Home Tour: Cozy Up Inside This Historic Country House
A Toronto couple in search of a year-round retreat fell in love with this country house, designed by celebrated architect B. Napier Simpson Jr. With the help of architectural designer Ray Murakami and designer Ann Johnston, they reimagined the historic home for modern life — opening it up while respecting the original features. Click through to see the stunning end result.
New barnboard wall siding and hand-hewn beams give the dining room its rustic mood. Louis XVI-style chairs by RH Restoration Hardware and full-length drapes in a Cowtan & Tout linen inject sophistication.
For visual interest, the white-painted tongue-and-groove ceiling sections in the dining room were oriented in different directions. An elegant Indiana limestone mantel lends the fireplace unexpected polish.
Architectural designer Ray Murakami and designer Ann Johnston refreshed the impressive great room by adding reclaimed barnboard panelling on the peaked ceiling and giving the fireplace a weathered-wood mantel. A Gothic-style chandelier highlights the striking support beams.
The owner’s favorite winter arrangements are loose and natural, and often collected during her rambles on the property.
Floor-to-ceiling windows and new french doors give the breakfast room an indoor-outdoor feel that’s enhanced by the use of modern wicker chairs.
Exterior bifold french-style doors slide smoothly along a track to open the family room up to a new screened porch. Johnston kept the furniture low in profile to maximize the views. Even the antique ladder-back chair keeps sight lines open while adding a classic country note.
Rugged materials like barnboard and stone veneer cover the walls and give the interior its country character. New wide-plank oak floorboards flow throughout the house.
An armchair and ottoman nestled into a quiet corner of the second-floor guest room provide the perfect place to curl up and read.
Shades of white and pale wood feel soothing in the principal ensuite. The double-sink vanity includes plenty of storage.
The expansive open-concept kitchen overlooks both the family room and the breakfast room; a barnboard ceiling defines the family room space.
In the principal bedroom, Johnston lightened the mood by whitewashing the new wood planks on the angled ceiling. Throw pillows covered in fabric by Cowtan & Tout dress up the bed, while a faux-fur throw adds wintry comfort.