Mary Peirson and her husband Daniel were newlyweds and had been living in Mary’s long-time home in downtown Guelph. When a circa 1874 farmhouse just two blocks away went up for sale, they purchased the property in 2015 and the planning for the renovations began.
Mary had a strong working relationship with a contractor from her previous home, so she called Jeff Muysson of Standard Renovations to take a look. Spira Architectural Illustration & Design was hired to draft the plans.
The original house was a single-family dwelling with a centre hall and single staircase. Early on, the house had been duplexed by dividing it down the middle and installing two staircases and many small rooms both up and down. Mary and Daniel understood it would need a daunting amount of work to return it to its original centre-hall design with a more open concept.
The must-have list included open space that could potentially be used for hosting music concerts, a main-floor bedroom to accommodate aging in place, a music room, rooms for their two young adult children, a main-floor laundry/mudroom and a kitchen designed for a family that loves to cook.
A highlight of the home design is a spectacular modern central glass staircase with a wooden frame engineered by Stair Rite with tempered glass installed by Guelph Glass Limited.
In a nod to British design, the fireplace in the living room was inspired by something Mary found in a British magazine (installation by Burpee Stone Masonry). The vision for the kitchen was also culled from Britain – hunter green cabinetry with white countertops. The couple wanted the cabinetry to look streamlined, without interruption by bulky appliances or upper cabinets so they installed drawers and a large walk-in pantry for storage. Cabinets were built and installed by VDCM Architectural Millwork Inc.
The couple both have a passion for all things vintage. They enjoy scouring the region for vintage finds like the toaster and telephone in the kitchen, and their dressing room is full of vintage clothing and accessories. Mary's favourite colour, turquoise, pops up somewhere in every room of the home – sometimes as a decorative accent, or as a focal point like the sparkling glass floor tiles in the main-floor bathroom.