In 1896, the Klondike gold rush began, the X-ray was discovered, an earthquake and tsunami in Japan killed 27,000 people and Victoria architect Samuel Maclure planted some small trees at the corner of St. Charles and Maud streets.Today, those mature cedars and elms are living gateposts, marking the entrance to a Rockland home that Maclure designed.Called Inglehurst, it was built in the style of a Swiss Chalet a fashionable statement at the time and features gables, decorative wooden brackets and cutouts.Maclure is renowned for enormous Tudor revival homes gothic Hatley Castle, mansions in the arts-and-crafts vein and high Victorian style but this three-bedroom, 3,500-square-foot home has a whole different feel, and an ambience that reflects the architects sensitive blending of architecture and landscape.Owners David and Linda Stone, who bought the house in 2005, have taken an equally sensitive approach to their homes renovation and decoration, remaining true to the period in their enhancement of its historical architectural elements, yet giving the interiors a chic modern edge.The stylish living room features three contemporary sofas slipcovered in heavy white cotton, splashes of bright local art on the walls, a zebra skin cowhide on the floor and a bowl of bleached antlers.Linda has a hefty collection of horns and antlers, which she sprinkles around the house. Its a passion her husband finds amusing, since she is a vegetarian.She also likes to mix Chinese pieces with faux French, and enjoys pooling taffeta curtains on the floor. Her dining rooms dark-brown chairs are slipcovered in white for summer, for a more relaxed feel; a former maids room has scarlet walls crowded with contemporary art; and the main guestroom boasts dramatic deep-black walls. Linda, an interior decorator at Insideout, has clearly let her creative talents run riot here.When we bought the house, it was all wall-to-wall, in a green-aqua shag, recalled her husband, who added that high-energy Linda wasted no time ripping it out.We got the keys to the house at 11 a.m. and by 3 p.m., all the carpet was gone, said David. The house was painted like a Mexican restaurant, all green and yellow. The kitchen was gold and all around the top of the room was an Elizabethan wallpaper print with animals fat pigs and cows.They repaired, sanded, stained and refinished all the floors before moving in, replaced appliances, stripped wallpaper and repainted. A new roof and other upgrades were done over time, including a recent renovation of the master bathroom, which they took down to the joists and studs.It really was a horrible room, recalled Linda. We took out the Jacuzzi, put in a free-standing tub, a glass shower with Matrix Marble, large tile floors from Decora.David said the grandkids love the huge rain shower and he likes the sloped floor, which drains to an almost-invisible slot at the wall. Linda had an old chair of her mothers slipcovered in hot pink for a splash of colour in the bathroom?.The house is heated by hot water, but they also added four gas fireplaces that look as if they are burning coal. Master-bedroom curtains are made of luxuriously soft chenille and on either side of the fireplace, Linda has placed two large chairs covered in an animal print. They are great to sit in, just as long as you dont have to carry them very far, she joked.Over the foot of a bed is a beautifully preserved muskrat blanket that she found at Value Village for $70. In her black-painted guest room I love black and had a black dining room in my last house she has positioned the bed in front of the windows, leaving all the walls free to display artworks.Its clear the house was originally designed for a woman Penelope Clifton Atwood paid $3,000 to build it because the generously-sized windows are much larger than was in vogue at the time, David pointed out.These windows are way too big and way too tall, he said, noting one on the upper floor opens to access the narrow balcony across the front.They use the dining room every day and didnt want a kitchen nook, so they turned it into a sunroom. Its ridiculous having a dining room and not using it, said Linda, who was born in the Azores, a chain of nine islands that are part of Portugal. I believe in really using what you have. Thats why I have slipcovers. You can wash them.Linda grew up here IN VICTORIA? but incorporates influences from around the world in her decorating. Ive had many homes and they have all been wonderful projects, she said, adding with a grin: I could put a for sale sign out tomorrow, but Davids not keen on that.Her husband pointed out she has a manic energy when it comes to decorating. You cant stop her. Shell be up working with an industrial lamp in the wee hours and she did almost all this herself.David, who is Island born and bred, was involved in diamond exploration and retired 10 years ago. I used to travel for work but now I do the shopping and cooking. Linda does all the gardening, except for a muscle man, who mows and blows. She even knows how to make orchids bloom again. Linda said she has no firm rules or philosophy when it comes to design.She likes working with every era and has no favourite period or style. Each age created a tremendous amount of beauty for instance, this home has wonderful high ceilings, amazing bones and is very spacious. And the Rockland area is pretty fabulous. It is so quiet, private, we love the green space here. Its hard to believe were just a 15-minute walk to town.She describes her homes interior as eclectic modern: a fusion of a masculine, hunting-lodge vibe with feminine forms, thanks to its curved arches and her many nudes in paintings and sculptures. I love art and design, but I dont like anything fussy, she said. I like a few big, standout pieces and thats why I love the sculptural aspect of antlers, their aged patina, as well as the whole reclaimed idea.
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