Thursday, July 11, 2024

Judd soft-launches Shawville B&B

After years of meticulous and labour-intensive renovations, Emma Judd has officially opened her new bed and breakfast, which she is calling Circa, on Shawville’s Main Street.
Judd started accepting reservations in May for the two rooms, each with a private bathroom, that are ready to receive guests.
She is calling this a soft-launch because she still has a fair amount of work to do to finish the remaining rooms, but recognized the need for overnight accomodation in the region and decided opening early could benefit both the community, and her bank account.
“I needed a little bit of income to get the rest of the rooms done,” she said.
“I have had some people stay here and they’ve been happy with it so far,” she added, explaining her first guest was a musician who needed a place to crash after their performance at her family’s Little Red Wagon Winery.
For now, she offers guests a light coffee and breakfast, but has plans to cook up personalized breakfasts for her guests once she is fully open.
She said the Pontiac Agricultural society has reserved all her rooms for the Shawville Fair weekend, but that aside from that time, she is open for business.
Once renovations are complete she will host a community open house for thos curious to get a peek inside.
In August 2021 THE EQUITY published a feature story about Judd’s project restoring the historical Shawville home (Making a house a home again, THE EQUITY, Aug. 4, 2021). We are running an excerpt from it here, to highlight the many years of work Judd has poured into making her vision a reality, since she and her family purchased the home in 2019.
“When I saw [the house] first, it was a cold October day. The house was freezing, but I was wearing blinders. All I could see was pretty wood work, pretty fireplace. I completely ignored the mould on the walls,” she laughs.
What began as an impulsive visit evolved into a project that Judd had never imagined: opening a Bed and Breakfast in downtown Shawville.
Three years later, as the late evening light disappears through the signature half moon windows on the third floor of 202 Main Street, Judd sits back in a mid-century modern Milo Baughman club chair. It is a dusty rose color, sits low to the ground, and is one of a pair that will one day be in the downstairs lounge. For now, they stand together, side by side, in what has become Judd’s private living room in the newly renovated attic. This space, that for so many years saw only cobwebs, bats and old dusty boxes, is her new home.
While she’s only been officially settled here since June, she has been slowly bringing to life her modern-day vision of this 123 year old relic since the summer of 2019.
At the onset of this project, she knew nothing of double-hung sash windows (hers are unique to the area), the intricacies of hand carved trim, end caps, plaster, dropped ceilings, or what the original builders did or did not do to control the way temperature and moisture were regulated in their homes.
Now, these kinds of details are her every day meat and potatoes. While the larger fixes, such as the roof, the plumbing, the heating, and the electrical wiring, had to be contracted out, everything else is being restored or renovated by Judd and her family.
Many would opt to replace the replaceable with new parts, but not Judd, who is dedicated to the original components of the home.
“You can’t get mouldings like this made. You can’t replace these kinds of windows. It’s just not the same,” she says, as reason for her undying dedication to saving whatever she can.
Beyond the personality that these details offer, Judd maintains that this is also the most practical and self-sufficient route to take.
“Old houses are built logically. That’s what I like about them. If you have an old window that breaks, glass, wood, rope, anything, you just fix it, and the rest of it’s fine.”
[ . . . ]
Her vision for this house is that it be a space where friends and family can come together, and feel at home, away from home.
Every corner of the house will be brought back to life. The front eastern room will become a piano room. The delicate floral wallpaper will go, but she will keep a strip of it in the backing behind the bookcases. What was the original kitchen will become the dining room, and what was once the summer kitchen in the back of the house will become her permanent kitchen. What used to be the old vet’s office will be home to her office, her pantry, and the laundry room. Even the secret room, with no entrance but a window, will be given a door and used as a bathroom. Judd is adamant that every room have it’s own private bathroom.
“I want the house to feel like theirs, and I’m just making it all a little easier for people to get together and have fun,” she explains.

Read the full piece on our website: