news and appearances

Thurs. Mar. 12, 2015; 6:30pm-9pm

Join me at Hudson's Bay, Queen St. Toronto

See my fave picks from the Spring Home Book and let's shop the 6th and 7th floors! Visit the event page on Facebook for more deets.


Wed. April 15, 2015

I'll be a featured speaker at:
What doesn't break you makes you stronger.

Market Hall Performing Arts Centre, Peterborough, Ont.

Buy tickets here.

Feb. 11-17, 2015


Oct. 16-20, 2014



my dream house

Now, don't get me wrong, I consider myself to be quite fortunate. It's true that Mr. A and I call 3 different properties home. When I say it out loud, or if it just happens to come up in conversation, it sounds wildly extravagant - like we hang with Conrad and Babs and Galen and Hils. We don't. During the recent Sandy/US election news cycle there was a joke Twitter account for Mitt Romney and one of the tweets was: "Those in Sandy's path, now is the time to evacuate to your 2nd or 3rd homes." I chuckled at the pretension and then thought...oh, wait...

While our "portfolio of properties" is far from Romneyesque, I love each one. But I do still dream of other types of properties and wonder if one day I might call one of them home. Call it an occupational hazard. Among my fantasies is a Haussmann-style Paris apartment, a mews house in any S or SW post code in London (actually, any place in London), a raw loft space anywhere, a converted barn by the ocean. And last, but not least by any means, is a centre hall plan stone house. So you can imagine my goosebumps when I clicked the Twitter link to this beauty posted by fellow lover of smushy-faced dogs and realtor, Douglas Hotte.

Hello gorgeous!. Here are the deets:


This Spectacular Rare Century Stone Home Built In 1861 With Newer High Efficiency Geothermal Heating/Cooling On 5.8 Acres In Northumberland Only 90 Min To Gta. 3 Plus 1 Bedrooms, Very Large Principal Rooms, Grand Foyer, Deep Windows, Built Ins, Servants Staircase, 2' Thick Stone Walls! Private Side Porch, Original Plank Flooring, Double Car Garage, Drive And Garden Shed.

Price: $529,000


I die. This place is located in the charming town of Warkworth, ON, 90mins from Toronto and also just a hop, skip and jump to my family members in Peterborough and Oshawa. It comes with a John Deere tractor. Please join me for a tour. 

Looks like there was some sort of portico on it at one point. Love the front door colour. Sad to see the gothic window replaced with a combo of arch-top shutters and a rectangular window. Getting the right window in there would be job 1.

A charming private side porch with a gravel walk. The perfect spot for tea, hot or iced depending on the season. 

Those windows, that stone.

Simple. Perfect. 

They could throw in that high boy, too! Handsome devil.

The room needs a pair of wing chairs or old leather club chairs by the wood stove. Done and done.

Upstairs landing for the main stairs.

I love old things but a clawfoot tub with a shower - been there, done that, not a fan. Almost always leads to a case of "attack of the shower curtain." But I'd endure it to live here.

One of the 2 secondary bedrooms. A bit museumy but look at those bones!

Et voila, le Master. It's a whopping 25ft by 16 ft. Amazeballs.

 And this little treat in the corner - the secondary staircase, which leads directly from the master bedroom down to the main level. 

A home office located on the main floor to the right of the entry. Needs books, books and books. 

And so my lovelies, by now are you thinking, hmmm, where's a photo of the kitchen? That's the most exciting part of this house. Because, you see, the answer is that no photos of the kitchen are posted. You know what that means in the real estate world: the kitchen is a wreck and/or needs a complete re-do. To me, this is the home's ultimate enticement. Cast your eyes upon the floor plan:

There exists an odd excuse for a kitchen in the back left corner of the main floor. But of course that simply wouldn't suffice. This home is crying out for the modern country kitchen of my dreams. It needs the Plain English treatment tout suite. Without a single doubt I am the girl for this design job. Truthfully, I have already begun the design in my head. I may or may not have started a private board in Pinterest devoted to it...

And for a little icing on the cake, here are the vistas:

To see the full listing or to buy this for me for Christmas à la Miracle on 34th St., please see the featured listings section of Caldwell Banker rep Douglas Hotte's web site.






Reader Comments (12)

Oh my goodness, I am reduced to a puddle with a laptop. The only, *only* drawback I can see is that the vistas do not include the water. But I suppose that is getting a little greedy...

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa @ WickedandWeird

Oh Margot you may have to move over to allow me some dream space as well,It is a stunner with so much potential

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDawna Jones

Stunning. What a gem. I'd happily settle for some of the furniture if I couldn't have the house.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrace C

Simply stunning, lovely and full of charm of yesteryear. Thanks for the tour!

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandra

I totally believe that 'decor daydreaming' is the best form of mental therapy! Love this home.

November 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterModmissy

I live about 10 miles from this house so today we took a drive to see. First stop was the bakery in Warkworth for bread for supper. Then on to the house which is even lovelier in person. The colour of the stone is a soft pink and grey. It is on a paved road but it seemed quiet, and the views of Northumberland hills were blurred by a fine smoky mist. Does this make you want it even more?

November 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanie

Janie, you're killing me. By the way I'm about done the kitchen redesign...sigh

November 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterMargot Austin

My husband and I just looked up schools in the area... what have you done Margot?

November 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa @ WickedandWeird

The window with arched shutter is original, no replacements here.

December 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Thanks for the correction Liz. So sorry if I caused confusion!

December 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterMargot Austin

What a stunning home! So much character and there are so many gorgeous pieces of furniture that I wouldn't mind having either!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

Oh my goodness. This is such a gem! I love my little Victorian Row home, but after seeing something like this I'd be willing to pack up and sell, and put up with the 90 minute commute. :)

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrendan Fisher

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