“We were looking for a bigger bungalow, and we just kept being drawn to the outside of this house,” the owner says of his and his husband’s search for a new home. On firm financial footing with advice from their advisor at Edward Jones, they were looking to downsize from their previous place, although that might not be the right term for this 2,800 square foot, 1979-built home. “I call it ‘right-sizing,’” he smirks.
Walking out the back door, the yard consists of three conjoined patios — a steel- framed gazebo on the left, an umbrella-covered seating area in the middle, and a fire pit on the right — and most people would be happy with any single one. The stone pathway winds through the flower beds and connects each section, with more mature trees enclosing it all in, making a perfectly private setting for hosting » weddings ( four, so far) — not that there are bordering neighbours to peer in anyway. “We wanted no one behind us, that was the biggest thing,” he says of the green pathway between the homes.
It’s a lot of work — the roughly 270 lineal feet of fence won’t paint themselves — but the only labour they love more is on the inside of the house, which could double as a decently sized gallery the couple has curated over their lives and 17 years together. Each Benjamin Moore-painted wall is covered with mostly Canadian works, including a large flower painting by the co-owner’s mother in the games room downstairs.
But while you can’t walk two feet without seeing another work of art, the home has no formal gallery feeling. “We didn’t want it to be like a museum, so we didn’t furnish it just with antiques. We wanted people to feel like they can come in, sit down and put their feet up.”
Some paintings are new, some are old, some will be sold or gifted to friends as their gallery grows like their garden. In the kitchen — which is in the back, sunken part of the house added on by the previous owner — he pulls down one of his favourite paintings by Indigenous artist Fred Anderson Jr. to show a scribbled message on the back that sums up the home’s ever-changing state: “All meaningful and long-lasting change first starts on the inside and then works its way out. There is nothing permanent in life but change…so make it joyful.”