When Cheryl Krismer and John Korzeniewski looked at a former Anglican church in Hawkestone, between Orillia and Barrie, the realtor told them it couldn’t be made into a house because the pie-shaped property was too tiny to install a septic tank.
Smitten with the 1906-built brick building, the couple wasn’t deterred. They researched and sourced a septic system that could be installed vertically, and the property was theirs.
Cheryl is an Interior Designer and commutes to her business in Toronto, Crayon Design Co. John is a furniture maker and carpenter, so together they envisioned the potential in this stunning historical church. They looked for items gothic in character, richer in colour and a brighter palette, to keep the essence of the building.
The basement was one of the first areas they conquered. The floor had heaved and there was cracking and water. They installed lava stone hydronic flooring and new windows. Half-log pine siding by Barrie Trim & Mouldings Inc. on the walls gives an earthy feel. The lower level now boasts four bedrooms and the main bathroom. After some very creative thought and hard labour, the bedrooms are reminiscent of cosy cottage rooms.
On the main floor, the 16-foot original elm ceilings create a celestial setting. The raised kitchen, built where the altar used to sit, looks down onto the living area. Gothic colours, like the large inset Kohler sink in orange and the orange KitchenAid small appliances, add a dramatic touch. The amazing contrasting paint on the cupboards is Para Paint in Bitter Lemon.
The opulent dining table creates a rich setting for dining. Chairs were found at an auction and Cheryl picked the luxurious fabrics and had them reupholstered.
The magnificent fireplace sets the stage for cosy lounging. Cheryl built the fireplace herself, cutting, grinding and placing each stone into the surround.