Photography: Robin Stubbert
Perched on a hill in picturesque Paris, Ont., an 1883 house gets a redo for the ages.
We loved it the first time we laid eyes on it,” says Jen Dault, of the house she and husband Tom Dault transformed with old-fashioned elbow grease and a new-fashioned take on going vintage. “We already had a passion for antiques, but we were living in a new-build, which wasn’t the best canvas for our pieces,” says Tom. When they saw the century-plus house, they knew they’d found home. Their collection of characterful pieces and efforts to preserve the original architecture imbued the place with history, mystery and moody style. This required persistence (walls were painted four times before the right grey was found), ingenuity (Tom painstakingly rewired antique light fixtures) and patience – which, they admit, was sometimes lacking. “I was so eager to get the kitchen done, I tried to take down the upper cabinets myself,” says Jen, laughing. “Well, I’m a small girl, so when the microwave cabinet fell off the wall, I couldn’t move it and ended up holding it in my arms for an hour until Tom got home!” In the end, it was worth it. “We wanted a home that was in tune with who we are,” says Tom. We like the sound – and look – of that!
Small Town Welcome
Photography: Robin Stubbert | DRESSER, Objekts. WREATH, Home Depot. LANTERNS, Southwork’s Antiques. THROW, Bowles Hilltop Antiques. WHEAT SHEAF, Tattered and Torn.
Scarlet the wonder-dog loves curling up on the secondhand wicker furniture on the front porch. We bet she takes the sofa and leaves the chairs for homeowners Jen and Tom Dault. An antique rocker suits the yesteryear feel of the wraparound veranda, as does the dresser, which doubles as storage. Evenings are warmed by cozy throws and the soft glow of lantern light. Flour sacks for the curtain and pillow covers add a country feel.
Photography: Robin Stubbert | CHAIRS (flanking toucan), Tattered and Torn. TOUCAN (on pedestal), Cabinet of Curiosities. WALLPAPER, Amsterdam Element, Etsy.
Conversation starters are everywhere in the living room: this taxidermy toucan hails from the now-defunct Niagara Falls Museum. “It used to be rented out as a movie prop, so it’s kind of famous,” says Tom. A jungle-themed mural hangs behind.
Centuries of Style
Photography: Robin Stubbert | METAL CHAIRS, Mikga. LIGHT FIXTURE, Aberfoyle Antique Market. SHEEPSKIN, HomeSense. EAGLE (over doorway), Days Gone By Antiques. MIRROR, Southwork’s Antiques. HEAD BUST VASE/PLANTER, Bird and Be Vintage.
Hailing from a convent, the clean lines of the antique dining table appealed to Jen, who says, “it works with the modern bench and chairs.” The fireplace tiles are original, but the antique mantel was added by Tom.
Persons of Interest
Photography: Robin Stubbert | Kensington SOFA, RH. CEILING LIGHT, The Kings Bay. WALL PAINT, Normandie RL4349, Ralph Lauren. CEILING PAINT, Pencil Point PPU18-2, Behr. PORTRAITS (from left to right), Rhode Island Internet Consignment and Sales (pair, far left and right); Good Old Days Antique Auction, (pair, second from left); Old Town Hall Auctions (centre); Christie Antique and Vintage Show (pair second from right); Waterford Antique Market (right). VINTAGE SUITCASES, Christie Antique & Vintage Show (top); Strathroy Antique Mall (middle two); Market Road Antiques, Southworks Antiques (bottom). TABLE LAMP, Southwork’s Antiques. CUSHIONS, HomeSense.
“The portraits aren’t actual relatives, but we think of them as adopted family members,” says Tom, of the ornately framed collection symmetrically installed above the 10-foot-long leather sofa. The quintessential chesterfield-style sofa sets a commanding presence and was the first item moved into the room. Vintage luggage serves as side and coffee tables. Tom painted the 11-foot-high ceiling a dark grey and added the modern incandescent pendant to make the room feel warmer.
A Place in Time
Photography: Robin Stubbert
Unfitted painted and stained wood furniture suits a home of this age. “We like the weathered-and-worn look of older furnishings, and the feeling that comes with surrounding yourself with pieces that have their own history,” Jen says.
Photography: Robin Stubbert | CABINETRY, COUNTERTOP, IKEA. CABINTRY HARDWARE, Aberfoyle Antique Market. OPEN SHELVES, Atefacts Salvage & Design. TABLE, Southwork’s Antiques. ANTIQUE CABINET, 1871 Farmhouse. BACKSPLASH TILE, American Olean. WALL PAINT, Pencil Point PPU18-2, Behr. DISHWARE (on shelves), Royal Dalton; Tattered and Torn (ironstone); Cabinet of Curiosities (Victorian egg collection); St. Jacob’s Antiques Market (stoneware crocks); Freelton Antique Market (mortars and pestles). CEILING LIGHT, Waterford Antique Market.
“We wanted a mix of style and function in the kitchen,” says Jen. Open shelves hold everyday dishes and display a wide array of collectibles, including antique ironstone, crockery, and mortars and pestles, some of which are nearly 100 years old. The IKEA cabinetry is fitted with cast-iron drawer pulls for heft and a sense of age.
Photography: Robin Stubbert | FLOOR TILE, Merola Tile Arte Grey, Home Depot. MIRROR (above cabinet by toilet), BuyRite Antiques & Collectibles. NAUTICAL SHIP ART, Southwork’s Antiques & Collectibles (bottom); Objekts (top). American Olean TILE, Ove Decors TUB, Lowe’s.
“The first thing we bought for this room was the whale. This seemed like such a cool place for him,” says Jen, of the wood carving above the door. The oak cabinet stows towels and has its original wavy glass. Nautical art with a nostalgic feel hangs above the new toilet, and an antique bottle collection gets pride of place in a wall cabinet. “It gives it an apothecary look,” Jen says. She tiled the shower walls herself; a deep soaker tub adds modern clean lines for contrast.
Photography: Robin Stubbert | DOOR PAINT, Asphalt Gray N520-6, Behr. FLOOR TILE, Merola Tile Arte Grey, Home Depot. WHALE, Christie Antique and Vintage Show.