7.24.2012

A Visit To Oak Hill - A Home Inspired by Martha

I've always wanted to visit a house with an exterior and interior inspired almost exclusively by Martha Stewart, curious about how her furniture lines, paint colours and accessories come together to create a cohesively-designed space outside the pages of a catalog or magazine. Darrell White's restored mid-century home in Brantford, Ontario, may be the best example!

Darrell has been a longtime reader of Martha Moments and when he invited Tomas and I out to his lovely home, I admit to being pretty excited to see it in person. During our email correspondences, Darrell had told me about how Martha Stewart's design philosophy and home-decorating product lines have all helped to guide the renovation and redecoration of the house he purchased with his wife, Jennifer, in 2010. In Darrell's own words, it was Martha's brilliant understanding of how to combine colours to create a pleasing palette that led to his interest in the Martha Stewart brand of housewares and furniture.

Situated high on a steep incline on a quiet road, the little house is a jewel on a six-acre parcel of land that reaches far into a wooded enclave. The homestead is called Oak Hill, so named for the towering oaks that surround the property. In a word, the house is adorable. Darrell describes it as a cottage, and it certainly does have the air of a quaint getaway. I immediately felt at home there, surrounded by the enormous trees and the beauty of the surroundings. The house felt instatnly welcoming, just as our host did, and we were taken on a tour of the property before venturing inside for a light lunch.
HISTORY:
Oakhill was built in 1947 by Jack Webster who was invited to play in the NHL but declined because he liked the home so much he did not want to be away from it for extended periods of time. The exterior of the house is sided with cedar that Mr. Webster imported from British Columbia, due to the lack of building materials in Ontario during World War II. When Mr. Webster and his wife found the land while riding their bicycles along the road and stopped for a rest due to the heat of the summer day, they saw the empty little hill and said, let's live here! Darrell and his wife now occupy the place, which they have lovingly restored. Below is a photographic tour.
ABOVE: Darrell painted the exterior of the home using Martha Stewart Living exterior paint: Sisal as the main colour and Dill on the shutters and trim. A new fireplace was constructed and a new deck on the front leads to the entrance. Darrell also created a path to the side with wide steps. During an excavation, he discovered a beautiful stone walkway, original to the house, that had been burried for decades - a charming path that leads to the back lot, which features a gorgeous woodland with towering trees. Darrell calls it his own little version of Skylands! BELOW: Two rows of boxwoods on Darrell's property were inspired by the boxwood hedges at Martha's farm, Cantitoe Corners.
BELOW: I couldn't finish this post without showing you what Oak Hill looked like when Darrell and his wife purchased it a few years ago. As you can see, Darrell has worked incredibly hard restoring and refurbishing his home. Among the changes: new windows, a new chimney, a new front deck and a new roof. Darrell kept the B.C. cedar siding on the exterior, as well as the wood floors and trim inside. 
In the post below, we go inside Darrell's home to explore his wonderful collection of Martha Stewart Furniture!

3 comments:

Christine Witt (Brush Dance) said...

What an incredible redo of a sweet home. I love that path.

Daniella said...

Oh, how neat! I found your blog through a random search I did for Martha Stewart and saved it to look through later, and as I was just reading through I saw you toured a home in Brantford... I'm actually from Brantford and live just outside the city! Are you in Brantford as well?

Sorry, it's just so rare to see Brantford mentioned in any blog posts, lol!

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

Hi Daniella, No I'm in Toronto but Darrell is on Oak Hill Drive just outside of Brantford. His collection of Martha goods is quite impressive!