Our Heritage

People often fear heritage properties thinking they are money pits, will not increase in value or are overly difficult to take care of. Although there can be unique challenges associated within owning a heritage property, they aren’t insurmountable and people shouldn’t necessarily run screaming from them. This article featured in today’s Toronto Star offers an excellent analysis and a balanced view of owning a heritage home. Enjoy!

Today’s Treasure

The photo is bad. I know it is. Don’t judge. Don’t hate. I used the flash because I wanted the treasures inside this gorgeous beast to be displayed because they too are part of the magic.

Craig spotted this china cabinet at the Robin’s Next Antiques last summer. To be honest, I walked by it a dozen times and hadn’t noticed it. Craig would point it out and I would say “Yes, it’s nice”, but wasn’t in love with it. During our great shopping spree of summer, 2011 we purchased it.

We are now in our house and settled and can honestly say I now do love the cabinet. The detail, colour (not accurately show in photo), and the glass are gorgeous but most importantly, I love being able to see our lives inside and yes, each item represents a part of our lives. The photos are of family and close friends, the blue vase is from my first trip to Europe as is the green bowl while the red vase was a graduation present for Craig when he graduated with his undergraduate degree. The cocktail glasses were a birthday gift from none other than DIY Doris and the green vase at the top is from my best friend Sidney. There are small books in there that were a gift from mother Jane and a art glass bowl from Craig’s uncle Gordon. With all of that in there, starring back at you every time you walk by, how could I not love it? It is, after all, those treasures that truly make a home special however, having something beautiful to display them in is never a bad thing.

This is indeed a treasure and perhaps one day will be a legacy piece. After all, we do wish to be more and more like the Crawley’s of Downton Abbey. Legacy furniture, the perfect place to start!

Flow

When designing a room, or a larger space like a house, consistency and flow are key. People often speak of consistency in paint colours and how a colour MUST flow from one room to the next. We aren’t subscribers to this school of thought as we believe this isn’t a must and that consistency and flow can be achieved in other ways. For example, flooring.

When we purchased our house the downstairs was a bit of a hodgepodge of flooring and although there was some consistency in what was used, there was no flow. One of the first projects we knew we would complete in this house was to add the necessary flow to the downstairs and that could only be achieved by continuing the hardwood floor down the hall; originally it stopped at a door half way down. As you can see from the before photos the tile floor started halfway down the hall and as a result created a visual break in the flow. It made the hall, and the downstairs, seem smaller and choppier than it actually is.

The other issue with the flow was the door in the hallway. We removed it entirely as we had no use for it and repaired the casing. The door also interrupted the flow. We had the installer remove the tile carefully so we could reuse them in the kitchen. The island that was once fixed to the chimney was removed and if you squint, you can see a yellow patch at the top of the first photo. That is the floor underneath the tile, where the island once was. So we reused the tile by being careful and worked with what we already had.

When laying the new hardwood floor we had to decide if we wanted it to go vertical or, to keep with the existing pattern, horizontal. The installer had rules for the way in which hardwood should go when being installed but we decided against the rule and for consistency, to lay it horizontal. ┬áHad we been installing the hardwood entirely from scratch, that would have been a different story, but we weren’t and instead we worked with what we had and in the end, it looks great.

BeforeAfter

Before

After