A Good Home, Canadian Families, Canadian Gardens, Canadian Homes

What a Project!

Whenever I phone my longtime friend Carol, I always ask: “And what’s Wayne up to now?”

And as soon as she says, “Well, let me tell you…” I’m already grinning.

Wayne, you see, is always building something — from cars to houses — and he thrives on a challenge. 

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol House 1

He played a key role in the recent renovation of Justine Viske’s SOS Lounge, one of many interesting projects.Blog Photo - SOS Justine and Wayne

But he has also been working on his own home between these client-projects. And what a project!

Wayne and Carol bought their current home several years ago, in the village of Warkworth, a 90-minute drive east of Toronto. Long before they moved in, Wayne had plans.

“First up”, says Wayne, “was Carol’s garden shed (with the stained glass windows, lighting and power).” 

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol Gdn shed2

And since Carol is a serious gardener, the front landscaping also needed attention.

Blog photo - Wayne and Carol front garden

And since the house was small, they decided to extend it. 

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol Addition1

“Now it’s 2014 and the addition is starting to take shape”, Wayne recalls. “The foundation and sub-floor are in place. The walls and trusses are up, and it is beginning to look like we know what we are doing!!…LOL.”

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol house addition

The addition houses a family room and more:

“Well, by late summer 2015, we have a washroom for overnight guests. Carol has an office, and I have completed all mechanical necessities in the main entertainment area, including the fireplace, and have built custom cabinetry throughout.”

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol Family Rm inside

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol Family Rm inside 2

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol tiny new office

Wayne carefully designed every bit of space.

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol Closed-in Porch

It was the same with the new kitchen.

The original was dark and inconvenient for Carol, who is a great cook. So Wayne decided to build her a much better one, in the adjacent room. He redesigned and built the whole thing from scratch.

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol Kitchen Pantry

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol Kitchen ws

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol Kitchen 2

That’s Wayne. Where other people might see an insurmountable problem, Wayne sees an exciting challenge. 

Carol has a say, of course, in both design and decor.

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol Living-Dining

But she’s quick to point out that “It’s all Wayne”, while praising him for his meticulous work.

And it is meticulous – the kind of work that stands up to close inspection, whether it’s indoors or out.

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol garden with red maple.JPG

“Early in the nice weather of 2016”, Wayne says, “WE decided to do a little landscaping before starting work on MY pet project, the garage — better known as ‘the Coach House’. 

“As you can see, the landscaping involved the acquisition of a considerable number of fair sized rocks (I FOUND them at the sides of the road, and on the outskirts of farmers fields!!)”

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol new landscape

“Some rather larger rocks were used in the landscaping of our new driveway, the one leading to the new ‘Coach House’. I have to admit they were very difficult to get into the back of my SUV!!!”

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol new driveway and huge rocks

As their friends know, Wayne gets restless without a project.  He completed the kitchen just weeks ago, and returned to the project he started last year: the Coach House, with room for his vintage cars and a guest suite. 

Blog Photo - Wayne and Friends raise coachhouse walls

Blog Photo - Wayne and friends inside coachhouse walls
Wayne Shaw, right

The Coach House exterior is now complete, while work continues inside. 

My family and I can barely wait to see the finished product.

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol Coach House

 Meanwhile, we’ve dubbed their much-expanded home  “The Shaw Estate”.

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol House exterior with fence

Blog Photo - Wayne and Carol House and Fence sideview

But we’re betting that one of these days, I’ll call Carol and she’ll say, once again: “Well, let me tell you…”

Bravo, Wayne and Carol!


Photos provided by Wayne Shaw.

63 thoughts on “What a Project!”

  1. I would love to have Wayne’s remodeling and building skills! Stained glass windows on the garden shed sound lovely. Carol’s landscaping is beautiful. They do make a great team!

  2. What a wonderful couple your friends are. I love Carol’s shed and all the love and care Wayne pours into his projects. Such a happy post, Cynthia. Thank you. xX

  3. I get them impression that Way and Carolyn are both very talented people. Their home, garden shed and garden look beautiful.

    1. You’re right. They are a lovely and creative couple who work well together. Plus, Wayne cracks up Carol — and everyone else — with his humorous views on life.

  4. I want a Wayne too!!! So impressive all the work they have done there. I love the yellow chairs with the yellow and blue chairs opposite. If I could buy new furniture, that’s what I would buy. The gardens are stunning and I’m hoping to get there myself one day. So much inspiration here. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Happy that you enjoy seeing Wayne’s work and our gardens. Most of our furniture is second hand, just recovered to suit us! We’re always looking for bargains.

      1. I loved the fabrics and colors chosen for the furniture and saved the photo for my own reference. It’s so open and airy feeling. Having a partner that you can work well with is the biggest prize one can have.

    1. We are a good team and seldom disagree about how things should be, but Wayne is definitely the talented one. I love the gardening part, (Wayne does the heavy lifting!!) and dealing with interior colour choices etc. It seems to work!

  5. Thank you, Cynthia, for that wonderful blog that displays Wayne’s amazing work! I am SO fortunate to have him!!! My friends are jealous! We still have some projects to do, believe it or not, so we’ll keep you posted. Finishing the Coach House (aka garage) is this summer’s job, and then inside “winter” projects can resume. We’re having fun:)

    1. Funny you should mention that idea, Judy! For years, Wayne has wanted to find a vehicle that he can convert into an RV. Nothing simple like actually BUYING one ready to go!!!! That may be his next project – or one of them – and New England is a favourite spot.

      1. Now, just a minute! He wanted an excuse to delay the Coach House because the next job is insulating the metal roof. It has been FAR too hot to work in there and up there. He has actually enjoyed most of the things he’s done to help with the garden – mostly grunt work – but he’s so happy with the results, that he has become fanatical about seeing that the new plantings are being watered through this drought. (We are ignoring the lawn, and it is responding by remaining dull brown except for the crabgrass.)

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