Peddler’s Cottage Interiors (formerly Country Cottage Gifts & Décor) is more than a home decor store. It’s a labor of love shared by a family passionate about country décor and committed to creating a legacy future generations can enjoy.
The journey from vision to fruition began the day Charlene and Duane Habuza decided to combine their passions (hers for country décor and his for heritage) and open a store unlike any seen before.
Their dream? To find and restore a heritage home where they could sell an unmatched inventory of irresistible replica furniture and décor to countrify any home – from distressed solid pine furniture, to patchwork quilting, and decorative items including braided rugs, wooden signs, garlands, twigs and berries, and all of the country scents from top candle suppliers.
Finding the perfect home was easy. In fact, it was on the first day of house hunting that the Habuza’s discovered the once magnificent Muirhead House, a true diamond in the rough located near the desired downtown core of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
The 1910 house was theirs within the month; however securing city approvals and completing the intensive upgrades required to build the store took nearly four long years.
Restoring Muirhead to its former glory was a gruelling process that involved lifting the house, moving it eight feet closer to the front sidewalk, and lowering it onto the new foundation of what would become a two bedroom, two bathroom residential suite.
Removal of almost 100 years of renovations took place simultaneously and involved gutting the house, leveling each floor as well as the roof, and removing three layers of shakes and shingles that were then refinished with original cedar shingle style roofing.
The veranda – once covered to house soldiers – was restored, while the yard was transformed into a soothing oasis complete with water features, koi fish, trees, and plants with a bridged walkway leading to the front door.
Inside, new electrical, plumbing, heating/cooling and sprinkler systems were installed and the remainder of the house was renovated to meet city codes while still respecting its heritage value. Fixtures and fittings were replaced with exact replicas including bronzed chandeliers, a claw foot tub, gravity fed toilets, and pedestal sinks.
The original windows were reglazed, while the almost 100-year-old solid fir floors were restored and accented with solid fir 9.5-inch base trim, moldings, six panel interior doors and custom exterior doors complete with replica hardware. To complete the authentic look, old style staining methods were used along with custom heritage paint colors inside and out. Authentic operational heritage pieces were also restored and installed including a wall-mounted 1890 Kellogg telephone, an 1888 Prizer Standard wood cook stove, a 1905 Oxford Oak parlor stove, and a National Cash Register dating back to 1911.
It all came together on September 7th, 2009 when Peddler’s Cottage Interiors opened its doors to rave reviews from customers awed by its unparalleled inventory of items reminiscent of ancestries past.
Since then, locals have become regulars and tourists from the United States, the Prairies, and the Maritime Provinces have continued to flock to the store every summer, knowing they can spend hours browsing for that perfect gift or accessory for their home.
Today, Charlene and Duane say running the business is a family affair they enjoy sharing with their three children and with customers who’ve come to love country décor as much as they do.