|Special Effects, Brighton|
I expect he would approve of the thought that popped into my mind as I enjoyed the tropical heat of Brighton last week.
|ogee arch garden trellis..'piano' at right|
One gorgeous red brick home in particular drew my attention - starting with the shade and expanding to the luscious gardens. The sun-speckled front lawn was a feast for the senses with all kinds of needful garden art. The focus, which would bring a grin to the face of a Victorian butler, was the upright piano/water feature/music centre. Worth the drive to Brighton. The house was lovely, as an abode, but it's also the home of Special Effects Decorating. I recognized the sign, and was delighted later to reconnect on-line with the very creative and lovely style of Sheryl Delorme, who I met years ago, when her shop was in downtown Belleville.
Now it's the home of Paramdhan Kaur yoga studio and several other practitioners of healing arts. One could say that the worthy Victorian house has been healed as well.
Right next door, along Main Street, in a rambling frame Edwardian house is a Brighton institution, The Blue House, featuring home and garden gifts and original art.
I also admired the HQ of Brighton Massage Therapy and Footcare Clinic, who have revved up the their Greek Revival facade with white and pale yellow paint.
Old homes have long been re-purposed as B&B's and funeral homes, but I think I see a growing trend to repurpose interesting old houses into business venures. It seems to me that tourists and shoppers are drawn to businesses in heritage buildings, heritage districts. Even if they wouldn't know a pilaster from a pinochle, there's a charm, a presence, an experience in and around old buildings that the shiniest newest build just doesn't provide. Even this old house nut accepts that not every worthy heritage structure can be fully restored and run as a museum. Nor are there enough owners with the means to restore and retain yesterday's massive single family homes in private hands.
Some old houses, like the rest of us, have to pay their own way. Ask Alex Fida, visionary owner of the restored House of Falconer in Picton, who purchased an at-risk property, painstakingly restored it, and has now "monetized it" into a vibrant community arts hub.