Brad and Tracey Paton’s country home has more than 150 years of history in the Flamborough area. It sits on two-and-a-half acres and was originally built around 1850 for the local Methodist minister. It’s finished in stone from the Flamborough quarry, the same stone used to construct Dundurn Castle, and built by the same mason who oversaw Dundurn’s completion. “We weren’t necessarily looking for something historical,” Brad says.
“It was more about the layout of the land,” Tracey adds. Brad and Tracey own Shades of Summer Landscaping and Maintenance Inc., which Brad established in 2009. “We needed land for the business and location-wise, we wanted to be where all the nurseries, soil and stone yards are situated,” Brad explains.
The house had everything the Patons were looking for: acreage, location and charm. They knew upon moving in that renovations were in the cards. In the original part of the home, the Patons modernized the existing country kitchen with custom cabinetry, porcelain tile and
backsplash and striking granite.
The Patons opted for a natural palette from Benjamin Moore throughout the home. “The idea for our home was earth tones. We are out in the country and we wanted that farm house charm,” Brad says.
A wood-burning fireplace has a surround made of stone that comes from lower levels of the same quarry that the original stone for the house came from, Tracey notes. The home’s original rear wall is visible as one wall of the family room. “A lot of homes in this area built around the 1850s would have a nice stone facing but the back would be rubble stone or brick or something like that,” Brad says. “They did stone all the way around this house because it was for the minister. A Methodist minister must present a respectable back as well as front to his congregation.”
Outside is a spacious deck and lush garden that wraps around the property. The garden is a showcase of 11 different species of Japanese maple, eight different types of hydrangeas, six different types of cypresses, four different dogwoods and 20 different hostas. A winding stone path leads visitors past tranquil water features and highlights the Patons’ talents.
The garden is full of birdsong and the sounds of water and wind. The house wears this little Eden like a fall mantle as it prepares to watch the autumn colours arrive. “Sometimes it’s difficult for clients to visualize what they want, but then they come here and see what could be possible,” Tracey says.