Jim Bell Architectural Design Inc. | Ottawa, Pembroke, Arnprior, Renfrew, Eastern Ontario | Custom Homes, Cottages, Renovations, Additions & Commercial | Architecture Firm | Architectural Designer Isle-aux-Allumettes Custom Cottage Renovation/Addition - Jim Bell Architectural Design Inc. | Ottawa, Pembroke, Arnprior, Renfrew, Eastern Ontario | Custom Homes, Cottages, Renovations, Additions & Commercial | Architecture Firm | Architectural Designer

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Isle-aux-Allumettes Custom Cottage Renovation/Addition.

Project Description

The extensive transformation of this cottage turned an inefficient and awkward space into the clients’ dream cottage:

  • Open concept kitchen and living space
  • The kitchen transformed from “country cottage” to modern and efficient with a unique conversation-piece island counter built from a reclaimed farmhouse beam
  • Stunning new sunroom with stone fireplace and three “walls” of windows
  • Includes an upgraded basement layout with windows enlarged to add light
  • Two new bedrooms
  • Plentiful storage space
  • Expansive, maintenance-free deck to accommodate lots of guests
  • Revised entry & new covered porch

Click on the photo above to see the full resolution image and navigate through the slideshow.

Don’t miss the drone video below! Read more about this transformation below the video.



This spectacular renovation/addition transformed a small older cottage with an inefficient layout into a dream vacation home. Overall, the renovation design mitigated layout issues and significantly enlarged the space. By adding 50% on two levels—an additional 650 square feet—the cottage grew to a total of 1,300 square feet. But it’s not just about the number of square feet, it’s about the effectiveness and efficiency of the space.


“Jim has a vision that is quite spectacular. He can see things that others cannot.”– Cottage owner


When it’s all about the view, the windows are the key. Now the cottage is filled with light from a wall of glass. All of the windows were replaced with larger, high-quality windows. An additional window beside the fireplace and a new patio door were added to the living-dining-kitchen space to further enhance the view and light. The water and weather take their toll on cottages over the years and the original windows were not sealed to avoid water penetration and damage. Jim foresaw this issue and ensured that the new window installation team removed all damaged material, provided a strong new framing structure and completed the work with a maintenance-free, weather-resistant barrier for many years of worry-free enjoyment. New awnings provide shade and protection on hot, sunny days.


“The main living area is a simple, open space. I love the focal point of the fireplace with the sitting area and then the openness to the dining room table and kitchen.” – Cottage owner


Since the previous owners smoked, it was necessary to remove all traces of the odour during the renovation. All finishes were stripped back to drywall and re-finished with special paint that eliminated smoke odour. The kitchen cabinets were dismantled, refinished and to transform the look and feel of the kitchen from “country cottage” to modern and efficient. The unique conversation-piece island with it’s reclaimed farmhouse-beam counter welcomes guests for sitting or standing and defines the kitchen space in the open-concept living-dining-kitchen room.


The main floor guest bathroom access was through the kitchen—right between two sections of cupboards! Jim reconfigured the layout to close the access to the kitchen and opened a door to the entrance foyer, a more appropriate and functional location for a bathroom.


The new sunroom is truly stunning. The striking stone fireplace with farmhouse beam mantle and the pine ceiling and trim create a warm, casual atmosphere perfect for entertaining and relaxation. And, of course, three of the “walls” are all windows to bring the outside in.


“People come in and say ‘WOW!’” – Cottage owner


With space for only the master bedroom on the main floor, the lower level was optimized, achieving a layout with not only three bedrooms and large family room space, but also an office and an abundance of storage. The basement windows were enlarged significantly to exceed code requirements and new windows were added in the family room area and to bring in significantly more light. The overall total of four bedrooms and three bathrooms provide comfortable accommodations for the entire family.


“He was able to take the little cottage and visually see the potential. Even the basement was opened up a lot. He is very focused on the clients’ needs.” – Cottage owner


The original deck was small and it could not comfortably accommodate a typical patio set. The new, enlarged, maintenance-free, composite 18’x30′ deck is ready to welcome family and friends for fun and relaxation.


Because he never wants to leave any loose ends, Jim took care of the plans for a walkway and parking, plus changed the colour of the doors on the cottage and garage to ensure that old and new blend well together.


“The original cottage was great but now that Jim completed his work, I love it. It’s our happy place and I’d rather be there than at home.” – Cottage owner

Project Details

  • Date February 11, 2016
  • Tags Cottages, Renovations & Additions
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