Originally published in the October 2014 print edition of Ottawa Magazine.
By SARAH BROWN
Moving from a Glebe condoto a three-storey 5,200-square-foot house in the Island Park area meant a huge lifestyle change, but these homeowners were well prepared. They sketched a meticulous layout for their new house, scouted central neighbourhoods until they found a tear-down on a large lot, and took a hands-on approach during the 15-month construction process.
And while the expansive dwelling, planned in conjunction with architectural firm Hamel Design, has curb appeal, the true beauty is in the interior details. Here, the focus is on continuity — setting a tone and having it carry throughout the rooms. That part of the process was managed in large part by Friedemann Weinhardt, owner of Design First, who began his collaboration with the homeowners by advising them on choosing the woods that would be used throughout. Once the rift-cut white oak floors were selected, Weinhardt carried the look through all three floors, achieving cohesiveness by using the same custom stain on the floors, doors, and cabinetry in every room.
Weinhardt and the homeowners then went to town on the more decorative elements, the most magnificent of which is a four-storey sculptural wall created from dozens of interlocking 32-inch-square dimensional panels. The seams had to be touched up, plastered, and sanded, and the wall was painted to remove any trace of the joints. The effect is spectacular — strong but subtle — and enhanced by the equally impressive staircase that appears to hover in front of it. Open risers and glass railings help give the illusion that the stairs, whose treads never touch the walls, are floating on air.
The showcase kitchen faces south, light bathing the luxe space. Here, again, the attention paid to continuity is evident in spades. The custom oak dining table matches the floor, while the island is made of walnut, which links it visually to the grain-matched walnut surrounds designed for the fridge and ovens. Dimension Cabinet & Millwork was instrumental in making sure the custom pieces fit the theme. White cabinetry and a backsplash of tiles in watery grey, light blue, and beige tones lighten the overall look, with lit display niches mirroring the shapes of the windows. The lesson in this room, as in every room in this elegant house, is that clever details are even more effective when they form part of a unified whole.
Click on the thumbnails for more images from this home.