations so that the (Northern) vacation fantasy can become a reality. “The bottom line is, you need materials that are easy to clean, and durable, if you want to host,” says Rivett. “And isn’t that the point of having a beach house?”