“It’s the craft of putting things together.” An architect I was interviewing recently used this phrase to describe his approach to modern architecture. While a lot of design language can seem abstract to outsiders such as me, this one stuck. And it echoed a sentiment made by none other than rapper Ice Cube. In a video that shows him touring his favourite buildings of Los Angeles, including the home of designers Charles and Ray Eames, the influential musician reflects: “It’s not about the pieces, it’s about how the pieces work together.” (Who knew Ice Cube studied architectural drafting before he got into rap music?)
Maybe the definition sticks, because for me, there is magic in the “putting together” of magazines. It begins with the planning, choosing which stories fit where, and which don’t fit at all (believe it or not, many gems lie on the cutting-room floor).
Indeed, both magazines and architecture share a process-heavy approach. For the designers, builders, and homeowners whose stories come alive in this issue, the “measure twice, cut once” mantra is second nature — because when it comes to a magnum opus such as a custom home, slow and steady wins the race. (That’s not to say mistakes are not made and lessons learned; I love the humour shown by Mark Willcox when he jokes in “Keeping Time,” page 68, that ripping out newly installed insulation made it easier for the electricians.) Similarly, for the editors and designers involved in this publication, the many rounds of editing, fact-checking, and proofing ensure there won’t be any audible gasps when the issue hits newsstands.
Much of this labour for our annual Interiors issue is done by special projects editor Sarah Brown, whose eye for interesting houses and years of experience assembling magazines — not to mention her unending curiosity about all kinds of houses — have built Interiors into a structure of integrity in its own right.
In an age of fake news, internet trolls, and other digital tools that generate stories with manipulation in mind, our methodical ways might seem outdated or overly meticulous. But, like a house planned with care and built with love, this book is one that will stand the test of time.
Coming Up: Before the “immersive multi-media production” known as Kontinuum opens at the Lyon Street LRT station, our Spring issue will examine how these transit hubs will change the future of Ottawa. We’ll also reveal stories of people who feel they cannot trust the Ottawa Police Service, take readers on a tour of the city’s annual weapons trade show, and explore a trio of gardens created with wildlife in mind.
Dayanti Karunaratne, editor
Table of Contents
Working the Angles
A creative branding guru takes an imaginative approach to renovating his Gatineau Hills summer home, celebrating its quirky layout and making the most of outstanding river vistas
BY HATTIE KLOTZ
Boldly Does It
Deep, rich colours and an eclectic collection of flea-market finds add cosmopolitan flair to this design blogger’s home
BY MELANIE SCOTT
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARC FOWLER
A determined couple keep history alive, undertaking a renovation that gives new life to a mid-century gem in Rockcliffe
The Art of Living
Two artists discover an architectural tour de force in Vanier, and work with the unique design of the house to create a warm home that doubles as a showcase for their art collection
Hollywood on the Rideau
Design-savvy home-owners and a bold designer recreate the glamorous style of the late John Elgin Woolf, an architect whose client list included a who’s who of movie stars during Hollywood’s Golden Age
A Sense of Place
An enterprising couple design the house of their dreams — one that pays homage to their Almonte street while looking resolutely to the future
Three diverse projects offer visions for a green future
Most Wanted Canadian cloth
Trendwatch Favourite on-trend kitchens and bathrooms, plus details on how to get the looks
Zibi + the industrial evolution • Random desires • A designer on the rise • Instagram for architects • DIY coffee table
Plus: Artful Musing • Open Book • Going Out • Backstage • Scene & Heard
CHEAP EATS Dining options for penny-pinchers
CITY BITES Local food news
HIGH SPIRITS Flavour rules for mixing drinks
VOICE The Journey to Find Home