Firmly planted

Wolse­ley char­ac­ter home per­fectly suited for putting down roots

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Todd Lewys

WHEN a re­al­tor refers to a list­ing as a char­ac­ter home that’s not al­ways a good thing. In many cases what the re­al­tor is ac­tu­ally try­ing to say is the home is dated. That’s def­i­nitely not the case with 295 Aubrey St., said Realty Ex­ec­u­tives First Choice’s Eric Neu­mann. “The home has been ex­ten­sively up­dated over the last cou­ple of years,” Neu­mann said of the two-storey home, which was built in 1911. “Be­cause of all the up­dates, this is not only a char­ac­ter home, but a char­ac­ter home with a great in­te­rior de­sign and cus­tom fin­ishes.” One of the main short­com­ings in turn-ofthe-cen­tury homes is an awk­wardly-de­signed main liv­ing area (in ac­tu­al­ity, many such homes don’t have one). Thanks to a clever up­date, 295 Aubrey ac­tu­ally has a con­tem­po­rary main liv­ing area that en­com­passes a kitchen and din­ing area. “A wall was taken out to open up the kitchen, and do­ing that trans­formed the area,” said Neu­mann. “Now, you have a mod­ern, open-con­cept kitchen/din­ing room area with all kinds of util­ity, and is a joy to spend time in. All the walls sur­round­ing it are new dry­wall, not plas­ter.” In­stead of hav­ing a dark, cramped kitchen with nowhere to put a ta­ble, there’s a bright, open area with penin­sula kitchen and a din­ing area that com­fort­ably holds a ta­ble for six. A huge oak-trimmed win­dow be­hind the din­ing area speaks to the home’s yes­ter­year char­ac­ter while let­ting in loads of light. Flow through the two ar­eas is ex­cep­tional. “Of course, all the wood is gor­geous, but the out­go­ing own­ers did a great job of ren­o­vat­ing the kitchen,” said Neu­mann, “there’s a host of off-white, floor-to-ceil­ing IKEA cab­i­nets, a taupe (glass) tile back­splash, butcher block coun­ter­tops, and of course the penin­sula, with its grey coun­ter­top, dou­ble sink and eat­ing nook for two. There’s also ex­posed brick from the chim­ney to the left of the penin­sula, a nice touch that takes you back to the home’s turn-of-the-cen­tury de­sign. The fridge and (flat top, stain­less) stove are newer, too.” While the kitchen opens seam­lessly onto the din­ing area, the wall and door­way from the din­ing area was re­tained. Good thing, be­cause it makes a per­fect coun­ter­point to the mod­ern kitchen. “The en­trance is about five feet wide, and still con­tains orig­i­nal pocket doors on ei­ther side,” said Neu­mann. “They lead into a bright liv­ing room that has a large win­dow on its front wall, an orig­i­nal or­na­men­tal fire­place, built-in book­shelves (on ei­ther side of the doors) and the same orig­i­nal hard­woods run through the din­ing room and foyer area. Pot lights above add a mod­ern touch that brighten up the area at night.” Step into the ad­ja­cent foyer and you be­hold two sights: an orig­i­nal oak stair­case wind­ing lazily up­wards to the home’s sec­ond level, and a two-piece bath. “I call it an added bonus. It was just done in the last year or so, and is a great fea­ture, as homes in Wolse­ley rarely have one. It’s great to have for young kids, or if you en­joy en­ter­tain­ing — no one has to walk all the way up­stairs to use the wash­room,” said Neu­mann, “It has been taste­fully done, too, with an old-style (an­gled) grey tile floor, wain­scot­ing and an orig­i­nal, lat­ticed pi­ano win­dow in­cor­po­rated into the de­sign.” Although not an overly big home — it tal­lies in at 1,135 sq. ft. — space for a home of this vintage is sur­pris­ingly well-used. Many sim­i­lar homes have only two bed­rooms while this home fea­tures three. “All three bed­rooms have newer win­dows and de­cent-sized clos­ets— the third bed­room would be ideal for a baby or tod­dler,” said Neu­mann, “the bath­room is larger than nor­mal, and comes equipped with a claw­foot tub, new win­dow and an over­sized linen closet.” The home’s high de­gree of liv­abil­ity is matched by sev­eral key up­dates that would be mu­sic to the ears of a young fam­ily on a bud­get. “The ven­dor states that the elec­tri­cal sys­tem was up­dated in 2013 and that there’s no knob and tube wiring in the home,” said Neu­mann. “Other up­dates in­clude the roof (2014), air con­di­tion­ing, the kitchen and main floor bath­room. The ex­te­rior sof­fit and fas­cia is also newer.” That liv­abil­ity ex­tends to both the home’s back and front yards, which have also been lov­ingly de­vel­oped. “The backyard is per­fect for host­ing with its great at­mos­phere, which in­cludes a deck, land­scaped pa­tio and gar­den boxes,” said Neu­mann. “There’s also a stor­age shed, and a good-sized park­ing pad. Out front, there’s a pa­tio, and en­trance with per­gola.” Neu­mann added that 295 Aubrey St. is the per­fect home for a young fam­ily look­ing to put down roots in a great neigh­bour­hood. “You can just move in and en­joy the home — there’s re­ally noth­ing to do. It’s a beau­ti­ful walk­a­ble neigh­bour­hood and you’re close to schools (Laura Secord) shops and ser­vices such as Neigh­bour­hood Book­store and Cafe, DeLuca’s, Tall­grass Bak­ery, Ur­ban Mas­sage and Yoga North. It’s a won­der­ful, taste­fully up­dated char­ac­ter home in a great lo­ca­tion.”

PHOTOS BY JOE BRYKSA / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

This char­ac­ter home for sale on Aubrey Street in Wolse­ley has been ex­ten­sively up­dated into a con­tem­po­rary home.

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