When Karen and Craig Jackson first spotted this 102-acre property in Freelton, there was a sense not only of calm but also of history. The home they built reflects all of that. It is comfortable and inviting, with hints of an intriguing past in the curated antiques, lovingly crafted replicas and reclaimed local materials.
“Our goal was to build to about 1910, the Edwardian era,” says Karen. “It’s not as fussy or ornate as the Victorian period, but buildings still have those nice large mouldings.” Karen and Craig took their time finding just the right pieces to inspire their home’s design. For example, at an antique show Karen came across a set of exterior windows she absolutely loved, with diamond, lozenge-shaped glass inserts. They then had all 99 of the home’s exterior windows made to match the antiques, but updated for safety and insulation, while the original inspirations were installed in the garage.
The home’s front doors have a similar history. “I bought a set of antique doors for our main entryway and then had them retrofitted,” says Karen.
Inside, the couple took the same care in blending the old with the new, with a focus on craftsmanship and authenticity.
Mahogany floors in an oversize parquet pattern add an authentic period touch. Patterson’s Custom Cabinetry Ltd. worked magic in the kitchen, marrying display cabinets with ample storage. They added a herringbone pattern in the dining room as well.
In the family room, walls built entirely from stones found on the property make the room feel like it’s been around for ages. The reclaimed floorboards bear scratches and saw marks, hints at their previous life as beams in a local factory. “Maybe it’s the floor and walls, or the overstuffed furniture or the warm colours, but when we have a fire going in this room in the winter, it’s my favourite spot in the house,” says Karen.
They carefully sourced lighting throughout the home that corresponded with the period – a pair of striking black chandeliers and other lights were sourced at Antique Market.
“Although it’s a larger home, we didn’t want it to feel ostentatious,” says Karen, who relied on input from friend and advisor Cheryl Marie Dorricott, of Sotheby’s International Realty. “We wanted people to feel welcome to put their cup down, their feet up, and just make themselves at home.” She adds, “A home should be fun. You should be enjoying where you live, and guests should have so much fun they don’t want to leave.”
The inspiration of the home’s design came from a magazine Karen had kept for a number of years. The couple sketched a few ideas of their own and their architect, John Willmott, weaved it all together.