Imagine for a moment all the houses I have seen over the past 25 years.
I don’t think there is a floorplan or style that has surprised me and I thought that I had ‘seen it all’ when it came to houses. I was wrong, and I sure don’t mind being wrong from time to time!
This past weekend I showed a property that blew my socks off, it was this quirky old cottage with a steeply pitched roof and endless spaces to sit in the garden.
As I approached, I realized that this was to be a magical little place as I viewed the quaint garden gnomes and custom built, teeny staircases leading up to cat perches. I know these were cat perches because of the toffee and licorice coloured cat perched there who greeted the strangers who were about to enter his home.
Entering the home, we were greeted by a fairly dated, badly coloured kitchen.
Parquet floors spread in every direction and there was old wood paneling on the walls and that is where the viewing got wild and I can honestly say I don’t remember anything else about flooring or paint colour which are things I usually observe going into any home.
This place had additions and secret stairways and lofts that you could not detect from the outside.
We went through a doorway which spilled us down a staircase made of rocks to a room finished with rocks which held a fishpond made of rocks.
It felt like you had descended into a cave. These weren’t decorative tiles or gravel type rocks, they were boulders stacked and sorted to make floors, pond liners and (you guessed it) more cat perches.
The walls soared 17 ft. in the air to disappear into some impossible peak from which wooden cat cages hung for the little fellas to play. They were filled with cat toys and bowls of food and looked like the place a cat would love to hang out.
Behind the rock room, you traversed across a bridge (still inside the house) which took you down a steep few steps into a terrarium fully enclosed in glass which realized the other side of the vault from the rock/fish/cat cage room.
It felt like you were standing underground in a bunker surrounded by plants and potting debris as there was no way of exiting except to go back up the stone steps, across the bridge and through the rock room, up more steps until you are finally back into the main portion of the home.
Upstairs the rooms all had sloped ceilings due to the steep pitch of the roof yet they all had cleverly built cubbies and shelving wedged underneath every slope.
The master bedroom had three closets which all had angles and a door which I assumed let to another closet. Imagine my surprise when I opened the door and spilled into another huge room – a hidden library!
This home kept on and on with another random staircase leading to a loft room that you absolutely could not see from the front. This room had a staircase hidden behind a door in the living room and was complete with a wood stove and an upright grand piano.
How that beast got into that loft is as magical and mysterious as the rest of the home – what a joy of discovery!
Kim Wyse is a Central Alberta freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Kim Wyse Associate Royal Lepage Tamarack Trail Realty’.