energy-efficient home that stayed true to the building’s historic style.
They also paid close attention to the village’s strict design criteria;
while not formally registered, the building is considered to be a “
contributing structure” to the historic district of Manchester Village.
The work began by jacking up the building, excavating a deeper
basement, pouring a new foundation, rebuilding the chimney, and put-
ting on a new slate roof. Gourd and contractor Paul Mackson of Bel-
max Contracting Co. in East Dorset, Vermont, documented dozens of
architectural details, taking photos and measurements, and salvaged
whatever they could, including doors and hardwood flooring, before
stripping the interior to the studs. To make the building energy-effi-
cient, they installed two layers of insulation: spray-foam in the interior
wall cavities and rigid foam board on the exterior beneath the clap-
boards. “We basically took a wooden sieve and created an ultratight,
high-performance envelope,” says Gourd.
Inside, the first floor was transformed by opening up a warren of
small rooms at the back of the house to create space for an expanded
kitchen, an adjoining mudroom, which is lined with storage cubbies,
and a half-bath. Gourd also designed a wide back staircase with maple
leaf-shaped cutouts in the balustrade to reflect the couple’s Canada-Vermont connection.
The spacious kitchen was planned with family vacations in mind
(the couple have two grown daughters and lots of relatives within driving distance) and is outfitted with a central island, a granite-topped
bar with stools, a 60-inch Wolf range, and a big Sub-Zero refrigerator. From there, the space flows through a dining area to a casual TV
room furnished with custom pieces designed by Gourd. There is also
a living room off the dining area.
The palette throughout was inspired by a landscape painting by
Toronto artist Carol Kapuscinsky that hangs in the living room. In soft
blues, purples, and greens, it depicts a peaceful rural pasture. “The
painting is what we started with,” says Gourd. “It really helped me
the completely rebuilt fireplace in the living room (facing page, top) has an
Imperial Danby marble surround. The soft blues, purples, and greens of the
landscape painting by Toronto artist Carol Kapuscinsky inspired the color
palette throughout the house. Gourd designed the table lamp (facing page,
bottom left), which was made by Authentic Designs in Rupert, Vermont, in
the first-floor library, where built-in bookcases, wainscot, and wood trim
(facing page, right) are painted a warm gray. The screened porch (above)
on the north side of the house is a favorite place to spend summer afternoons.