A Victoria heritage renovation honours original vision with contemporary fusion.

Haute Heritage Home YAM 2018
This restored home combines a mix of modern and antique features to create a classic look. Countertops are polished Caesarstone quartz in Calacatta Nuvo, while the backsplash is made with 3″ x 6″ ceramic crackle tiles in Blanco from Centura Tile.

By Danielle Pope | Photos by Joshua Lawrence

When contractor Tim Agar first heard about the prominent Fernwood character home its owners hoped to restore, he realized this project would be different — most would have torn down the building and started fresh. 

The mustard-coloured structure sat faded, with moss growing in rooftop crevices and stray shingles missing. After nearly 130 years of residential wear, a duplex conversion in the 1940s, and sorely needed maintenance neglected over decades of renters, the house would need to be entirely disassembled and reconstructed to bring it back to life. Thanks to the dedication of owners Lisa Rogers and Hazen Gauthier, that’s exactly what happened. 

“There wasn’t a lot of life left in the materials, but we salvaged everything we could,” says Agar, of Horizon Pacific Contracting. “The building was structurally unsound, but the owners wanted to maintain the look, so we rebuilt it from scratch. There are a lot of complex parts to a reno like this — you want it to have modern conveniences but look like it’s always been there.” 

Haute Heritage Home YAM 2018
Miele gas-fired appliances, along with the Silgranit white sink and Grohe faucet, offer modern flair, while antique pendant lamps decorate the room. A hidden door for cat access from the deck to the kitchen is one of many practical custom features in this home — especially appreciated by the resident feline, Cody. 

Today, the house stands as a dignified character restoration, closer to its original structure than the permutations it’s taken through the century. A bold awning covers the front porch, with carpenter ornamentation on the rafters. The classic flat-topped, hipped roof and gables contrast the modern windows, customized to match a house from its century. Decorative shake siding adorns the gable peak, and the cream yellow exterior exudes heritage charm. 

Haute Heritage Home YAM 2018
Deep tones are used to offer dramatic contrast in this home. Light neutral walls painted in Cornforth White from Farrow & Ball balance out the darker accent features done in the colour Railings. As part of this restoration, the owners made the choice to use as much of the original fir flooring as possible, refinished with a darkening treatment. The custom bar off the dining area doubles as a showcase for the couple’s antique treasures, found on travels around the world. 

Haute Heritage Home YAM 2018
The music room was a wish-list item for this house, and the homeowners wanted to create a space with elegant, masculine tones for hosting and relaxing. Special acoustical considerations make this room appropriate for music without overtaking the house. The walls are painted with Farrow & Ball Mole’s Breath, with the ceiling contrasted in Purbeck Stone. Historic Bank of Canada doors accent this room, and a heritage fireplace mantel turns it rich with history and character. 

As devout world travellers and collectors of fine antiques, it was easy for the couple to overlook the wreckage to see what the house could become again, says Rogers.

“We wanted a home that felt like a living space, not a show home, and this place makes you feel comfortable,” she says. “This is why I love old houses — you don’t have
to add the warmth. It’s already there.”

Haute Heritage Home YAM 2018
The upstairs office features rich, dark tones, perfect for a space with so much natural light. Refinished antique pieces play a theme throughout the house, from light fixtures to architectural elements, corbels, stair newel posts, decorative wall mouldings and more. Both the chair and desk in this room were discovered by the owners through antique searches, and add a sense of story to this space. 

The 3,000 square-foot home has come a long way since its creation in 1892. The original red brick chimneys have been converted to brickwork around the house. Old exterior siding was refurbished and used on the garage. The fir floors were salvaged and reset with new planks.

The awkward multiplex structure was reconverted into an open-concept main floor, with three bedrooms on the middle level and a recreation room on the top. The guest bathroom is outfitted with a steam shower, and nearly everything in the house is energy efficient. However, original features still abound, like the knoll posts on the stairwell. 

Haute Heritage Home YAM 2018
The Art Deco-inspired powder room is a stand-out space in the house. Australian wallpaper from Metro was designed specifically for this room, with Restoration Hardware used for the sink (Gramercy Single Metal), the faucet (Dillon Widespread) and accessories, through the Asbury Collection. The powder room fan sconces were sourced by Scott Landon Antiques, and give this room a creative edge. 

Interior designer Maria Alvarez, with Jenny Martin Design, says that in the struggle between old and new, she let function win out. 

“We worked hard to combine old-world charm with transitional details so the house can be used as it was meant to be,” says Alvarez. “That means beautiful antique pieces and unique pendant lamps were paired with livable layouts.” 

The house is adorned with period-appropriate world treasures — a Ganesh statue from Thailand in the kitchen, an 18th-century settee in a reading corner, a wrought iron gate from England as the master bed headboard. One of Gauthier’s favourite spaces is the study, done in dramatic grey tones and flanked with antique Bank of Canada doors, complete with a bullet hole. 

“I love sitting in my study with a glass of Scotch in my hand, listening to good music and enjoying the fireplace,” he says. “It’s the kind of place you go to settle in.”

Haute Heritage Home YAM 2018
The master bath was designed as one of the more feminine rooms in the home. The countertops are polished Caesarstone quartz in Calacatta Nuvo, with a marble mosaic tile border around the perimeter. The floor, done in Basket Weave from C&S tile, creates a historic look, countered with the modern free-standing Origami bathtub by BainUltra.

Haute Heritage Home YAM 2018
The convenience features of this room include custom dormer windows with automated blinds, along with the concealed safe, custom-built medicine cabinets and water-efficient toilet. Feminine details, like the Restoration Hardware wall sconces from the Edison Milk Glass Collection, along with shades of blush and white stone, create a gentle spa atmosphere.


Haute Heritage Home YAM 2018
The master bedroom is a culmination of the owners’ favourite treasures from their explorations, including a delicate blush 18th-century settee in the reading corner. The headboard on the master bed is made from a wrought iron gate found in England, and the end table lamps were bought at an art auction while travelling. 

Many original materials were reused throughout the house, paired with new, custom-built window treatments for increased energy efficiency, along with modern, dimming LED spotlights. Sophisticated polished nickel hardware and accents throughout the home keep up the timeless image. 

Haute Heritage Home YAM 2018
Much of the beauty of this house comes through its small details, including the entryway’s handmade cement tile flooring in matte black and white from the Cement Tile Shop.

Haute Heritage Home YAM 2018
The 10-foot intricate coffered ceilings offer a historic appearance, and the scroll mouldings, sourced from Uniquities Architectural Antiques in Calgary, integrate the existing structural beams with a new look.

Haute Heritage Home YAM 2018
The lion’s head knocker was a vintage piece found through Scott Landon Antiques, and now adorns the front door. 

The house isn’t fully finished yet, but Rogers says that’s the way she likes it.

“We could get our home ‘perfect,’ but it’s more fun if there are parts missing,” she says. “It gives us something to look for in our travels and, when we find it, we can bring home another story.”  


Architect: Randall Recinos
Construction Management: Tim Agar, Horizon Pacific Contracting
Countertops: Stone Age Marble & Granite 
Tile: Master Tile
Glass: Builder’s Choice Shower Door
Painting: Nicholas Alexander Painting 
Kitchen and Bathroom Millwork: Jason Good Custom Cabinets
Custom Millwork: Jason Good Custom Cabinets
Finishing Carpentry: Jason Good Custom Cabinets
Floor Refinishing: The Finishing Store & Millworks
Doors and Hardware: Home Lumber & Building Supplies
Window Restoration: Westeck Windows & Doors