So often, when we admire a space, we notice not what lies inside it but what it allows us to enjoy of the outside: a spectacular view, sun rays filtered through a forest, the bustling parade of neighbourhood life. We move toward the windows and, for a moment, feel that we can enjoy both the excitement of the outside world and the serenity of personal space. And so this year, the theme of light unites our featured homes. As Ottawa’s architectural landscape continues to mature, there is no shortage of show-stopping homes to choose from: a theme helps narrow the field. Plus, it can be a daunting task, after entering a spectacular home that is adored by its inhabitants, to summarize the many design decisions (and family histories) that the space represents: a theme helps focus wide-eyed writers and photographers.
It is through this lens that we explore the five homes featured in this issue. A mid-century modern house is a natural fit because architects of that era were renowned for rooms with big windows designed to enhance the connection between the building and nature. Jay Lim’s house in Westboro goes one very practical step further, with three balconies, a big back deck, and white walls that amplify the bright atmosphere. In Old Ottawa South, architect John Donkin was challenged to build a modern house that faces west but is oriented to the south to take advantage of the sun. The Cantley home of Diane Lacaille and Pierre Charles Généreux incorporates glass walls and doors in creative ways, allowing sunshine to flood even the more hidden nooks. And what a view! It can be compared only to the Brockville condo of Bettina and Walter Griesseier, who traded their rural horse farm for a glamorous penthouse inspired by nautical themes. Their riverside abode was also a unique opportunity to highlight the many design possibilities in a condo.
As Special Projects Editor Sarah Brown continues to steer our Interiors issue into new and exciting waters, creativity and collaboration are at an all-time high. In “Everyday Beauty,” for example, five photographers, five subjects, and two writers come together to explore the way people express beauty — and their own life stories — through the objects and ambience with which they choose to surround themselves. It’s a unique and heartfelt testimony to the fact that we all have a story to tell and whatever way we choose to tell it is worthy of contemplation.
— Dayanti Karunaratne, editor
Random Design Desires: What we love, where to find it, and sometimes why
Found: Kingston’s Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, an iconic lakeside theatre
Process: The art of success with Natasha Mazurka
Street Tour: Mapping modernity in Hintonburg 31
Everyday Beauty: In a rich photo essay, five photographers (document everyday beauty
as they see it, each choosing and photographing the dwelling of someone whose home truly captures the spirit of the owner
By Ron Corbett
Photos by Bill Grimshaw, Maggie Knaus, Jamie Kronick, Whitney Lewis-Smith, and Remi Theriault
Light Fantastic: Tours of five sun-filled homes, exploring clever layouts and design ideas that allow natural daylight to stream in.
By Hattie Klotz, Sarah Brown, Janine Debanne, Barbara Sibbald, and Daniel Drolet
Photos by Christian Lalonde, Marc Fowler, Lorne Blythe, and Doublespace Photography
Shop Talk: Child’s Play — An imaginative shopping feature sees a child creating her own dreamscapes by rearranging and repurposing the living room furniture and accessories of her design-minded parents
Photography by Christian Lalonde
Quest: Sha’mokin — Quest for smoked servings
By Cindy Deachman
City Bites: Notable restaurant and food happenings
By Shawna Wagman
Besotted with a mid-century modern heritage house by Avirl Patrick