Matt and Kayla are both educators, who fell into living in old houses, out of necessity rather than want– Okay that is Matt. Kayla loves old houses, has always loved old houses and knew from the time she was young that she was going to live in an old house. Matt is an indulging husband, who has begrudgingly agreed to buy not one but two, century-old homes.
We were both gamers in our younger years and met while playing a game. After years of chatting and talking on the phone, we met and decided we as a couple we fit. Matt still had to finish with university, so Kayla having just finished a teaching degree moved from Canada to the UK to be closer.
The first house Kayla lived in after arriving in the UK was a terraced house with beautiful woodwork, in the south of England, while Matt lived in an old terraced work house up in Liverpool. It wasn’t long before Kayla left her job and followed Matt north.
The work house was made to be functional. There was nothing pretty about it (in looks, the historian in Kayla loved living in a piece of history that she had only read about), with many years of student living taking a toll on the condition of the house. Some choppy renovations had left a bathroom so small, you had to back in to get to the toilet. It was such a tight squeeze the toilet became the most popular place to be photographed in the house.
Kayla spent a lot of time talking about what she would do to the house if she owned it.
The next move saw us moving to Vienna, Austria for a year. There we lived in a shared apartment with a lot of old world charm. Twelve-foot ceilings, marble staircases, and doors larger than anyone should ever need, only further inspired Kayla’s love of old buildings. Matt loved the space.
Moving back to the UK we then lived in an apartment under the stairs. This again was a turn of the century build. It was one of four apartments and as the name suggested, ours was tucked under the staircase for the building. It had a beautiful bay window and high ceilings, at around 400 square feet we were cozy.
After moving back to Canada we bought our first home. It was a house built in 1898. It had been built using Lumber from the Macfadden lumber company, as evidenced by the stamps found on much of the wood. It had previously been owned by one family and passed down through the generations. It was used as a farm house, a boarding house, and a single family home, throughout its history. The house was approximately 1800 square feet, but the entire upper floor had been closed off from the rest of the house. We did some work on the main floor but the sheer amount of work that needed to be done was overwhelming. When Kayla took a job out of town we rented the house for a year and then put it up for sale.
We then bought the Manse. We were not looking to buy when we spotted this house on the market. One look at the trim work in the pictures and Kayla begged to go and look at it. She promised Matt that they were, “just going to go and look.” Matt having the foresight and knowing Kayla insisted that a house had to be in a livable state and that he wanted the foundation to be sound. He then resigned himself to buying a house before ever stepping in the door.