Sophisticated family livingPublished on December 10, 2013

  • The Neo Forum kitchen features dark bamboo cabinets

  • Rich jewel tones enhance the space in the family room to add personality to the contemporary décor

  • Photo by Mark Holleron

  • Custom designed carpet in the living room by Leonhard, who also designed the dining room chandelier.

  • Custom designed carpet in the living room by Leonhard, who also designed the dining room chandelier.

The product of renowned local architect Barry Hobin, the design is sleek and cool but the vibe is warm and inviting to house a growing young family. The floor-to-ceiling windows create a dramatic openness, while the décor grounds the space with warmth. The cleverly executed décor is the work of Leonhard Vogt of Michael Courdin Designs. Rich, velvet fabrics contrast the glass and slick architecture to strike just the right balance.

The annual tour, which supports Hospice Care Ottawa, takes visitors into spectacular homes dressed for the holidays. This Island Park house is a showstopper decorated for New Year's Eve with a design that lends itself to a chic celebration.


The entry is cool with an open staircase greeting guests from the front door to set the contemporary tone. To the left, the living room is awash in green tones to reflect the close proximity of nature's influence, a key component in the décor. Leonhard embraces this with pea-green velvet fabric on the sofas, and in the adjacent dining area, adds a hint of glamour with a stunning modern chandelier and pops of silver for a festive flair.

There is a cohesiveness felt throughout the home and it's established from the entrance with thoughtful elements. "Cohesion came from applying geometric fabrics in the living room and reflecting this in an adjacent space on a different surface such as the stairwell wallpaper," explains Leonhard.


The open-concept kitchen/family room incorporates the needs of a young family with oversized comfy furniture and ample workspace found in the Neo Forum kitchen. Timeless and sophisticated design elements will grow with the homeowner's family. Round shapes and comfortable surfaces were incorporated in keeping with this thought process. The kitchen table with a round glass top and wood base is a good example of the form and function philosophy.


An open-concept layout is something that the homeowners wanted from the start and it was the catalyst for doing a full build, as opposed to the popular housing infills found in central neighbourhoods. They selected Barry Hobin for the design, in part because of the openness of his modern designs, and Terra Nova was their builder. With Michael Courdin Designs working in conjunction with the homeowners to pull the look together, the overall effect is stunning.

Leonhard emphasizes the key role a homeowner plays in the process: "Our philosophy at Michael Courdin Designs has always been to inspire and guide the client to achieve a style that reflects their personality; this is what makes a house a home."

Creating holiday décor for contemporary spaces

- Establish a colour scheme to suit the existing space

- Pick one festive colour to pop throughout the minimalist décor to add a touch of the unexpected

- Metallic, like silver and gold work well within a modern space

- Decorate with organic shapes that reflect the season

- Use natural elements whenever possible; vases with branches, decorated with simple glass balls, make a statement

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