Where do I start my old house renovation or preservation project – Part Two!
I have created a set of drawings in hopes to inspire the reader to recreate this historic landscape in their own front yard!
On this episode of the Chris Cooper show I will introduce the second of our project houses. A long forgotten farmhouse built in 1837 located in Bright, just 5 minutes west of Cambridge, Ontario.
In 1914, my grandfather, Richmond Dorey, built this little building for my grandmother Amy to operate as an ice cream parlour. My father, Albert Dorey, was eight years old at the time and this became a bit of a family business.
Our first long term project home is our frame Victory house built in 1947 located in Brantford, Ontario Canada.
This project is a clear example of what almost any amateur couple can do with a little fore sight and discipline. Money is one of the lesser parts of the equation.
On this episode of the Chris Cooper Show… I will be visiting Carla Emin in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia – Carla is living the proverbial Canadian dream of living in an old house that has been beautifully restored – with a successful business just steps from her back door.
I have found most people, including ourselves at our three Vintage Home Charm project houses, are in a flux of partially restored windows or windows that have been restored, however need a little extra work to make them a little less drafty for the winter months.
There are many options on the market to stop draft, notwithstanding this, most modern contrivances are damaging to a wood window.
The true sense of a craftsman is the quality of their work! We look at architectural millwork (a.k.a. gingerbread) and are awestruck at the intricacy and workmanship that went into these pieces of wooden art!
More and more gardeners are turning their attention to an age-old method of saving for a not-so-rainy day. Rain barrels were used by our thrifty pioneering forefathers for gardens and bathing. The roof gutters drained into an old barrel at the corner of the homestead.
There was once a little boy who collected bottle caps and candy wrappers, baseball cards and butterflies. This was followed by stamps, coins and cacti. And later still, antiquarian books, collectibles and antique furniture. And, finally, buildings. The latter being the most interesting by far.
What is it that evokes so much pleasure of cold winter nights sitting around a cast iron stove? Perhaps it is the memories of your parents or grandparents weaving stories of their past, “when I was a child we would…” or perhaps it’s those memories of the best meals you ever had being cooked on a wood burning range, simplicity never tasted so good!
Old doors have been given a bad rap (excuse the pun) for a long time! The removal of old doors (not unlike wood windows) can significantly reduce or destroy the character and authenticity of a traditional home. The door is the first thing that greets the owner and visitors alike. The warmth and character of an old wood door – specifically one which denotes the very design style it was intended for – should be kept and restored at all costs. Its removal and replacement with a modern insulated doors with its flat, uninspired panels which scream “fake”, is a abomination to your traditional house. We hope the following grouping of amazing doors and surrounds will help inspire you to restore your own original doors or bring back original details. Enjoy…
I have always been drawn to 40’s kitchen collectibles so I was glad that the kitchen ended up being that era. It gave me a chance to display some of my existing collection and the license to buy more! If we ever renovate the kitchen, I would likely put in one that was more in keeping with the period of the house. In the meantime, however, I really enjoy it the way it is.
One of my fondest recollections from my childhood is sitting on our old farmhouse porch swing. The creaking from rusty old chains, and red-winged-blackbird songs warbling from the banks of the creek which meandered through the separation of greening grass and freshly harrowed fields, was simply music to a 7-year-old’s ears. The snow was a distant memory and the buds were bursting on the willow trees which enveloped our little patch of paradise in the summer. I knew that soon it would be warm enough to catch tadpoles in the creek and marvel at the delicate wings of dragon flies. But for now it was sheer bliss to sit on that old swing and keep tempo with my winged friends.
I have great affection for abandoned houses. I find them beautiful and somewhat sad in their attempt to prop themselves up and not become merely dust in the landscape. Every-so-often I find myself so enamored with a long forgotten edifice that it almost haunts me, as did a little house I stumbled upon during a visit to Prince Edward Island, Canada some years ago.
Many people have a fear of painting their house a bold colour such as red however red is a fabulous colour to make both a historic statement and to make an impact on your streetscape.
A garden gate becomes an attractive focal point for curb appeal and a welcoming portal to what wonderful delights await on the other side; a loved and cared for garden or the charming and perfectly restored house.