The Home that We Built

Home is where the heart is and certainly that’s true for Orangeville area resident Patricia MacMaster and her three adult children, Alexandra, 23, and twins Benjamin and Ashley, 20.

The real estate investor poured significant time and effort and, no doubt, considerable passion into renovating the 3,500 sq.ft. estate bungalow she and her late husband Peter had built in 2004.

Some of the key elements of the approximately 30-month-long, multi-phased upgrade included refinishing all the main hardwood floors; the demolition/renovation of two children’s washrooms; a painting/redo of the kitchen, followed by a painting of the hallways, foyer, dining room, and den.

“My goal is to keep the house up to date and to stay current with design trends,” says Patricia, on why she embarked on the renovations.

First on the agenda was refinishing the floors on the main level; the kitchen, family room, halls and den. This included sanding and applying a matte clear coat.

Initially, Patricia had considered the options of either refinishing or replacing the floors but ultimately opted for refinishing after discovering what might be considered a small treasure in a storage room. It was a box of Mirage Hardwood flooring left over from the house’s construction.

“After having a good look, I saw that it (the flooring) was solid maple and it just made more sense to refinish the high-quality flooring. I loved the look of the unfinished maple wood so, it all worked out.”

Flooring contractor Angus Hardwood Flooring Inc. took just two weeks to complete the refinishing. In advance of the refinishing, Patricia hired a moving company to move all the furniture into her heated three-car garage. “After the floors were finished, they (the movers) returned and put everything back in place. It was easy and efficient.”

Next on the schedule was the demolition and renovation of Ben’s washroom and Alexandra and Ashley’s shared washroom. Patricia relied heavily on the design advice provided by interior decorator Brittany Grace of Brittany Grace Interiors.

She also put her own stamp on the renovation by asking the decorator to design a masculine look for Ben’s washroom using a combination of black, white, and gray colours and creating an upscale spa feeling for the girls’ washroom with gold and white paints.

It took a few consultations with the decorator to determine what the final wall and cabinet colours would be, as well as the fixture choices and accessories. Facilitating that process were Brittany Grace’s design boards.

“The design boards were an ‘ah ha’ moment for me. They really helped in pulling the decorator and my ideas together and determining the final look. Design boards are a great tool if you’re a visual person.” 

Over a 6 month-period from Jan. to July 2022, Rockwood based B&R Contracting channeled the design vision into a reality. “Brandon and Roderick were very good,” says Patricia, referring to the firm’s owners.

Before the renovations started, the overall theme the interior designer, the contractor and Patricia agreed upon was opening up the washroom spaces as much as possible, installing pot lights to the ceiling for extra lighting and adding dimmers for added ambiance.

Originally, the plan was to install new cabinets. Instead, they were painted because of the time lag required in obtaining new ones. The reason for that time/lag shortage was the renovation boom which occurred during and after the Covid pandemic. “Everyone was redoing their houses.”

Almost immediately after the washroom renovations were finished, Patricia turned her focus back to the kitchen. Under a design plan created by Brittney Pasqualini of Silver Birch Design Group Ltd., a contractor transformed the room. The undertaking was a three month long multilayered endeavour encompassing painting and the installation of several new fixtures such as a sink and island and fireplace tops.

Although making do without a kitchen for three months would seem like a major inconvenience, Patricia minimized the disruption by eating at her sister’s home. Her three children were also away at university at the time.

A painting of the hallways, foyer, dining room, and den, which got underway in January 2023, capped off the renovations. “Then I took a rest.”

The story of Patricia’s home is not complete without a reference to her husband Peter. He was the owner of the MacMaster Buick GMC car dealership on Highway 9 in Orangeville.

An executive assistant to a communications executive in the late 1990s, Patricia grew up in Toronto and had no intention of leaving the city. That began to change when her sister, who lived in Orangeville, arranged a blind date with Peter.

“One thing led to another and we got married.”

At the time, Patricia didn’t want to give up her position. So, the compromise was that they would live in Brampton, which would allow her to commute to Toronto and Peter to the car dealership. Eventually, they purchased a home in Orangeville’s Settler’s Creek neighbourhood.

“Peter wanted to live out in the country,” says Patricia, on how another compromise was reached. A few years later they purchased a home site in the new estate development of Woodland Heights.

The purchase agreement stipulated they would have to start construction of the house within two years and “continue to build.”  Construction of the house by Sunvale Homes started in the summer of 2004 and in December of that year they took possession.

Five months later, Peter passed away suddenly. He was only 35 years old.

Although she received a lot of emotional support from Peter’s family and her own family, Patricia decided to sell the house. Once the real estate listing expired, however, she decided not to relist. A poignant recollection of what she said to herself at the time still resonates.

“This is the home that we built.

This is our home and Peter would want me to raise our children here.”


Author: LivingSpaces

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