There was “a contemporary tree we reduce down exterior.” The adults could be laughing and speaking across the eating desk, oblivious to “the chaos of youngsters operating round.” And later the kids would possibly take their excessive spirits out to the hills for a little bit tobogganing.
Sitting within the grand room — named for the grand piano that’s at all times been there — homegrown musical expertise Royal Wooden is revisiting Christmases previous on the household farm.
He feels “very blessed and really lucky” to have spent an idyllic childhood on the 100-acre property simply north of Peterborough, Ont. Now, he’s creating recollections for his personal two kids in the identical home the place he grew up.
“It’s a really particular second in time,” Wooden says of elevating Henry, 2½, and George, 10 months, together with his spouse Alison Waldbauer within the huge Tudor-style house.
The pop-rock singer/songwriter, nominated for a number of Juno Awards, bought the property from his dad and mom in 2007. Nevertheless it wasn’t till 2019 that he and Waldbauer moved there from Toronto. Their first little one was on the best way and his profession had reached a stage the place it might accommodate a rustic life-style.
“It was at all times concerning the land for me. All my happiest recollections are out within the fields,” he recollects of winter enjoyable, play sword fights and fishing within the pond.
The sprawling 7,000-sq.-ft., three-storey farmhouse Wooden shared together with his 4 siblings was in-built 1978, the yr he was born. Rising up, he was surrounded by “musical devices in every single place,” recollects the recording artist who began enjoying the piano at age 4. Wooden, who headlined his personal present at Massey Corridor in 2018, lately launched a brand new album known as “What Tomorrow Brings.”
When he and Waldbauer moved in, the home “had by no means been renovated, by no means been touched,” he says. “In its day, it was very grand and delightful.”
Turning over the dormant land to younger natural farmers in alternate for meat and greens, the couple took on a full-scale renovation to deliver the homestead again to life.
Whereas they didn’t knock down a single wall, they gutted rooms, up to date the mechanicals, roof, home windows and flooring, and eliminated some main-floor inside doorways. One of many 5 bedrooms was transformed to a music studio. They stored the kitchen’s wood-burning range however did an entire makeover of the intense, spacious room.
When work was occurring, the principal bed room boasting a hearth and ensuite toilet with a 12-foot ceiling grew to become their sanctuary.
“We moved our complete Toronto condominium into this room,” Waldbauer says, surveying the 900-square-foot house whose dated pink wallpaper has been changed with mushy white paint.
Whereas expert professionals had been employed for the foremost upgrades similar to electrical and plumbing, Wooden tackled different duties, together with set up of recent lighting fixtures, a tin ceiling within the examine and “a lot of portray” to cowl darkish or odd colors like “grandma’s inexperienced.”
He additionally painted over the previous panelling alongside the staircase which as soon as served as an indoor playground.
“We might slide down the carpeted stairs on rubbish baggage,” he laughs. “How we didn’t kill ourselves, I don’t know.”
Whereas his DIY abilities date again to his days as a “artistic, useful child,” he credit Waldbauer for the inside design makeover.
“My spouse is 100 per cent the imaginative and prescient,” Wooden says, referring to the up to date decor in black and white, with impartial accents and pure supplies.
He signifies the sunken grand room’s once-white hearth that she prompt portray black: “It’s superb how stunning it’s now.”
Waldbauer, a nurse, says it’s all about teamwork: “I simply level (at issues) with concepts, and he executes.”
Wooden provides additional reward, calling her a “saint” for dwelling via the reno with two younger kids. Waldbauer, nevertheless, advises in opposition to it.
“Every single day is complete chaos,” she says, remembering how the dust-covered flooring needed to continually be mopped for a crawling child.
However now that the mud has settled, Wooden’s childhood house once more appears like his personal.
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