Tour of Note
Here’s a sneak preview of the six homes and gardens on display at this year’s event.
1 SOUTHERN COLONIAL
A 1988 Kitchener home employs an artfully hidden but unusual steel and concrete framework to replicate the style of a Southern Colonial home. A gracious curved staircase and elongated crystal chandelier dominate the two-storey foyer. Behind a bevelled glass door an oak-panelled study has a masculine feel, contrasting with brilliant cushions and a coffered ceiling in the adjacent living room. Bold impressionist paintings are a unifying element throughout. Travertine floors are a foil for the French Country off-white cabinetry of the kitchen. Upstairs, the elegant formality of the master suite is enlivened by the walk-in closet with an entire wall devoted to high-heeled shoes. Nestled in the centre of the intimate back gardens is a deep pond with a waterfall that is home to multicoloured Japanese Koi. Watch for their antics as you approach!
2 BEAUTIFUL TRANSFORMATION
On Waterloo’s historic John Street, an early 20th-century home has been transformed into a dwelling exuding modern comfort using extensive renovations and an addition at the rear. The owners enjoy the great room, including living, dining and kitchen areas, entered from a traditional front porch set with inviting wicker furniture. Upstairs three bedrooms are invitations to rest and enjoy a mixture of elegant furniture and delicate bedding. Of special note is the master bedroom complete with a striking sleigh bed and a cozy sitting area. Massive cabinetry along one hallway provides linen storage. Hostas and ferns line a walkway to the backyard garden, which is an oasis of perennials nurtured over many years. A magnificent black walnut stands guard at the back, while at the front a colourful perennial bed reaffirms the owners’ penchant for gardening.
3 MAKING IT THEIR OWN
Built in 1988 with a Cape Cod design, this dwelling is now the home of the original owners’ daughter. When they took possession in 2015, she and her husband started renovations to make it their own. On the main floor, a great room with a unifying wide-planked white-oak floor leads to a deck with comfortable wicker and teak outdoor furnishings. Nearby, an artfully constructed waterfall cascades into a deep blue swimming pool. Upstairs, the formal master suite leads to an elegant bathroom complete with a retro bathtub. Just a step away is a young girl’s bedroom with hot pink accents and toys and stuffed animals galore. Striking artworks adorn the walls of this interior designer’s home where change and innovation rule.
4 ORIGINAL FARMHOUSE
A four-square dwelling, built in 1906, one of two original farmhouses on the outskirts of east Waterloo, has stood the test of time and countless renovations. Since 2010, a professional landscaping couple has enjoyed the challenge of modernizing the home while respecting its vintage. Large pieces of art add colour throughout. The owners kept some of the old window glazing at the front, while at the back they recently completed a kitchen renovation stretching the home’s entire width. They have also added a media room, the staircase to which is graced by a unique iron railing. The owners designed the railing to commemorate a large blue spruce lost due to a wind event in 2013. Outside, a stamped concrete patio leads to a wide loggia made of huge beams rescued from a Welland Canal dock. Spectacular shrub and perennial beds punctuate the hardscaping and lead to a quiet lawn encircled by flower and vegetable beds lovingly tended by the owners from April to autumn frosts.
5 PARISIAN FLAIR
In 2001 the owners decided to build a French city revival home with Parisian flair, offering a mixture of antique and modern accents. This four-square edifice rises majestically from its two-and-a-half-acre setting in Conestogo. The main floor rooms reflect the interests of a busy family and include a magnificent La Cornue stove in the well-designed kitchen. Close by, a green and rose breakfast room offers an oasis of tranquility. A grand staircase leads to a mezzanine featuring a familyrelated poster and continues to a baby grand piano on the upper floor. A two-way fireplace divides the unique master bedroom and bath. Rich wooden floors and cabinets add warmth throughout and are an appealing contrast to huge marble and glass bathrooms. From upper windows there are glimpses of rose gardens and grape arbours, a perfect background for a delicate wooden pergola where ‘al fresco’ dining is a summer pleasure.
6 OPEN CONCEPT
HIstory mixes with modernity in a Lincoln Heights home overlooking the city of Waterloo. When tuberculosis was a scourge in 1914 this building was constructed as Waterloo’s isolation hospital. The owners have been proactive in maintaining the original elements at the front while embarking on extensive renovations and a rear addition in 2014. At that time the original double lot was subdivided to allow for the construction of a home for the parents of one of the owners. The gardens have been landscaped as a single property. The home mixes an open-concept design with ecologically friendly components, such as double-walled soy-based insulation and water-based heat overall. White walls and airy light fixtures are anchored by red-maple flooring, colourful paintings and embroidery. Glorious 12-foot windows overlook a perennial “butterfly friendly” garden where sumacs border the slope down to the city.