The Story

Located in the Glebe area of Ottawa, this renovation reflects a growing sentiment in the neighbourhood; the desire for a fresh take on appreciating historical charm.  Reinvigorating a 1,200s.f. red brick, character-filled townhouse, the new design celebrates through contrast the eclecticism of the existing while filling it with a clean, contemporary feel.  The previous, disjointed floor plan was defused into a series of flowing spaces that allow uninterrupted views through the house and provide multiple vantage points of key visual interests which give the house its unique flavour. From the entry, views lines extend through the house to the read landscaped yard.  The restored staircase and eclectic mix of modern and vintage furniture lend a warmth to the main floor, juxtaposed against the clean cool lines of tile, millwork, lighting and stark white drywall walls.

Given the nature of the clients–an executive chef and a coffee shop owner–the kitchen had to be the social centre of the home.  Focused on the preparation and presentation of food, the kitchen design was less about high-end appliances and more on the processes, functionality, and social interactions. When the clients go out to eat, they prefer to sit at the bar and have a meal; counter-service is a much more informal casual dining experience and they want to create the same vibe at home.

The island, the heart of the kitchen, is the “eating and serving area [where the chef] can look people in the eye while plating.”  As the platform for interaction between food, chef, and guest, the island was designed to facilitate serving, conversing, and ultimately promote dialogue between the preparation of the food and the people experiencing it.  Wrapped first in stainless steel, then further wrapped with a 4’ wide solid cherry counter, the island allows the clients to hide plates under the upper counter for easy access while entertaining.

When not entertaining and trying to reconcile conflicting work schedules, the second floor serves as a boutique hotel suite with a second living room, coffee bar, changing area, bedroom, and bathroom.  The open-concept space can be transformed by large pivoting and sliding doors that allow varying degrees of privacy.

 “We appreciated how Linebox was open to a truly collaborative and improvisational approach to our project. The project was a true team effort led by Andrew and also influenced by the builder, suppliers, artists, and our vision as the clients.  This collaborative approach made it possible to work within the constraints of our budget while dealing with the conditions of the found site and also allowing for new design ideas and changes along the way.  It was also reassuring to know that we could be spendthrift at times but then spend money where needed in order to complete certain essential design elements; the ones important to making our overall vision and design a reality” – Matthew Carmichael – Owner/Chef, El Camino & Datsun; Sheila Mclaine – Owner, Planet Coffee

CREDITS
Construction – The Lake Partnership
Photography - The General Studio
Quoted Text – Clients
Lighting Design – Linebox Studio inc
Light Fixtures – Kei Ng – Castor Design
Front Door - Nabil & Elizabeth Assaf – Urban Front
Front Door Bell - Ted Peirson – Spore Modern Doorbells