There are many lovely and historic homes in the Highlands neighbourhood of Edmonton. Although this home, locally known as the Holgate House after its original owner and co-developer of the area, isn’t the largest, or even the most elegant, it is, in my opinion, the most authentic.
The current owners have pulled out all the stops to ensure whatever needs to be maintained or fixed is done with historic integrity. The millwork throughout the house is original to its 1912 plan. The stencilled, color-brushed wall was re-created by a local artist from photographs of the original interiors. This beautiful staircase is seen as soon as you enter the foyer.
To the left of the entrance is a small sitting room. It is a thoroughly feminine space and one can imagine Mrs. Holgate having tea with her guests in this lovely parlour. Although the majority of the millwork in the house is a more masculine quarter-sawn oak, this room’s millwork is made of mahogany. And again, unlike the rest of the house, this room showcases beautiful and original plasterwork on its walls and especially on its ceiling.
On the right side of the foyer is the entrance to the living room. This space is flanked with classically-inspired pillars, and arts and crafts – height wainscotting, all in quarter-sawn oak. The deep rich blue of the painted wall and the stencilled decorations are based on the original and act as a perfect foil for the warm tones of the wood.
Also on the main floor is a den that is definitely the masculine counterpart to the elegant, feminine sitting room not 15 feet away. Here, the arts and crafts details show themselves in the style of the working fireplace – its hammered metal hood, and the richly coloured tiles that surround it. Quarter-sawn oak panelling and authentic light fixtures create a space that is cozy and approachable.
This photo shows the cabinetry in the den, with its original stained glass. Here is where Mr. Holgate kept his bottles of liquor and all other implements of imbibing. To the left is a detail of the hand-painted frieze.
The dining room is where all the elements come together to create a latter-day impression of wealth and comfort and no detail is forgotten – from the gorgeous original built-in sideboard with cut crystal glass, oak wainscotting and millwork, stencilled walls, original lighting, and beautiful windows.
The generous owners of Holgate House have supported many groups’ fundraising efforts throughout the city by agreeing to be part of home tours. Keep your ears to the ground – you never know when you might get your own chance to see this beautiful home in the heart of the Highlands.
Have you seen this lovely home?