Over the past few years we've been sharing our endeavour to purchase, tune-up, renovate, add-on and operate (remotely from Toronto, Ontario) a vintage triplex in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island – which we call The Tales Of Upper Hillsborough.
Since our purchase back in 2008 our second floor suite has been home to some swell local tenants. We've enjoyed all of them, but when our last tenant Chad gave notice (boo hoo!) we decided it was time to upgrade this suite into a luxury furnished rental like the other two, both to meet the growing demand for accommodations and provide us additional space when we increasingly visit with family and friends.
Once James and I committed to elevating the space we affectionately call 'The Captain's Quarters', we knew creating elegant comfy accommodations was dependent on our ability to restore what few remaining original features were left. Sadly, this was the only floor in the house which had any remnants of the original house, which were limited to the patina of original wood floors, some vintage trim work, old shaker doors with porcelain knobs and bead board details. Unfortunately there was also a lot of damage. The enclosed front porch was rotted and the original foyer had been carved up to accommodate entrances to both the main and second floor suites.
Here's some Before pics of the exterior:
Having pretty much rebuilt the house inside and out over the past six years, in our most recent exterior photo below you can see we've constructed a new front porch with picket crown, and a new Side Porch to create entrances to both the Garden Suite and Attic Atelier.
Here's the exterior now:
Inside, the original entrance was a mess, the stair banisters had been cut and there were missing pickets throughout. Portions of the banister were completely missing or replaced with drywall, and some of the original wood floors had been tiled over. The front entrance use to serve both the ground floor and second floor apartment, but we moved the entrance to the ground floor suite to the side of the house and dedicated the original front entrance to this unit. Here's some Before Snaps where you can see the missing banister and drywall – and the tiny front hall that was split into two zones.
Our amazing contractor – Paul Coles – coordinated a brilliant restoration of this Centre Hall. On the lower level we removed the multiple entrances and dedicated the entire front hall to this suite, inlaying a marble mosaic floor (from Pollocks Flooring in Toronto), installing a vintage-inspired wall sconce (Restoration Hardware), a pendant light fixture made of recycled mason jars (Etsy.com), and using a restored church pew as a bench (Kijiji.ca from Charlottetown). We also ordered two types of broadloom from Pollock's – one for the staircase and one for the hall landing – to keep it playful with a nod to yesteryear and our love for those crazy-patterned carpets you often find in English guest houses. Why not?
I love the upper landing.
As part of our makeover, we refinished the wood floors throughout with a honey brown stain – and then had the carpet custom fitted into runners with seriously cushy underpad (by Flooring Canada in Charlottetown) so our guests below aren't subject to stomping feet. Given the Centre Hall is skinny but long, we also added a crown molding around the perimeter of the ceiling and then painted it black to create some contrast to the carpet while being visually strategic. Now, instead of the Centre Hall dominating the suite, the darker ceiling heights here make each of the rooms which all radiate off this space feel larger!
At the front of the Centre Hall just off the Sitting Room sits this bijou reading nook. We still giggle over the success of this space, because the down-filled leather library chair we impulsively bought from Restoration Hardware was intended for the living rooms of all three suites, but it never fit in with any of the other furniture – or it was just too large. That it ended up working here so perfectly – paired with a light cube from Toronto's Stylegarage – was pure chance and yet it appears as if it was always intended. Frankly, it seems that way for James and I – both voracious readers – love curling up here with our books.
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Stay tuned for more reveal in The Tales Of Upper Hillsborough, coming soon.
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~ Steven and the urbaneer team
Tales Of Upper Hillsborough