Lipstick & Hollywood GlamPublished on May 22, 2013

  • Ellen Lee (left), Pam Dilawri

  • A grand entrance enhanced with a hand blown murano glass chandelier, carpet from Giant Carpet and Flooring.

  • Retro glam chair fabric from C&M textiles, Ottawa

  • Drapery treatments from Elite Draperies and Home Decorating

  • Dramatic colour tones create glam and luxury in the master bedroom

  • Ensuite bath with Porcelanosa tiles from Astro Design Centre, plumbing fixutres from Preston hardware, window treatment and bench, Elite Draperies and Home Decorating;

  • Guest bathroom tiles, Tile Centre

You might expect to see a traditional décor in a house designed with all the colonial character of Federalist architecture. It would be the obvious thing to do! But not for Pamela Dilawri, who has successfully imposed her own glorious stamp on a stately home built ten years ago in Rockcliffe Park. With the help of Ellen Lee, an independent interior designer, she has achieved a glamorous makeover.


In the elegant and open Federalist-style hallway, stands a grand staircase that sweeps to an upper balcony. Yet it is boldly contrasted, while still being complemented, by a contemporary carpet runner and area rug in a black and white geometric pattern.

Looking up, a modern chandelier in hand-blown Murano glass hangs from the ten-foot ceiling. It holds its own space without distracting the eye from the intricate crown-molding plasterwork, which is a hallmark of Federalist splendour in every room.

"The Murano style of Venetian glasswork really appeals to me," says Pam who prefers the smooth, sleek line of its design. Her choice of unique lighting fixtures is a signature touch throughout the house.

Another original Murano chandelier is the centrepiece in the formal dining room. Imported from Italy by Marchand Lighting, who supplied most of the light fixtures, it looks black - but the glass glints red when lit up. Against a neutral backdrop of grey walls, the chandelier highlights an equally stunning Art Deco dining room table. Distinctive u-shaped table legs and nickel-bead detailing are combined with high-backed chairs upholstered in green-patterned velvet.

Pam picked the fabric, admitting that she has become more adventurous and wants the home décor to reflect her personality. "I know what I like, but trust Ellen to tell me if the colour or style will work with everything else."

Ellen explains that although they decided to move away from traditional décor, the furnishings have the necessary character for the home. "Some of the fixtures are modern, but we didn't go minimalist. They have rich details that fit in with the ornamental style of the Federalist period."

The dramatic living room definitely has its own wow factor. Adding what Pam calls a punch of Hollywood glam, Elite Draperies and Home Decorating supplied the raspberry-coloured drapes exotically trimmed with black feathers, and refinished the classic sofa in a colourful mix of striped velvet with nail-head finishing.

Over the fireplace, a silver-framed mirror is another favoured décor element. Pam likes the clean, sparkly shine of mirrors and Ellen compares them to drapes, lighting and artwork as the final lipstick effect of decorating makeovers.


While the glam continues in the spacious family room, it's toned down to provide a functional living space. A few structural changes were made to allow a play area for the two young Delawri boys, as well as adding a wall to create an entertainment centre with customized white cabinetry.

Striking red silk drapes put the lipstick on a wall of patio doors and windows. Drum-style lighting fixtures with sparkling crystals deliver some extra bling, together with a piece of eye-catching artwork over the fireplace.

Not to be outdone, the powder room is totally Hollywood glam. An all-black toilet and vanity with a silver bowl, are set against a glittering backdrop of polished marble tiles and red walls.

"I love tiles!" exclaims Pam, who confesses to lavishing walls with creative tiling whenever she gets the opportunity. And this is evident in all the bathrooms, which each feature a brilliant accent wall of tiled artwork.

Now it's the kitchen's turn. The backsplash is being replaced with new laser-cut, inter-locked marble tiles to pump up the volume of the refinished antique-white cabinets. Globe lighting adds gloss to a centre island of black cabinets, and a Cyan Design "jellyfish" chandelier in Murano glass is a spectacular focal point over the kitchen table.

With the completion of an upstairs renovation, Pam and Ellen agree it's time to sit back and access the need for more decorating lipstick. They still want to touch up a few remaining Federalist spaces with a sprinkle of Hollywood glam!

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