Linda and Steve Warne’s decision to purchase a century-old home in Manotick might provide the perfect illustration of fate, persistence and hard work aligning to make a dream come true.
Happily settled in a new home in Barrhaven, Linda was not expecting to fall madly in love with a house built in 1880 until it kept reappearing in her life. Convinced deep down that this property was meant to belong to her family, Linda began strategizing, dreaming and even buying furniture for real estate that she might never own. Steve came on board with the plan, and after they were able to sell their current residence for an appropriate price, the family commenced renovations and restoration on their newly-acquired rural haven.
Thanks to Linda’s expertise as a professional stager and owner of Welcome Home Staging and design plus Steve’s construction capabilities, the couple was able to complete many improvement projects without outside assistance. The entire experience has provided ample fodder for Steve’s morning radio show, which he hosts at TSN 1200 in Ottawa. “My co-hosts especially love using the cash register sound effect when discussing our most current household project.”
Specialists were brought in for bigger jobs like installing new air conditioning, furnace, hot water heater, sump pump and septic system. Scheel Window & Door replaced over twenty windows, making the house efficient and “super cozy.” The stucco-covered upstairs walls were smoothed with drywall and painted in colours to make every interior view fresh and cheerful.
New hardwood floors on the main level were warmed up with the help of Athens Rugs. Each well-curated room is a filled with a blend of new pieces and antique furnishings, acquired on beloved excursions and refinished by Steve. Crisp linens and textured fabrics in airy spaces complete the look and feel of the Warne’s modern farmhouse.
Just through the original front door, a bright, high-ceilinged foyer and stately curved staircase are positioned to welcome and create awe in the masterpiece home.
In the sunny living room, chunky windowsills were repurposed to hold objects and a multitude of glowing candles. A former closet, converted to a powder room by Steve, adds modern convenience, while a grand English armoire situated nearby holds coats and belongings. A collection of books and a vintage 1938 radio add character and personal history to the space.
Renovations to the kitchen included installing a fresh backsplash and replacing a large modern island with a generous farmhouse-style table. A small fireplace now serves to create intimacy in this gathering space, positioned near to a treasured hutch, which was purchased for a song in Smiths Falls, says Linda.
The upstairs master bedroom features stunning outdoor views and connects to a walk-in closet through a brilliantly-placed laundry room. Across a cheerful landing is son Michael’s restful and orderly room which is decorated “just the way he likes it.”
Walls removed by previous owners expose the staircase leading to daughter Lindsay’s studio-style attic bedroom. Eight screened skylights, tin ceiling, exposed stone and slanted ceilings combine to create a dazzling paradise for dreaming, studying or spending time with friends.
Located on three acres, half covered in trees, the home’s stone exterior and surroundings are essential to its allure. The Warne’s favourite outdoor areas include the lush gardens, a gazebo, and front porch with a twelve-foot church pew that was purchased at auction. Michael, who has autism, loves to walk the long freshly-paved driveway leading up to the house, and the family’s cat Oliver also enjoys his new freedom to roam and keep all woodland creatures at bay.
In July, the Warnes will celebrate two years “just outside of town” and they couldn’t be more content. When asked how she feels about their home, Linda cannot help but smile.
“I still can’t believe that we are here and feel like I need to be pinched. I love everything about this house including its great energy. It is a perfect testimony to our taste and style and I am still enjoying the permission to be imperfect that comes with redesigning and styling an older home. I hope we live here forever.”