In Victoria, a perfectly preserved piece of Arts and Crafts architecture

‘You know how you dream about where you want to live when you grow up? This is the home I’ve always wanted,” says Tara Hurst of the house she shares with her husband, Michael Zary, and their chocolate labrador retriever, Zadie (after writer Zadie Smith). The Arts and Crafts-style cabin in Victoria’s Gonzales neighbourhood was built in 1913 and has a personality all its own, which the few strived to maintain despite an all-purpose renovation which saw many rooms stripped “into the studs,” Hurst says.

“I think that if you reside in a home that is older and has that much history, there is something about preserving and respecting it is actually important,” she says. The Arts and Crafts movement, originating in the mid-to-late 19th century in Britain, emerged as an indictment of mechanized factory-production and advocated a return to traditional crafts and decorative forms. On the west coast of Canada, in the hands of Samuel Maclure and many others, the design found local prominence and came to define swaths of Victoria’s built landscape.

Hurst, hailing from Ontario and now a creative director for the startup Flytographer, which joins travelers with neighborhood photographers around the world, landed in British Columbia 10 decades back. “The quality of life in Victoria is just outstanding,” Hurst says. “We looked at quite a couple of character houses before we purchased our home three decades back. When I walked into the dining room and saw the windows, I just knew it was the house I needed.”

The dining area is the 1 space in the home — her favorite — that the couple did not change, maintaining the original flooring, built-in Fireplace, doors and the leaded-glass windows, which look out to surrounding evergreen laurel trees. “They keep their foliage all year so it is really private… and really dreamy,” Hurst says.

After decorating, Hurst takes a page in the Arts and Crafts handbook, favouring local artisans, and mixing new and old. The dining area harvest table, classic Thonet chairs and reupholstered Bergère armchair are from Pigeonhole Home Store in Victoria. Light fixtures are maintenance of Schoolhouse Electric amp; Supply Co. in Portland, specializing in crafted, one-of-a-kind heirlooms. Hurst’s classic aluminum collection, stored in the hutch, is complemented with a serving tray from Williamsnbsp;Sonoma.

A porcelain vase, made on Vancouver Island by Gwen Howey for HOLD, flower arrangement by local florist Rook amp; Rose and blossom candle by Hollow Tree at Whistler finish the table — a specific pleasure for Hurst who loves cooking and hosting friends around a “really beautifully set table,” she says.

Along with finding inspiration Hurst seeks it out in her travels. Recent trips to London, Iceland, Italy and Morocco — where she bought the large area rug which warms the dining room floor, along with nine others, admitting she “went a little mad” in Chefchaouen — have influenced her design aesthetic and attitude toward homemaking. A cooking class in Beaune, France with The Cook’s Atelier was a highlight. “The simplicity of the French strategy has definitely inspired lots of the decisions I have made,” says Hurst. “The simplicity of it. Older pieces that add texture and a narrative. An appreciation for things that have a history{}”

“We are living in a younger culture [in Canada]. It is here, it is, but you absolutely have to seek it out. Usually people aren’t searching for the oldest home that requires the most renovations, but that’s basically what I was searching for,” Hurstnbsp;states.

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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