Dream home realtor’s legacy to Selkirk
IT was in 1996 that Doreen Sisto believes her brother Robert went crazy. “I don’t mean crazy-crazy. I mean he became completely obsessed with a dream to renovate a house he purchased the minute after he walked through it,” said Sisto, a real estate agent with her late brother’s Century 21 franchise in Selkirk, Robert Jefferson & Associates Realty Ltd. Though the house was oldish, likely built during the Summer of Love in 1967, Bob, as he was known, became starry-eyed whenever he thought about the masterpiece he would create out of the aging rock star. One of the features he most admired was the pie-shaped lot on which the 1,600 square foot bungalow was located. The lot was a Frisbee-toss from the meandering Red River and the land was sufficiently elevated to cancel any concerns about springtime flooding.
Said Sisto, “If that lot floods, the rest of Manitoba will be under water, too.” Being riverside property, it is a natural haven for wildlife such as deer, otters, beavers and raptors. Indeed, while I was recently viewing the inside of the house, a bald eagle landed in a Manitoba maple tree in the backyard. I watched it through floorto-ceiling windows that comprise the wall of a major renovation added to the back of the original house. Sisto said when her brother took possession of the house, he completely gutted the interior, hiring his talented nephews to build a double-sided fireplace in the living room out of solid red oak. Trims, frames, interior doors and much of the home’s cabinetry were also replaced with the lovely quartersawn wood. Ceilings throughout the house have inset lighting controlled by dimmer switches; the walls and ceilings are painted conservative whites and beiges, with a splash of lighter earth tones in some bathrooms and bedrooms. On the main floor, dark-stained T&G oak boards were used to cover the most of the area, including the addition to the home’s back elevation. A second-storey suite, also a new addition, was outfitted with a complete kitchen featuring curly-cherry cabinets, black-walnut T&G flooring and walk-out doors leading to an outdoor porch with a glorious view of a bend in the Red River.
“Depending on which level you are on, the view of the river changes like that of a painting observed from various
Owner Bob Jefferson was a hockey lover who renovated the basement by adding bar
stools upholstered with the logos of NHL teams.
The front elevation of Bob Jefferson’s completed home. The living space of the original 2,500 square foot house was more than doubled by the time the renovation