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A Farmhouse Revamp Focused on Family

by Garrett Fleming

A Farmhouse Revamp Focused on Family, Design*Sponge

Amidst the picturesque vistas of Seymour Township, Ontario sits a rustic home named for the small slopes that hug it: Drumlin Farmhouse. The property was built in the 1830s, and while many of its original charms remain, current owners Andraya Frith and Graham Kechnie have spent the last seven years putting their own modern spin on the property’s sprawling 6,000 square feet.

The most-extensive changes to the house – which acts as their vacation home – took place in the kitchen, where the couple erased a previous renovation by removing an elevator, staircase and the hallway that chopped up the area’s flow. In their place now stands an open-concept kitchen with two options for dining, a camouflaged fridge and a smattering of exposed beams many homeowners can only dream of.

These updates, along with several others the couple has spearheaded over the years, have all been made in service of one thing: creating a space where they can unwind and reconnect with their two daughters and their extended family, far from the rush of city life. “The farm brings a lot of joy to my family and me,” Andraya says, and we hope it does so for decades to come. Scroll down to check out this special home, and enjoy! Garrett

Photography by Andraya Frith

Image above: “We just completed an eight-month major renovation of the kitchen. It was a huge job as the original space was very choppy and included a staircase, hallway and elevator – all of which was removed as part of the renovation to create one big space,” Andraya says. One of the project’s cleverest details is the hidden fridge. It sits to the right of frame in the large cabinet.

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Andraya and Graham’s daughters Julia and Paige are currently attending college away in Montreal, so vacations at the farm are extra special for this foursome.

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The property consists of 20 acres of land, two homes connected by a vestibule, five fireplaces, a workshop and a barn. The older home was built using uncut field stones.

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The kitchen’s new look was inspired by the English country homes Andraya admires. The cabinets are painted in Farrow and Ball’s “Hague Blue,” the hardware is by Armac Martin and the faucet’s by Perrin & Rowe.

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The exposed beams weren’t installed for aesthetic reasons but to solve structural issues brought forth by the removal of the home’s elevator – one of the previous owner’s updates. “What started out as a bit of a nightmare ended up being one of the best features of our new kitchen!” Andraya exclaims.

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These vintage chairs were left by the previous owner. By pairing them with her IKEA pedestal table, Andraya has given the dining nook a distinctly Scandinavian vibe. The hides were purchased on a recent trip to Iceland.

 

It’s important to me that our kids really know their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. The farm offers us a special place to come together.

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At the top of the entry’s staircase sits the converted attic.

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One of Andraya’s favorite pastimes is “shopping the farm.” When weather permits, she walks around her property’s 20 acres and brings home empty wasp nests, flowers and sticks to give her home the sense of rustic escapism she favors.

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“The weathered door is original to this room… we found the original door in the barn!” – Andraya Frith

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The mirror on top of the mantel is from a dresser that belonged to Andraya’s grandmother.

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An early-1900s-era oil painting by Andraya’s great grandmother hangs near the fireplace.

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The home’s original wallpaper and floors still decorate this bedroom.

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Each of the home’s fireplaces are unique in color and form. To the left of this one is a nook Andraya created by removing the built-in cabinet’s shelving.

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Across from the moody fireplace is the guest bed. The home’s previous owner made its skirt, and hanging above it is an educational poster Graham found in a school dumpster.

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Come Christmas time the converted attic plays host to Julia and Paige’s cousins. Each bed features a teddy bear their grandmother made out of an old fur coat.

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One of the bathroom pipes burst during the family’s first winter on the property, so this was the first space to be rehabbed. The ladder was found in the property’s barn.

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The guest bathroom’s carpet has been replaced by timeless marble, and a sleek shower now stands where the old bathtub once sat.

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“What I love most about our home is… it is a place to slow down, connect with family & nature and be creative.” – Andraya Frith

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