420 Bloomfield Main, Prince Edward County, Ont.
Asking price: $1,642,000
Taxes: $4,900.06 (2023)
Lot size: 126 by 164 feet
Agents: Faye Moxam, Rachel McGinn, Chestnut Park Real Estate
Peter Mooney and Sarah Power would describe their lifestyle as slightly nomadic before the pandemic hit. The actors were born in Manitoba and Newfoundland, respectively, but were living and working in Los Angeles when the world came to a standstill.
Unable to work from home, a captive Ms. Power got on her computer to do some online shopping – for a house more than 4,000 kilometres away in Prince Edward County, Ont.
“I fell in love with the fireplace,” Ms. Power says. The house, built in 1868, features three fireplaces, none of which were in working condition when they bought the house in 2020.
The stately, Victorian house had been neglected, she says, and she wanted to restore it to its former glory.
The mouldings and wide pine plank floors were incredible, the couple say, but the bathrooms and kitchen were at odds with the rest of the house. All of the cabinetry was out of date and run down, the main kitchen had linoleum floors, and the primary bath had green, midcentury-style fixtures.
The house today
“Peter is very modern,” Ms. Power says, “he likes things to be white and wood.” But if she had her way, she says each room would look like it was designed by Wes Anderson, the director whose films embody an aesthetic that is vintage but vibrant, and whimsical without being wacky.
However, the couple didn’t want the house to feel like a filmset – their workplace – but to feel comfortable and lived in. “We set out to make it cozy, but also have that grand Victorian feeling,” Ms. Power says.
The clawfoot bathtub in the top floor bathroom was found online, along with almost everything else in the house, they say. The renovation took place during the peak of the pandemic. Mr. Mooney describes making 3-D models of each room, calculating which room would get light at what time.
There’s a thematic flow from one room to the next, playing on the original details of the house but with an updated palette. The attention to each room meant that even the laundry room, where the most mundane of tasks is performed, is wrapped in floral wallpaper.
The house is 4,000 square feet, has four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The dining room features the original arched cast iron fireplace grate, with a refurbished gold cover.
The red-brick fireplace in the summer kitchen that Ms. Power originally fell in love with came with the original cast iron pot and hook. Once a new flue was installed by a retired local contractor, it became a focal point for the family who would cook smores and the occasional chili around the hearth.
“I’m from Newfoundland originally, and we are big on kitchen parties,” she says, and was able to host friends and family at Christmas and Thanksgiving. The caribou wallpaper in one of the guest bedrooms is another nod to Ms. Power’s home province, designed by Kate Golding for her Newfoundland collection.
The main kitchen required a total reconfiguration of the footprint in order to rectify an “awkward” layout and accommodate a new Devol kitchen, with green cabinets and gold hardware. The doors are new as well, meant to optimize the natural light and mirror the ones in the library.
The most difficult room was the primary bath, for which the couple enlisted the help of a local craftsman named Rusty, the only person in the county who knew how to install the “tricky” tile. “We wanted it to feel like a grand, old, New York hotel,” Mr. Mooney says.
This is perhaps where the couple’s differing aesthetic meet. The square, emerald tiles, gold fixtures, and rounded mirrors evoke old luxury that is still modern and eclectic.
“So much of the house, for us, was about finding these contrasts,” Mr. Mooney says, “and making each room a story.” Every single room in the house was altered in some way, even if it was just a fresh coat of paint.
The best feature
The couple will miss Prince Edward County and the community in Bloomfield. “It’s such a great place to entertain,” Ms. Power says. “The first summer we lived there, in 2021, we had friends and family stay every single weekend for the entire summer.”
While the summers “felt like a party,” filled with guests and beach days, the winters were quiet and peaceful, taking their daughter for long walks in the field behind their home.
For Mr. Mooney, the best parts of the house are the places he would begin and end his days. In the mornings, the self-described early riser would sit in front of the bay window in the living room, “the most incredible place” to have a coffee and witness the sunrise.
At night, he’d relax in the green library room, make a cocktail and watch a show. The dark wash of paint on the wall, ceiling, and shelves blankets the room without overpowering the original mouldings on the walls and ceiling.
For Ms. Power, however, her favourite room is her daughter’s bedroom with the blue bird wallpaper. The room has windows that face the east, “it just gets the most beautiful light.”
It’s a room that will be tough to recreate as they complete their move back to Los Angeles. “Other than our home, our daughter’s lived in seven Airbnb’s,” says Ms. Power, a reflection of the working actors’ need to pick up and go to any filming location.
For a brief moment, Ms. Power and Mr. Mooney relished in the opportunity to be in one place, especially one as beautiful as this.