One of the great pleasures of life in Ontario is being outside and absorbing all that nature has to offer.
A vibrant vista as the sun rises or sets; a deer, chipmunk or other animal playfully scampering by; a gentle breeze that brings back youthful memories.
These moments are made better when your outdoor living spaces are enhanced through impactful designs and installations tailored to your needs and wants, explains Kevin Cardwell of Muskokify.
Kevin and his Muskokify team have spent over a decade installing high-end products – from shutters and screens to pergolas – and building boathouses throughout cottage country. He always recommends choosing quality materials to make sure your project looks and performs its best.
“We seek out the best products and materials for our systems,” he says. “We believe you get what you pay for, which is why we do extensive research on paint quality, construction, materials used and service before we partner with a provider.”
To ensure they have the best quality products available for their projects, Muskokify has spent time travelling to visit various manufacturers throughout Canada and the United States. With a discerning eye, they have carefully curated their lines.
“We wanted to personally see how each product was being made,” says Kevin. “Some didn’t make the cut. One screen system looked great, for example, but we found that the way it was painted wouldn’t hold up in our climate.”
Feel the breeze, not the pests
Muskoka rooms, patios, gazebos, and outdoor bar areas are wonderful places to gather in the spring, summer and fall. But they unfortunately can be a draw for all manner of flying pests.
To combat the nuisance and increase enjoyment of being outside, Kevin suggests installing motorized or manual screens.
Muskokify’s Canadian-made screens cover openings up to 42 feet wide and 14 feet tall and come in a variety of colours, with several mesh and vinyl options. Privacy screens can also be installed.
“Screens aren’t there to simply block insects,” says Kevin. “There are also UV options to protect boats, flooring, or furniture from fading. They will cut down UV rays by 98 per cent.”
Protection for your valuables can also be found by adding durable all-aluminum security shutters to every window at your home or cottage, as well as to your outdoor living spaces.
The made-in-Canada, designed-in-Germany shutters from Muskokify provide additional protection for your investment when you’re sleeping or away from the property, explains Kevin.
Strong and stylish
Escaping an afternoon rain or finding shade from an intense summer sun can sometimes require running indoors for shelter. However, it doesn’t need to be that way.
Rather than seek shelter indoors, bring the shelter outside with a pergola equipped with an automated louvred roof.
“A pergola with a louvred roof lets you transform any dock or deck into an amazing outdoor living space,” explains Kevin. “The louvered roof opens and closes, providing rain protection and shading or full sun exposure at your whim by a remote control. Or tie it into your home automation for even more convenience.”
Made in Oakville with Swiss engineering, the pergolas from Muskokify can be sized up to 20 feet long in one unit. The aluminum structure is maintenance free and designed to be in a wet environment; integrated water drains and a high quality, powder coat finish eliminate rust and rot.
Installing a pergola over a boat slip is another option, providing protection to your boats, PWCs, and other waterfront items. Kevin also notes that installing integrated LED lighting allows you, your family, and guests to be comfortable well into the evening.
“Add Privacy or UV screens to complete the bug free experience,” he says. “In the cooler months, put out a heater for comfort during the shoulder seasons.”
A well-built boathouse is not only an amazing addition to your property’s aesthetics and great place to store your watercraft; with the right modifications it can become a living space both inside and out.
Whether it’s creating a rooftop patio for parties or living quarters for weekend guests, many people are aware of what can be done atop the structure.
However, much more can be done at water level, says Kevin. Just this past year, Muskokify put the finishing touches on a boathouse lounge that sits just above water level, bringing the entertainment space right to the water’s edge.
The lounge features a kitchenette with wet bar, large screen television, Sonos sound system, a kitchen island for entertaining and more.
Kevin says building a lounge like this so close to the water meant ensuring the electrical systems were installed at a good height for safety, as well as using water-resistant cabinetry.
Proper planning was required to complete the waterside lounge and an extra boat slip: the team built a wall to separate the lounge from the slips, created large walk-through openings where none existed, then added motorized screens and shutters to keep the bugs out.
There are many ways to expand and extend your outdoor living spaces; finding the right one for your property is what the team at Muskokify can help with.
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN