Every house has a story, and so does this one.
“I walked through the front door”, owner Beth says, “and, without seeing the rest of the house or knowing anything about it, I burst into tears and said ‘We’ll take it’. The realtors replied: ‘But you haven’t seen the rest of the house’. I didn’t need to.”
Beth was immediately drawn to the “magnificent staircase”, the sight lines from the front door, and the kitchen’s stained glass window.
Set on 5+ acres, this large brick house north of Cobourg, Ontario, has been beautifully renovated and lovingly cared. Beth and her partner Gerry were enthralled with the original features throughout the house: the woodwork, the 18- inch baseboards, the stained glass windows in 4 of the main rooms, and the back staircase that leads up to the bedroom once used by the household staff.
The house goes back to 1892, one of several built by the Atkinson family on “crown land” (deeded to them by the government). Descendants of the Atkinson family still live and farm nearby today.
But in the 1970’s, the house was in such sad shape that it was slated for demolition. Then a family bought it and lovingly restored it over 20 years. Next, the house was sold to professional renovators. By the time Beth and Gerry came along, it was already in great shape.
Beth has a passion for Victorian homes, and while some of the woodwork is painted, most of it has been kept original. “I have a mission to preserve old houses from being ‘painted’ – as so many of the décor magazines seem to advise right now, e.g. ‘Paint that staircase white’. Or, ‘get rid of that ugly wood trim’.”
It’s been a good home for Beth and Gerry.
With 5 bedrooms and spacious common areas, the house accommodates their large family gatherings and also provides separate office spaces for this couple.
They love the views. The sunsets from their west-facing living room. The trees. The fields. And the “free horses” – two Belgians belonging to their neighbours – that come to live in the field from May to October.
A favorite space is the screened- in porch/sunroom.
“It’s heaven. Listening to the sounds of nature. Enjoying the fresh breezes. From the first minute the temperature rises to +5 in the spring, we are sitting out there for three seasons. In the mornings with our coffee, at lunch taking a break from work, and after work with a glass of wine.”
But the time has come for Beth and Gerry to downsize. Their lovely house is for sale. And though there’s the inevitable sadness when leaving a cherished home, they know that others will enjoy it for years to come.
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