The luxurious master suite of this house is open to the bathroom with a large soaker tub dividing the two areas.
Home of the Week, 292 South River Rd., Elora, Ont. Asking price: $1,249,900. ‘Stonecroft,” as the house is known, was built in 1865 near the Grand River by the prosperous businessman J.K. Barrett. Mr. Barrett, whose ancestors had immigrated from Ireland, was the owner of the mill across the river in the hamlet of Aboyne. (Rebecca Shaw)
“It was never a farmhouse,” says current owner Rebecca Shaw. “It was always more formal.” The property is located on a country road halfway between Elora, Ont., and the smaller town of Fergus, Ont. Ms. Shaw purchased the house with her husband and their two children six years ago. (Rebecca Shaw)
A light-filled addition at the rear combines a kitchen, casual dining area and family room. Ms. Shaw fit in as many windows as she could, and French doors lead to a wrap-around terrace overlooking the yard.
Despite the age of the house, Ms. Shaw envisioned a modern addition and renovation.
“I like that tension between the modern and the old and I think they can both work together,” says Ms. Shaw.The original summer kitchen at the side of the house had been turned into a TV room. Ms. Shaw transformed it into a very large mud room with a heated limestone floor, lots of cupboards and a large island with drawers for mittens and baseball gloves and all manner of paraphernalia.
The modern kitchen has built-in appliances and granite countertops.
Ms. Shaw had the original crown mouldings and Georgian-style windows replicated throughout the house – including in the kitchen – but she eschewed curlicues and old-fashioned details because she prefers to cook in an environment that doesn’t feel too busy.
“I’ve been through so many Victorian kitchens. I wanted to keep everything simple.”
The floors are reclaimed hemlock and the stone walls of the original exterior have been left exposed. A modern glass and stainless steel railing in the family room is juxtaposed against the grey stone.
“I’m drawn to the natural elements – steel and glass and wood,” says Ms. Shaw.
The dining room, living room and staircase in the old part of the house have been left mostly as they have always been. The windows still contain the original glass panes.
“I still love this room,” says Ms. Shaw of the living room. “There’s something about the light quality in here.”
The renovation was a major undertaking: When builders straightened the main beam, plaster and lathe fell off of the walls.
But when it was all finished, the house had expanded to 4,000 square feet.