Since graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Arts in interior design from Algonquin College just two years ago, Jason Bellaire has launched his own design business and been nominated for an Ottawa Business Award. But rather than relying solely on social media to stoke the marketing flames, the hot young designer behind StyleHaus Interiors uses old-fashioned face time to convey his vision for residential interior design. His monthly Wine and Design events, for example, bring friends and industry professionals together to chat about everything from product trends to the role of design in Canadian society.
1 My MacBook Pro and iPhone
I know they’re two different things, but my usage of them is so interrelated that I can’t live without one or the other. Maybe it’s a designer thing, but I wouldn’t be caught dead with a PC — so ’90s!
2 Pinot noir
Specifically Rodney Strong 2007 Pinot Noir from Vintages. I just tried it for the first time this year. It’s robust, fragrant, and a hit at every dinner party.
3 This segues nicely into my next item: dinner parties
I’m told that dinner parties are “very Ottawa.” Perhaps it’s my age, but I am so over a night out at a club and much prefer the more human scale offered by the dinner party, where you can actually hear what people are saying.
4 The Globe and Mail on Saturday mornings
If I have the time, I linger for a few hours with my Bridgehead coffee (I like Mayan Fusion) and read it cover to cover. I love the new format, which is very magazine-like. The weekend Globe is a ritual as Canadian to me as bacon and maple syrup.
5 San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato in Mexico
The colours, the music, the gorgeous artist studios and local textiles, the quality of the light, and the spectacular colonial architecture all make for a very inspiring getaway.
When travelling, my partner and I always look for local markets and bazaars to lose ourselves in. Favourites are London’s Borough Market and the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, both equally exotic. At Borough Market, you can purchase champagne by the glass and stroll around taking in all the sights, and the Grand Bazaar offers the best fake Gucci around.
7 CBC documentaries
I especially like shows such as Doc Zone, Passionate Eye, and The Nature of Things. I watch them as podcasts. I’m a bit of a science and nature junkie — gives me lots to talk about at dinner parties.
8 Recent Ottawa architecture
Buildings such as the War Museum, The Aga Khan Foundation on Sussex, the new convention centre, and the miraculous surgical intervention at the Museum of Nature. All of these recent buildings represent a step in the right direction for Ottawa. These new buildings are engaging the public, and that’s what a civic building should do.
9 London, England
I know it’s not a “thing,” but it’s my favourite city in the world. I am fascinated by the mix of old and new, the great food, the creative energy that is almost tangible. It’s an artifact to me — and it’s home to the best-dressed men in the world.
10 My British Blue feline Lutece
Her fur is as soft as a rabbit’s, and she’s just as sweet as can be. Her breed is famous for being chilled out and very affectionate, almost dog-like. (Her name comes from one of my favourite subjects — Roman history. Lutece is the French form of Lutetia, the Roman city where Paris now stands.)