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Waves of Change

Updating the home of a family's matriarch.

There comes a time when every dwelling needs more than the annual repairs, general maintenance or interior design upgrade. No exception is to be made for the 113 year old 'biscuit box' home that is nestled on the shore of small town Lamaline, Newfoundland. The home some of you may already know as 'Nan's House'.

I have spoken about the significance of this home in my family a few blog posts ago (check that out here: I have updated the bedrooms and living room, with some other projects still ongoing or being planned. It has been a slow, yet steady, update of the home over the past three years. This summer, most of the focus will be set on the exterior of the home.

During the planning phase of the exterior updates, there were a few intentions I had set and want to adhere to:

  • Respect the history created within the four wall of the home at all times.

  • Pull inspiration from the land the house sits upon.

  • Honor traditional Newfoundland home design by including wood finishes and traditional colors.

  • Add more natural light to help with energy consumption.


For the past 20+ years, this home hosted white vinyl siding with a deep green trim. It was part of a home upgrade project at that time (vinyl was all the rage!). The windows were vinyl casement windows with a crank to open outwards. Through many years of salt infused wind from the water, the crank components have rusted and rendered the windows inoperable.


The overall inspiration for the exterior design was actually from another family members home. My Great Grandfather on my Mother's side, owned a home a few kilometers away from 'Nan's House'. I can still remember visiting as a child - the brass door knobs, the handcrafted dining table, the old family albums sitting on a Victorian style sofa. Most of all I remember the color of the house and how earthy it presented itself with a light golden heugh, trimmed by a chocolate boarder.


Moving on from it's vinyl era, this house will be once again dressed with a durable wood siding. Six inch cedar clapboard will be sourced local on the Burin Peninsula. This product will be delivered without any primer so with a mix of family and friends, we plan to have ourselves a priming party!


Once primed the boards will be painted with two coats of 'Dorset Gold', a curated traditional color from the Heritage NL Historic Paint series (I'll link the reference guide below). To replicate the chocolaty boarder, the six in trim around the house will be 'Sable', also from this historic paint series. I have rendered this in SketchUp to give a digital preview of the look. It's amazing how we can manipulate digital technology to ensure the accuracy of our visions.

'Nan's House', created by Principle Designer, Valerie Longpre, using SketchUp.

Consider this post a part one of sorts. I have teamed up with a local contractor and we will soon me executing this project. More to come throughout the summer on this exciting upgrade to our beloved 'Nan's House'.

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