“I can’t tell you how many people people walk by, stop and point,” says Shelagh Kellam of her freshly painted black and white house. Amid the stately red brick houses of Toronto’s Rosedale neighborhood, the high-contrast Tudor makes a serious style statement: a tuxedo among business suits. Shelagh had tried the look once before, back when she and husband Richard Kellam transformed a 1930s clapboard house in Akron, Ohio. It was just one of seven major renovations they’ve taken on over 25 years, as Richard’s career in consumer goods moved them and their four children, Darragh, Pierce, Kieran and Brendan, around the world.
With the children now grown and starting their own families, the couple was thinking about downsizing from their expansive family home (featured in H&H’s December 2011 issue) when fate came calling. A knock at the door from a prospective buyer led to a sale; soon after came the phone call from a friend, tipping them off to a house on the market just two blocks away. Initially skeptical, Shelagh says once she stepped inside, the deal was done.
Here, she shares her thoughts on renovating, design lessons learned and the intangible qualities that make a house a home. Scroll down!