An Inspired Century Home Restoration

Anyone who has owned a century home knows that it can easily become a lifetime commitment, swallowing up your time and financial resources along the way. But it can also be a highly creative and rewarding experience, as is the case with Rose Stewart’s home located in Eastern Ontario.

What makes this restoration inspired is the way it successfully marries old with new elements. Rose purchased her dream home over 15 years ago. She came upon the house by chance on one of her many drives in the country. Uncharacteristically, she knocked on the door and asked the owners if they would be willing to sell her the house. Several years later, after patient and persistent effort, she purchased the house and began working on its gradual transformation.

There were many things that needed immediate attention such as repointing the limestone, a new furnace, repairs to the well, walls, floors, plumbing – everything needed fixing and Rose tackled them one by one, as time and budget would permit. Eventually, she embarked on a kitchen renovation that brought it all together. “I needed to live in the house for several years before I could visualize what I wanted,” she revealed.

The result is a stunning home that flows comfortably from room to room and from inside to outside. In the kitchen, next to new soapstone counters, sink and appliances, are elements of the original house that have been refurbished such as floors, sash windows, and mouldings. She also exposed stone walls, repurposed old barn boards from the property and used them as interior doors to bring out the inherent architectural beauty of the house.

Throughout her interiors she has placed antiques that would have been right at home with our early pioneer settlers, and yet the effect is one of refreshing vitality. The pieces don’t look staid or outdated. Perhaps this is because Rose uses her antiques as functional everyday objects, integrating them into her home with ease and understated sophistication.

Rose is an artist so her work, as well as that of others, is featured throughout the house. This enhances the contemporary and eclectic feel of her home and is what contributes to making it such an uplifting place to be.

Some highlights of her restoration featured in our photo gallery are:
• the mud room, leading to the kitchen, includes the same soapstone counter and exposed limestone walls as found in the kitchen, thus connecting the two rooms together;
• the view from the mud room overlooks a charming vegetable garden with a lovely garden statue;
• the kitchen features an antique counter, next to a custom made soapstone counter integrating the kitchen with the open dining room;
• notable antiques include:
– a storage cupboard from Frontenac County which houses Rose’s china;
– a 19th century sawbuck table from Waterloo County serves as a dining table;
– a painted hanging cabinet in the kitchen holds a collection of early Canadian goblets and china.
• Next to the kitchen is the front entrance with a central hall showcasing an early Canadian painted bench. The original mouldings feature prominently in the kitchen and hall.
• On the main level of the house is a room with a TV and fireplace. Here, the iconic mid-century Eames chair and contemporary black leather couch juxtapose casually and elegantly with the older features of the house.


As mentioned, Rose’s work is featured throughout the house and is a key element successfully connecting one room to the next. Overall, the effect while visiting Rose in her home is one of being in a truly beautiful, harmonious and magical space – an effect that can only be described as inspired.

To find out more about Rose Stewart’s work click here to visit her website (

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