Did you ever find yourself in a new city, in a new country, really still finding your feet and then, in the midst of all that, decide to kick off a brand new business? Well, that's exactly the situation I find myself in and I can wholeheartedly recommend it!
My wife and I moved to Ottawa from Edinburgh, Scotland a couple of years ago and absolutely fell in love with the city; from the buzz of the Market, to the relaxed leafy green of the Glebe, to the hip and trendy Wellington Village and Westboro. We loved it so much, in fact, that we decided to stay!
I guess the thing that struck us first was that Ottawa just seems to have the "right" kind of vibe - a nice mix of traditional and modern aesthetics, a relaxed social culture, and some great pubs and restaurants. Our first apartment was a rental down in the Market and that gave us a great flavor of the, shall we say, "livelier" side of the city! We were also exposed to the wonderful blending of old and new architecture - the Gothic Revival of Parliament, cast against the sharp, modern lines of Safdie's stunning National Gallery of Canada for example - and a great design-forward selection of shops and galleries.
Since then, of course, we've discovered that this modern and contemporary feel extends into other parts of the city, into residential as well as public and commercial architecture, and we've met a whole bunch of wonderful, creative, talented people along the way!
Over the coming weeks, I'm going to be writing about the great things that we've discovered as we've gone along; great decor and furnishing stores; fantastic art and galleries; fun pubs and fancy restaurants ... with the odd tasty bottle of wine thrown in for good measure! I'll also be keeping you up to date on progress with our decor business and, if you're interested in seeing what kind of design engages me, feel free to follow me on Twitter.
I'm really grateful to the lovely folks at Ottawa at Home Magazine for providing me the opportunity to get to know you all better, and to let you get to know me. I think it's going to be an amazing adventure and I'd love you to come along with me!
So, thanks for tuning in, have a great day, and watch out for the next exciting episode ...
Graham is starting up a new interior decor business, specializing in modern and contemporary design themes. You can keep up with him here at www.ottawaathome.ca or on Twitter by following @grahamcowen"