See How This Victorian Heritage Home Pays Homage To The Past
Moody, layered, historical, handsome — there are many words you could use to describe the home of designer Elle Patille of Leydi Milagros Design and her wealth advisor husband, Mo Vikrant, but conventional isn’t one of them. The 185-year-old house, located about an hour’s drive northwest of Toronto in Ballycroy, Ontario, served as a general store, post office, town dance hall and inn before its current iteration as a home for the couple and their two cats and two dogs. “To think that a building like this still existed blew our minds,” says Elle, who was immediately drawn to the home’s Victorian and Western false front architecture and its unusual history.
Spread over 5,000 square feet (including the general store), the house needed major repairs inside and out. Rather than taking it back to the studs, however, Elle adopted the roles of curator and preservationist, restoring the property to its former glory while bestowing it with the couple’s unique aesthetic. “I love the imperfections! My job was to keep everything intact, no matter how difficult,” she says. Click through for a look inside this Victorian heritage home.
“Because of the oversized sofa, the family room is where we curl up with a good book or our laptops,” says Elle, whose love of hides and crystal chandeliers adds warmth and sparkle during the winter months.
An antique cabinet displays vintage books and taxidermy, including a great horned owl Elle named Professor Hoot. “It’s been with me for more than 32 years,” she says. “My father brought it home after finding it deceased at the side of the freeway.” The portrait on the wall is by Argentinian photographer Romina Ressia.
Elle and her husband, Mo, turned a historical Ontario building into a welcoming home for themselves and their pets, including their German shepherd, Albert.
Elle maintained the home’s beautiful vintage details whenever possible. Her taste in artwork and decorating modernized the house’s look without competing with its original aesthetic.
The living room’s pale, slipcovered furniture provides a practical and tasteful solution for the couple’s lifestyle: not only does the white linen give the space a bright, breezy feel but it’s washable — perfect for paw prints and pet hair. A Victorian-style iron and crystal glass chandelier adds a dose of opulence.
A farmhouse table made from reclaimed mangowood and linen slipcovered chairs give the dining room a relaxed look. “I wanted this room to feel like it was giving our guests a big hug,” says Elle, who added a matte black, Empire chain chandelier to balance the framed doll photograph, a memento from the couple’s journey to Chernobyl.
Elle uses the butler’s pantry, just off the dining room, as extra space to spread out a buffet while entertaining. The walls are original tongue-and-groove.
Elle took more creative license in the kitchen than the rest of the home, opting for floating shelves, a subway-tiled backsplash and an industrial Edison bulb ceiling fixture. “I was going for a European bistro vibe,” she says. “Now the room transitions from bright and light during the day to a cozy bar feel at night.” Crown moulding accentuates the room’s 10-foot-high ceilings, and sheepskins brought home from Finland top the barstools.
Elle complemented the kitchen’s original hardwood flooring with honed Carrara marble countertops and warm, textured accents. “It would’ve been sacrilege to swap out those old wooden floors,” she says. “They’ve worked in that kitchen for nearly 200 years and are still going strong!”
“Our bedroom was once the town dance hall and is located directly above the old general store,” says Elle of the 1,000-square-foot principal suite. “It’s a beautiful, sun-filled room so I opted for light cotton drapery to keep the feeling bright and fresh.”
Elle turned a former storage room into the principal bathroom. “I protected the original wood flooring with an exterior paint; I absolutely love the warmth it gives off,” she says. The marble shower doubles as a steam room, complete with chromotherapy lighting and Bluetooth speakers.
The guest bedroom didn’t have a built-in closet, so Elle added a wardrobe for visitors to store their belongings. A vintage metal bed is at home amidst the house’s original wainscotting, mouldings and porcelain doorknobs.