Wildflowers. Fresh air. Open spaces. Who doesn't dream of living off the land in a bucolic paradise? "My clients made that fantasy a reality," Toronto-area interior designer Ashley Montgomery says. The young couple relocated from the city to what she calls a "country lot with tons of acreage," in Stouffville, Ontario, an hour north of Toronto. "They wanted to live farm-to-table and for their house to reflect that lifestyle," Montgomery explains.
The duo enlisted her help in reworking their 4,000-square-foot, circa 2015 home to blend form and function. It had to be beautiful, yes—one of the homeowners formerly worked in fashion and loves color, pattern, and textiles. But it also had to stand up against the day-to-day realities of country living. Think muddy boots, garden tools, and dogs and cats. "Nothing could be too fussy or precious," Montgomery says of the modern three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath farmstead. To create a practical home that would feel "crisp, clean, light, and bright," the designer started with a base of warm white paint, layering in blues, greens, and yellows. In the kitchen, she installed white oak open shelves against a backdrop of hand-painted terra-cotta tile. The aesthetic skews more refined than rustic, with thoughtful details including reclaimed wood on the kitchen hood, pantry doors Montgomery salvaged, and durable porcelain countertops with subtle blue and beige veining.
The owners' personalities dictated the design—the oversize kitchen island is complete with integrated dog dishes for their furry friends, and there's a massive, and surprisingly elegant, mudroom with caned-front cabinetry to store farm clothes, boots, hats, and gloves. The cane doesn't just look great, Montgomery explains. "It provides airflow." This high-traffic area feels inviting and full of character, thanks to herringbone wallpaper, brick floors, and a vintage chest—sourced from Facebook Marketplace for $150—which breaks up the custom millwork. Here, and throughout, Montgomery wanted the design to read "nice, soft, and quiet," she says. "But we still dressed it up a little, of course."
Given the private locale, no curtains were needed. Sofa: RH. Coffee and nesting tables: Pottery Barn. Ottomans: Tonic Living. Chandelier: Visual Comfort & Co. Crockery: McGee & Co.
"We enlarged the island to create a view into the sunken living room," Montgomery says. Pantry doors: vintage, The Door Store. Pendant: Hudson Valley Lighting. Paint: White Dove, Benjamin Moore.
"I love how bright and happy this room is," Montgomery says. Stools: Palecek. Refrigerator: True. Fixtures: Perrin & Rowe.
Vintage accessories stand out against hand-painted terra-cotta tile by Tabarka Studio. Shelving: HH Millwork. Countertop: Calacatta Silk, Neolith. Sconce: Visual Comfort & Co.
Extra tiles found a home on the backsplash.
A beverage station holds an espresso machine and drinks fridge. Paint: Cromarty, Farrow & Ball (lower cabinets), and Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore (upper cabinets). Refrigerator: Zephyr. Hardware: Rejuvenation.
The designer loves this pedestal sink by Kohler. Wallcovering: McGee & Co. Paint: White Dove, Benjamin Moore. Faucet: Perrin & Rowe. Mirror: Nest & Nook Housewares. Sconce: Lightmaker Studio.
"This is a whole moment," Montgomery says. Built-ins: HH Millwork. Paint: Green Smoke, Farrow & Ball. Wallcovering: Phillip Jeffries. Brick flooring: Mason's Masonry. Mirror: Jayson Home.
"There's no reason these rooms can't be pretty," Montgomery says. Countertop: Cartapeitra Imperiale, Stone Italiana. Sink and faucet: Kingston Brass. Sconce: Mullan Lighting. Paint: Stony Ground, Farrow & Ball.