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The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

BY RICHARD MA­HONEY

News Staff When Michelle Daprato and Serge Belle­feuille be­gan ren­o­vat­ing a 113-year-old home in Alexandria, some peo­ple sug­gested they were wast­ing their time and money.

In fact, one per­son had a dire sug­ges­tion: “I would have bull­dozed it.”

A year later, the cou­ple is putting the fin­ish­ing touches on what has turned out to be a model reno pro­ject.

The re­fur­bished Main Street home, built in 1902, got the at­ten­tion of Decor­mag, the Québec-based dec­o­ra­tion mag­a­zine, where Michelle’s sis­ter, Ju­dith Gougeon, works as a de­signer.

The fea­ture on the house in the cur­rent is­sue is the re­sult of a day­long photo shoot high­light­ing the bright and white in­te­rior of the 2,600-square-foot res­i­dence.

While in­side, the home has a def­i­nite fresh and mod­ern feel –“in­dus­trial” is how Ms. Daprato de­scribes her kitchen theme – out­side, the goal is to travel back in time.

Mr. Belle­feuille, a con­struc­tion con­trac­tor, has been painstak­ingly restor­ing the yel­low ex­te­rior. “I am try­ing to get it to look like it was when the house was orginally built,” he says. Days have been spent hand-shap­ing cedar shin­gles. “The fi­nal colour will prob­a­bly be gray,” adds Ms. Daprato, who works as a re­cep­tion­ist in a doc­tor’s of­fice.

The sunset

“It has the pret­ti­est view on Main Street,” she pro­claims, not­ing that the lo­ca­tion was one of the home’s big at­trac­tions.

“When the sun goes down on Main Street, all I see is trees,” says Ms. Daprato, look­ing out from her up­stairs bed­room win­dow.

The cozy bed­room, which was once an un­used at­tic, was another as­set.

“I want my room here,” was her ini­tial re­ac­tion when she and Mr.

Belle­feuille first checked out the up­per floor. Mr. Belle­feuille has worked on all sorts of jobs over the years. “When you start from scratch and start some­thing com­pletely new, you have a plan on pa­per. But with this kind of ren­o­va­tion, it is more of a chal­lenge. The plans are up here,” he re­marks, tap­ping his tem­ple. More photos Page 4.

RICHARD MA­HONEY PHOTOS

FACELIFT: Michelle Daprato and Serge Belle­feuille are near­ing the com­ple­tion of their year-long ren­o­va­tion pro­ject.

SOLID: Michelle Daprato and Serge Belle­feuille have mixed mod­ern ac­cou­trements with solid re­minders of the past.

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT: Michelle Daprato knew she wanted her bed­room to be lo­cated in the for­mer at­tic.

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