A short house tour
Nestled among an expansive valley, the village of Flesherton serves as inspiration and provides refuge for a vast congregation of talented artists.  In the winter is resembles a charming ski village, partially due to ski hills being a mere ten minute drive.  During the 1960's a well know Canadian painter purchased a charming but run down hotel for a work/live studio.  Visiting friends and city dwellers marveled at the beauty of the area, and balked at the minimal price of real estate, they soon followed.  With a small population of 700, there are quite a few artists and city weekenders.

My urge to experience a rural lifestyle was influenced by all of my favourite authors.  May Sarton, Henry Miller, Colette, all sing the praises of living amidst nature on a daily basis.  I felt the urge for a calming atmosphere to counter the affects of living in an urban environment for many years.  I enjoyed the serendipity, culture and energy the city offered, but I was curious about cutting out the visual, auditory, and olfactory distractions that went along with it.  As an artist, I wanted to find out what I wanted to express, what would happen if I took away the city influence?

In 1998 I found the perfect place online and made the leap. I was terrfied at first but quickly found myself to flourish there.

(view of the side porch.)

side_porch
The House was built around 1890, the exact date unknown.  Located in town it is a small one and a half story, (meaning the top floor has sloping ceilings.)  It has a real 1930's feel to it due to it's various renovations during that time.  The walkway guides you to the back of the house to a small porch.  An orange door leads into the summer kitchen/mudroom which we use as the main entrance, beside it are my snowshoes which become necessary for walks in the woods at this time of year.  The warm kitchen is small but inviting, there were often fresh herbs being grown in the window and soup simmering on the stove.  Beside a large window is a built-in breakfast nook, the floor is covered in old checkered linoleum tiles, (a happy find in a nearby tile store!) 

The dining room is furnished with a large rustic table made from wood salvaged from a 200 year old church in Quebec.  I love wood that has a history.  It is a table that begs to have people around it.  All the chairs and much of the furniture was harvested from garbage picking, they all have slight imperfections which I have learned to embrace. 

 

The living room is off to the north and it one of the most used rooms in the house due to the wood stove.  Many an evening is spent reading here next to the warmth of the fire, surrounded by old bookshelves and cups of tea.  The walls are knotty pine which hint once again to the 30's and cause me to feel like I'm in a log cabin at times.  Upstairs are two bedrooms, my studio and the bathroom which has an old clawfoot tub.  The floors are a wonderful painted wood, oxblood and grey.  The master bedroom has a charming view of "my forest" (really just my backyard which is full of ancient pines), and the barn. The barn has another large studio/workspace.

 

A view of the master bedroom. There are two other smallish bedrooms, one that I use as my studio.

 

dining_room

living_room

master_bedroom

The house sits at the bottom of a hill and is surrounded by several old gardens (many of which I haven't tamed), trees and various areas for sitting.  At the top of the hill is a wonderfully flat spot surrounded in the summer by flowering shrubs, rhubarb, apple trees & hydrangeas.  This is where we have a circle of chairs and a bonfire pit for evening gatherings.  There is a small herb garden just outside the entrance to the house and a long bed down the west side holds vegetables and annuals.  Herbs for me have been the most successful, and are tolerant of neglect. 

The front of the house has a small sun porch which is the most used room in the summer..  A friend donated an old 1920's couch and I found an antique brown wicker chair and table perfect for the cause.  This is a good place to have tea, nap, write, and listen to the rain.  The floor tilts down somewhat to the north.

 

About a five minute walk away there is a great hiking trail through the woods which I use almost everyday. And did I mention the great swimming pond (also a five minute walk)?

foyer

front_porch

 

 

My daily routine wouldn't be complete without a trip to get the mail and a coffee break at the local Bakery.  In a small town you talk with everyone.  At the cafe you can catch up on the latest news, and current events .  It functions as the real centre of the village, and there is a constant flow of visitors from the city to add to the mix. There are three other restaurants that I frequent in town, Donabies (seen in photo), Munshaws (really good locally grown fare), and the Flesherton Inn (which believe it or not has great Indian food.)

A few winter scenes...
 

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