Real Estate

$6.5M country estate has ties to celeb Cdn designer

Renowned Canadian interior designer Sarah Richardson helped decorate the inside of this $6.5 million home in Grafton, Ont.

This one is for HGTV lovers.

A sprawling 117-acre country estate has hit the market for $6.5 million and a TV personality familiar to fans of home renovation shows helped design the interior of the home.

Sarah Richardson, renowned Canadian designer and star of TV shows such as Design Inc. and Sarah’s House, had a “heavy hand” in curating the look of the home, according to Cailey Heaps, broker and chief executive of Heaps Estrin Team.

The home combines contemporary accents and historical decor elements to maintain a cozy cottage appeal despite its large size.

“It’s really unlike anything I’ve seen in my 25 year career,” Heaps told Yahoo Finance Canada by phone.

Located in Grafton, Ont., a roughly 90 minute drive east of Toronto, the seven-bedroom (three below grade), 5-bathroom house has a history that spans multiple centuries, according to the listing.

The house consists of a two-storey 1837-built log tavern (yes, as in an old-school pub) that originally stood in Kitchener, Ont. The seller saw a newspaper ad for the deconstructed building and had it moved more than 200 kilometres to their property in Grafton. A basement was added and the foundation was rebuilt to accommodate the expanded structure.

“The two structures come together very seamlessly. It doesn’t feel like you’re going between two houses,” Heaps says, mostly thanks to architect Jamie Wright, who did the drawings to connect the existing house and log tavern.

The garage has a similar history. It’s a post-and-beam former Presbyterian church built in 1847. The owners have sometimes used it as an event space, including for a family wedding.

“It was a very intentionally-designed project. I would argue that it’s totally irreplaceable. I don’t know where you’re going to find a home with two 1800-dated structures that have been restored and added on to it. It just doesn’t happen,” Heaps says.

Throughout the house, you’ll find Canadian and American antiques that have been collected by the sellers over the years. If you’re really inclined, most of the furnishings can be purchased under a separate agreement.

Heaps says a home listing with a name such as Richardson’s attached to it adds credibility and can help generate buyer interest.

But don’t expect there to be an open house. Serious buyers only please!

Potential buyers are properly vetted to prevent showings to people who are just hoping to get an in-person peek at the estate, Heaps says.

Other feature rooms you’ll find indoors are a billiard room, workshop, pottery studio, yoga studio and, naturally, a wine cellar.

If that’s not enough to keep you entertained, head outside to enjoy the pool, hot tub and elaborate gardens.

“The sellers have green thumbs. So the gardens are spectacular,” Heaps says. “The perennial gardens are more than two decades old and have every variety of flower you can imagine. There’s a ton of natural wildlife as well.”

Within the forests, you’ll also find a network of walking trails.

“The property itself is almost 120 acres, so it’s like living inside your own park. It feels like you’re arriving in the middle of the British countryside when you get there,” Heaps said.

Michelle Zadikian is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @m_zadikian.

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