Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Summer Home with Samantha Pynn: Premiere Episodes

Happy Wednesday! Did you watch the premiere episodes of Summer Home with Samantha Pynn on HGTV Canada? It was such a fun show and I'm sure those of you who have watched the show can attest to this: Sam and her team did an amazing job to transform the tired and awkwardly layout spaces into functional and beautiful oasis in the country.

image credit: Tim Leyes courtesy of RTR Media Inc.
For the premiere episode, Caroline's quaint little cottage is bursting at its seams with three teenagers, and all their friends! This cottage has a rather "challenging" layout. The living space is narrowed and sandwiched between the unusually large master bedroom and the screen-in front porch. Oh yes, the only shower in the cottage is also out at the front porch!

Here is the before shot of the space before Sam's magic touch:

image credit: John Queenan courtesy HGTV Canada
And here is causal, elegant, and tranquil country retreat I would like to be invited to! To expand the living space (which is where everyone hangs out for the most part), Sam has moved the wall a few feet into the bedroom. What this does it that now there is room for the dining table to run horizontally in the space and it look so much better! With Sam's commitment to green design, she reused the existing dining table and had the black dining chairs sprayed pale blue: perfect to balance the wood tone from the table and absolutely appropriate for a lakeside sanctuary.

image credit: John Queenan courtesy of HGTV Canada
Another huge benefit from this newly enlarged living space is that a pullout couch is now possible for overnight guest! The sofa is slip-covered for easy maintenance and the white canvas cover looks so fresh and crisp against the sand and watery colour palette in the space.

The space already has a stunning feature: the vaulted ceiling. To create a focal point and bring the eyes back down to the ground, Sam installed a gas fireplace with chimney breast going all the way to the ceiling. To me, this new addition totally makes the space.

image credit: Virginia Macdonald courtesy of RTR Media Inc.
Another design element I took note of is how to maximize seating capacity in a tight and narrow space. Instead of placing couple of chairs (which only allows for seating for 2), Sam used bench seating to fit into the tight corner and next to the shower. Now there is even room for a decent size table in the front porch for board games!

You may be puzzled by the idea of taking a shower right out at the front porch. What do you do when you get a lemon? Make lemonade and in this case, Sam made that sour lemon into Long Island iced tea! With those beautiful drapes doubling as privacy screen, who wouldn't want to take a shower while looking at the stunningly beautiful view?

Now for Episode 2, Sam took a well-proportioned but dated open concept cottage, unified the finishes and d├ęcor, and added charm and characters to this lake front prime estate. Airy and breezy, a sophisticated beach-side family get-away is what Sam determined to deliver. Let's check out the before:

image credit: John Queenan courtesy of HGTV Canada
Ready for the after? I am completely blown away by the facelift!

image credit: John Queenan courtesy of HGTV Canada
A few design tips I took notes from this episode:

* Install durable, low maintenance, and uniform flooring in a small space out in the country. Sam selected this good quality vinyl flooring that mimic the look of hard wood.  This flooring update totally elevated the overall sophistication of the space.

* Floating shelves can de-emphasize the awkward slope of the ceiling, and provide practical and attractive casual storage.

* Paint the knotty pine panels: it is your one way ticket to take your space from 1970s to country chic!

* Nothing feels more at home than having a watery blue and sandy taupe palette indoor when your private beach is just a few steps away. Having a palette inspired by your surrounding also means your interior space will blend perfectly with your exterior. Now you have just expanded your living space substantially without spending an extra dime.

* Run classic subway tiles all the way to the ceiling for a fresh bistro kitchen look.

* Banquet seating offers a causal dining experience and it is also the perfect spot to incorporate needed storage.

A huge THANK YOU to HGTV Canada for providing me most of the images you see on this post, and of course for bringing us such exciting new season of Summer Home.  HGTV Canada also did an exclusive interview with Sam on location.  Check it out!


  1. Such a great makeover. I love how light and bright it is with the soft blue tones - winner!

    1. totally! nothing beats a nautical blue and white theme in a summer cottage! Well maybe a close second to white, cream, grey, and shots of cheerful yellow!

  2. Hey Tim,
    I am having an affair with the ikat fabric in ep. 3 on the ottoman and pillows. Do you know where I can get this? I cant find a season 2 shopping guide on the
    Website. Argh please keep the great posts coming

    1. I have got you covered on that ikat fabric Steph! Come back on Friday for the Episode 3 and 4 post ... the detail will be there :)

  3. I am loving this series! It is so fun to see Sam and her team shopping and hunting at haunts I see on the way to our family cottage. getting lots of inspiration from the I just have to convince my F-I-L that painting wood is not the work of the Devil :) Great wrap up Tim, thanks.

    1. Painting the wood out is the way to go!! Nothing freshen up a space faster and more effective than a fresh coat of soft white paint on wall, especially when we are talking about floor to ceiling wood panelling.

      Glad you love my recap! Love to see your family cottage Dharma!

  4. I have watched the first 4 episodes and each one is fantastic..I was worried at first when Sam said she is a city girl and not much of a country girl..well she has nailed would think she has spent many years in "cottage country" Can't wait for the rest of the season...Cheers Frances

  5. Love Sam and her signature touches in these Summer Homes. The transformations are all nature inspired with a city glam twist and l love the behind the scene fun footage!