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).”
And since Carol is a serious gardener, the front landscaping also needed attention.
And since the house was small, they decided to extend it.
“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.”
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.”
Wayne carefully designed every bit of space.
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.
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.
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.
“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!!)”
“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!!!”
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.
The Coach House exterior is now complete, while work continues inside.
My family and I can barely wait to see the finished product.
Meanwhile, we’ve dubbed their much-expanded home “The Shaw Estate”.
But we’re betting that one of these days, I’ll call Carol and she’ll say, once again: “Well, let me tell you…”
Our friends who live there often spoke of “Justine”, who ran a painted-furniture business. Recently, they decided it was time for us to visit Justine’s business and meet her in person. So off we went.
Justine Vikse’s place isn’t just a painted-furniture store. “Serendipitous Old Stuff Lounge” is an unusual business, inspired by a place Justine “wandered into” while visiting New York state.
“I was indeed looking to purchase a building to house my already established painted furniture/design business Serendipitous Old Stuff”, she says. “Ironically, I drove by the business’ new home everyday, but never entertained its purchase because I always thought of it as a restaurant. I came back from that trip newly- inspired, and consulted a realtor friend to begin the process.”
And this is Justine’s place on Old Hastings Road today. Enter through the front door and to your left is a lounge and bar:
Step to your right and you’ll find a gift shop and tea store:
Beyond these spaces is the room where we had a delicious lunch:
Justine refers to her overall business as “the Lounge”. She calls it a comfortable gathering place with an unconventional aesthetic. “I wanted the Lounge to be like a canvas for art. Light, airy, elegant, and it had to smell good.”
“It’s also homey. I get to showcase my antiques, painted furniture, and gift items in an environment where patrons/friends can feel as though they’re in a living room of sorts, and get together over a pint, or a glass of wine, and perhaps a great Charcuterie platter.”
In every space, many pieces are for sale.
“When I initially started out in design and refinishing, I didn’t have a lot of money to allocate towards high-end antiques. I had to be intensely creative.
“I realized that I could pick vintage pieces that were relegated by the homeowner for the ‘ dump’ or auction and I could acquire them fairly cheaply.
“I studied and honed the art of transformation. Poured myself into art books, read up on techniques, and through trial and error, learned what was appreciated by the discerning eye, and what was not.”
That knowledge came in handy when Justine renovated the new space. Her contractor Wayne Shaw did all the plumbing, electrical and flooring. She did the rest.
“I did all the physical artistic labour involved in actualizing the space. Extraordinarily long hours of blood, sweat and tears were extended, but as exhaustive as it was, it was a labour of love.”
Her daughters help in the business.
“The blessing of this biz for me as a woman, is being fortunate enough to have my girls all within reach, and vice versa.
“It’s wonderful to know that they can step into the back door at any point during the day, and we can converse about what’s transpired throughout their day, and that two of them actively help me out with working here as servers.”
Justine dreamed of creating a cozy and elegant place for her patrons. With the many artistic touches and personal involvement, she believes she’s achieved her dream.