1 Right­ing some wrongs

Your Home and Garden - - Your Renovation -

Gail says the house, built around 1910, had been “butchered” by var­i­ous own­ers mak­ing ad hoc al­ter­ations – an art deco fire­place had been in­stalled in a bed­room, a sec­tion of the hall­way had been di­vided off to cre­ate a tiny bed­room and door­ways had been punched into walls to cre­ate a war­ren of odd lit­tle spa­ces. So when the cou­ple moved in they spent the first few years un­do­ing ear­lier ren­o­va­tions. Mak­ing the de­ci­sion to peel dark wooden pan­elling off the walls was dif­fi­cult but Gail and Cory were right to trust their in­stincts. “As soon as it came away, we re­alised it wasn’t orig­i­nal. Re­mov­ing the pan­els re­ally light­ened the in­te­rior,” says Gail.

She and Cory brought in builders for the ma­jor con­struc­tion work but took on all the re­dec­o­rat­ing, with the help of Gail’s dad, a highly ca­pa­ble jack-of-all-trades.

Cory didn’t ini­tially share Gail’s love of char­ac­ter vil­las, pre­fer­ring a more contemporary style of home. This dis­par­ity in taste has in­flu­enced many of the in­te­rior de­sign de­ci­sions as Gail has strived to re­tain the in­tegrity and fea­tures of the old home while pro­vid­ing the ameni­ties and ben­e­fits of a mod­ern dwelling. “I’ve al­ways tried to show Cory that it’s pos­si­ble to have the best of both worlds with a mod­ern in­te­rior and the spe­cial style and fea­tures of the orig­i­nal,” she says.

She has gone to great lengths to re­in­state wooden scrolls and ceil­ing roses, match re­place­ment doors and repli­cate skirt­ing and ar­chi­traves; she has even added an arch­way to the hall. The orig­i­nal bath­room has been con­verted to an en­suite and a small an­nexe in the hall­way has been made into a walk-in robe for the mas­ter bed­room. Heat pumps warm the high-ceilinged rooms.

KITCHEN, LIV­ING, HALL­WAY In the light, bright in­te­rior contemporary art­work and fur­ni­ture sit along­side cher­ished trea­sures. Shoe lasts on a bench in the hall­way were found in the UK dur­ing Gail’s trav­els.

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