April 2nd 2018
My design for my client’s beloved 1850’s stone farm house in Milton was just featured in last Saturday’s National Post website (bit.ly/1850sStoneFarmhouse) and I am so excited to share the photographs of the finished spaces. You will never imagine that when the architect and I began this project it was just the ruined shell of a burnt-out farmhouse. It reminded me of a gothic ruin, like Thronfield Hall in Jane Eyre. Now the space has been resurrected by joining two old buildings with a contemporary central section. (bit.ly/1850sStoneFarmhouse)
The property featured the farmhouse at one side, with a smaller stone outbuilding, possibly the original stables but now used as a garage, on the other, and an open area between them. This gave us the inspiration to reimagine a new take on a traditional farmstead: to join the two old buildings with a more contemporary flat-roofed central section, giving it the rambling feeling of a collection of farm buildings.
We retained as much of the original character of the house as possible. The 12-foot high doors to the new salon, which I had found at the Toronto Store, 507 Antiques, and may have originally come from an old bank. They are mahogany with brass trim, adding to the feeling of grandeur. Double French doors lead straight ahead to the new library, lined with bookshelves and broad windows overlooking the pond. At one end is our client’s old desk, rescued from the fire; there’s a table in the center for card games or reading, and at the other, a cozy seating area, one of many relaxed perches in the new home.
My client is an experienced gardener and one of her favourite rooms is the potting room, with traditional black-and-white checked floors and a big side counter for dividing perennials and potting up geraniums. The doors to the potting room are a pair of lacy old Victorian French doors that my client found and kept for the perfect spot that we have found here.
Though it is big and modern, the kitchen has its own sense of the past, with reclaimed timber ceiling beams, and in place of a central island, a big pine farm table found in an out building.
More shots of the bright new kitchen. The use of antique, one-of-a-kind furniture, mixed with contemporary is one of my favorite combos.
The stone walls were originally damaged in the fire but restoring them retained the timeless feeling of the original homestead. Before the construction began, a local contractor who specialized in stone house restoration, worked to strengthen and repair the shell; once the heavily damaged plaster and lath was removed, the beauty of the old walls was fully revealed.
I designed this space for a creative client who is a respected pianist and former music teacher. This handy workstation in the kitchen is a different kind of sanctuary as it overlooks her huge vegetable garden - a nice spot to ponder recipes for soup making or canning.
I love that this old, 1850s farmhouse was brought back from the ashes – literally and restored after a massive fire. We brought it up to now, to make it work for this family. It takes advantage of modern materials and methods, but speaks to the past, the family’s as well as to Ontario history.
Below are images of the work in progess of the Farmhouse taken in 2016.