While our Waterloo projects get the most airtime, some of our most unique and luxurious projects are completed by our team serving the cottage country crowd in Port Carling, ON. From beautiful log home-away-from-homes, to glass-walled, lake-side mansions, we have our hands full up in the Muskokas and we absolutely love it! Some of the most unique spaces we work in, though, are boathouses. If you decide to build or renovate your boathouse with a full lounge area and kitchen, we’re confident you’ll start feeling the same way as our Director of Sales in Port Carling, Kevin – “Why go anywhere else?” Waves lapping on the dock outside, natural light pouring in, nature all around – and snacks and modern conveniences within reach.
Beautiful custom boathouse design complete in Port Carling, Ontario. Gorgeous grey custom cabinetry with built in bar fridge
Kevin has been in the construction industry for 19 years and a member of the Chervin family for 8 – here are a few of his top tips for designing your dream boathouse kitchen:

Design for the flow of traffic.

  • A U-shaped kitchen with a small laundry room just off the main area is Kevin’s top configuration for a boathouse kitchen. This layout provides a large, storage-rich, seamless space for friends and family to enjoy together, without the interruptions of having to run up to the main cottage for fresh towels, or more dishes.
  • Cottage life is about relaxation, refreshing, and special time with family and friends. One way to keep your boathouse lounge feeling free and flexible is to install a large, moveable island (on casters). It can be locked in place for stability, but also rolled outside the boathouse onto the main dock to follow the party if it ends up there!
  • Incorporate lots of roll-up doors wherever possible – these allow for more natural light to come in, as well as offering a great through-way for taking supplies in and out, or hosting larger groups.

Boathouse Seating Area with roll-up garage door


Boathouse with Roll-up Door and Custom Cabinets

Don’t restrict your style.

  • While “cottage” and “boathouse” may conjure up images of rustic, weathered, nautical spaces, don’t feel confined to the traditional cottage look. If that’s your style, go for it! But if you prefer a modern farmhouse look or a streamlined contemporary style, do that! Most of our clients want their cottage to be a getaway that is completely different from their home the rest of the year, so don’t be afraid to voice any creative idea you may have – we’d love to work with you to bring that dream to life.

Boathouse kitchen with breakfast bar
Boathouse Vanity - black, with rectangular shelving and details

Consider the elements.

  • When you choose the material and finish for your cabinets, keep the environment in mind. Boathouses are exposed to much more fluctuation in humidity and moisture than cottages or urban homes. Some products simply are not designed for the outdoors, while others are highly versatile. For example, Spanish Cedar and Douglas Fir are hearty, forgiving woods that are great for boathouses and outdoor kitchens. Frameless cabinets also hold their shape better in humidity than other styles. The durability and quality of appliances should also be kept in mind for the same reasons. Contact us to explore more options.
  • Similarly, those fluctuating water levels can cause a lot of problems if your kitchen or lounge is flush with the height of the boat slips. We recommend always building on at least a 4-6” platform.
  • When you go away for the off-season, consider removing your toe kicks and lowest drawers, and raising your appliances (if possible). Taking these precautions as part of your “closing up the cottage” routine can help reduce the risk of damage, should water levels rise in your boathouse during the colder months.

U-shaped boathouse kitchen
Boathouse cabinetry with toe kicks removed for season
This is the perfect time to start thinking about your dream boathouse kitchen for next year! Come visit our showroom in August to starting brainstorming and arrange an off-season installation date – that way you can be fully in cottage mindset, and beat the May rush for next year! Kevin and his team would love to meet with you.

Custom boathouse kitchen