When summer rolls around, there’s nothing like heading up to the cottage for weeks at a time. It’s a perfect way to escape our stress-filled lives, where we can connect with nature, relax, and soak up the sun.
Canadians love cottage country. Seeing as we have such a short time to enjoy the great outdoors without precipitation or unyielding cold, summertime in Canada involves being surrounded by nature.
Muskoka for Ontario residents is generally the preferred place to rent or buy a cottage. Waterfront cottages in Muskoka are generally a must, as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and watersports are activities cottage dwellers partake in daily. Spending so much time at your cottage means there is always room for upgrades and improvement. Seeing as this is basically your second home, both in terms of time spent there and investment, keeping it up to date and current will help in preserving its longevity. With so much sun and exposure to the water, having an aesthetically appealing and functioning window treatment will really help make your summer home look and feel great.
Here are some simple ways to transform your cottage.
Automated Window Blinds
To make a dramatic impact on a room, automated window coverings are the way to go. These blinds are not only modern and sleek, but they also provide convenience, cooling and save energy. With automated and remote control, your blinds will retract, giving you the perfect morning view of your lake without you having to get out of bed. Connecting to a remote control, tablet or smartphone, your blinds can be controlled from anywhere, at your convenience. Out later than expected and want to shut the blinds at the cottage before you’re back? Your smartphone can do this at the touch of a button. On your drive up to the lake, use your tablet to open the blinds before you pull in. The benefits with motorized blinds are truly worthwhile.
Solar panels are a great long term investment. Installing solar panels on or around your cottage will help you in many ways. Your electricity bill, for one, will be non-existent—allowing you to live off the grid where you rely solely on energy from the sun. The environment will thank you as well, as you’ll be using 100% renewable energy to cool, heat, and power your cottage. With so much natural sunshine in the summertime, you won’t have to worry about generators or power outages.
If you enjoy the convenience of automated window coverings and smart technology, and if you like streaming videos and movies on rainy days, you’ll have to get Wi-Fi. Because many cottages are generally older, the signal might be slower or not reach all the way around the cottage. There are now routers available that can connect to slower devices in the room, and provide speedy connection to all users.
Smart lighting is a useful gadget to install in your cottage. Regardless of a building or structure’s age, installing smart lighting is simple. It simply involves buying a speciality bulb and downloading the corresponding app. You can also install a smart socket and switch to replace existing ones. While this requires a little more work in the set-up phase, a smart socket enables you to control anything that’s plugged into it from your phone. Smart lighting is also convenient to have. You can turn on the lights in the cottage on your way up from a bonfire so no one trips or gets scared running in. Pretty cool, right?
This will get all the dads and grill-minders excited. No longer does the one flipping the burgers have to feel left out of the conversation. Grill tech comes with a controller and two temperature probes, so you can track the temperatures of different food items on the grill at the same time. You can also use one of the probes to remotely track the inside grill temperature when slow-roasting or smoking. Once the probes are inserted into the grill items, you set your app to the desired temperature and activate the alarm. You can then monitor the progress of your meat from up to 150ft (so you can join in on all the fun with everyone else), and the app will notify you when the food is ready.
Automated Water Shut Off
An almost necessary invention for cottages, automated water shut off technology lets you have peace of mind when it comes to summer home maintenance. Install the sensor right near your main shutoff valve, then locate water sensors near likely leaky areas (water heaters, toilets, dishwashers, and etc.) If the sensor detects water, it wirelessly signals the valve to shut off, saving you from a potential flood and high costs.
With some simple technology upgrades, your cottage can be transformed to fit your modern lifestyle while still maintaining its charm and allure.