It may not have been built with affluence in mind, but the home of Holly Ready and her companion/caregiver Katannya Woodruff is a charming oasis in the downtown area.
An anomaly in a province favouring wood construction, the house was built in 1912 with large bricks manufactured in Enderby.
Surrounded by fragrant, colourful flowers, the large gabled house is a delightful warren of comfortable rooms.
Once home to former Salmon Arm Mayor R.J Skelton, the house was well-known as Gabe’s Bunkhouse.
“The boarding house was something of a legend for its excellent and generous-portioned meals, open to the public as well as serving its residents,” notes the City of Salmon Arm Community Heritage Register.
They took in 18 boarders at a time, young men who slept on bunk beds in the basement, says Holly.
“That’s why we like living here so much, people have been cared for here for so long,” says Katannya of the home’s air of quiet contentment.
“I wanted to make it a kind of healing house,” adds Holly, who moved into the home in 2004.
The house was bought as an investment by her late husband Shane in 1983.
“He told me I could have it but it would cost a fortune, and it has,” she says, noting some of the changes she has made.
In the living room, a boarded-up stained-glass window has been restored to its former beauty. A new brick fireplace was installed, making the living room a cozy retreat.
Long closed in, part of the wrap-around porch has been opened up, creating a delightful summer sitting area where the women often enjoy breakfast.
A landscape architect was enlisted to design the English garden that fronts the house and the women selected flowers in their favourite hues.
“We chose plants that were pinks and purples to complement the house,” says Holly. “Those are our favourite colours.”
A pergola and tall plants provide privacy.