Inspired by English country style, designer James Davie brought this weekend home in the rolling hills of Mulmur, Ont. to life. Layered with rich hues, lush textiles, muted printed and classic silhouettes, the retreat is packed with old-world charm. Take a tour of the sophisticated space.
The picturesque home features a century-old log barn flanked by stone-covered additions. James also made over the garden to give it a structured English style and enhance the connection between indoors and out. Rustic stone stairs lead down to the property’s river.
Plenty of seating, a grand scale and symmetry are what make the great room worthy of its name. The wood beams were stained dark brown to contrast the pale stone wall and grasscloth wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries.
James added a new seating area in a little-used hallway leading to the kitchen by introducing an octagonal games table and upholstered klismos chairs and anchoring them in the space with a facetted pendant light.
He romantically describes the kitchen’s palette as “a bottle of Cabernet with a pretty, frayed grey label.”
The designer punctuated the dining room with dark slate blue accents. Layered lights — pendants, sconces and candles — give the owners options when entertaining.
While the dining room looks simple, James subtly layered in texture and tone in the limewashed walls, wood floors, pale millwork and linen blinds. A slate blue hutch and lantern sconce are period touches. Door-style casements give the narrow windows more architectural emphasis.
Details like the dining room’s standing candelabras give the house a slightly Gothic vibe.
In the cozy, low-ceilinged library, the soft Wedgwood blue is carried from the sofa to the lampshades and ceiling, and punctuated by pops of “English red” for a historically classic pairing. A square motif is used throughout the room in the facetted panelling, boxy sconces and window panes (not visible), making it feel harmonious.
James pulled the library’s palette of creamy yellow, soft blue and red from the crewelwork drapes. They also add texture and a touch of drama.
In the guest room, James added luxury with a ribbed silk rug in regal purple and echoed the hue in the linens on the soaring four-poster bed. Even the low-slung window (necessitated by the lower ceilings in the barn section of the house) gets a layered treatment, with a roman shade installed over sheer curtains.
In the Zen-like principal bath, the showstopping feature is the shower framed in polished nickel. Accents of silver travertine and a cast-iron tub with a stainless steel apron enhance the luxe feeling, and a ladder-back chair references the country locale. New wide-plank greyed- oak floors run all through the house.
Inviting outdoor spaces, like the gazebo on the pond, connect house to landscape.
Author: Beth Hitchcock
House & Home October 2014