Some places are just special, evoking a feeling that we can’t quite put our finger on. Yet we are drawn in, wanting to stay awhile and bask in the goodness. In the case of Tara Gilchrist Love and Caitlin Hutt Love, two immeasurably creative women living amongst the trees and on the lakeshore of Canada’s Dorset, Ontario, it’s not just the beauty of their home, it’s the love they have poured into it and the people around them that makes it so special. Love, like their chosen unified last name, is at the core of everything this couple does and touches: they even started a summer festival for their community called Love Fest. The gathering was inspired by their wedding last September, where they shut down the street in front of their home and hung twinkle lights and celebrated their marriage and love late into the night.
Tara, Caitlin, and their sweet kitty, Devi, live in a rustic barn built in the 1890s. The space houses quite a lot: downstairs is a thriving pottery/yoga studio, retail shop, and espresso bar, and upstairs is a 600-square-foot apartment. Tara, a Toronto native, purchased the home initially to build her pottery business near her family’s summer cottage; and Caitlin moved in later, knowing this home was “the one” because Tara was in it. The space is not without its challenges — sometimes the pair finds it difficult to separate work from home, as they are “open” all the time — and as they prepare to grow their family, they know they’ll need additional space for children. In the coming years, they plan to build a larger home on their property, transitioning out of the tiny space they currently reside in.
In their home and studio, the pair has created an organic space that is truly reflective of their passions: items collected from travels to India, Guatemala, and Colorado, as well as pieces Tara has created at home and abroad. The things they love and are inspired by most are found throughout their cozy, lofted house with lake views. The women want to feel connected to the pieces they bring into their home, but not attached or bogged down by them, so they choose items carefully and purge regularly to keep the clutter from piling up.
Tara and Cait’s strict budget has also not limited them, instead it only inspires creative and romantic solutions. When Caitlin moved in and started her yoga studio as an extension of Tara’s business, the ladies built the outdoor studio floor from shipping crates that carried home pottery Tara crafted in India. That very floor was where Tara would later propose to Caitlin, and has become a tangible symbol of their lives and businesses intertwining. Tara and Cait love that their home is truly theirs and a part of their story, a work in progress that is constantly evolving, just as they are. —Kate
Photography by Kate Oliver