Surprise and delightPublished on November 2, 2014

  • Living room furnishes from Polanco

  • Flooring throughout in white oak, 7" plank

  • A Bocci chandelier from Vancouver hangs with precision over the dining table

  • Seasonal colours reflected in a floral arrangement from The Fresh Flower & Gift Basket Company

  • A bonus three season room

  • Slick white oak cabinets from Gruber Furniture

One of the most cherished features of a newly built home in Wellington Village is that the setting offers a private, cozy feel within a city neighbourhood. Yet, the owners of this home are giving up some of that much-desired privacy by handing their dwelling over to the 2014 Homes for the Holidays tour in support of Hospice Care Ottawa. 

In the decision to share their home, personal privacy was pushed aside in lieu of the fact that one of the homeowners experienced an unmet need for hospice care. "Sadly my mom passed away two years ago and there were no hospice beds available to us. I was surprised to find out how few palliative care beds (outside of a hospital setting) there were in Ottawa. When we were approached to support this cause through the holiday tour program - I just couldn't say no!" 

Tour-goers are in for a treat when they visit this contemporary home, which is nestled into a quiet street on a treed lot surrounded by mature homes. It offers extraordinary views that came as a surprise bonus to the owners who didn't see the effect their location would have until their home was complete. They express their delight in a property that has exceeded their expectations.

 "The house has a great open and airy feeling. The light, at all times of the day, is fantastic and we were blessed to discover that the green surroundings give the home a private and cozy feel. While we were pleased with the lot when we bought it - the views and situation turned out to be happy surprises."

Kariouk Associates were the architectural brains behind the project, but (as Paul Kariouk is quick to point out) that didn't mean they had free rein to create as they pleased. Not only were they limited by physical factors, but the client's particular tastes and specifications played a leading role in the outcome. Given that the clients are extremely private people, Paul said he knew the house would be introverted and not a stand out glass box.

 "But ironically the client wanted the house to look gracious and it had to be extremely open visually and filled with daylight," explains Paul. "So the gratifying part of this project was the challenge to reconcile seemingly oppositional client desires with their requirements."

With a lot that is steep from side to side, it posed complications that ended up becoming the home's greatest feature. The front of the house is elevated from the street to bring the interior of the home in line with the full depth of the lot, and create a private oasis within. Windows at the back of the house seem to open onto a cocoon of nature. An outdoor courtyard area connects with indoor space on either side, which offers a brilliant solution to what Paul describes as "a sequence like a spatial necklace that strings together alternating interior and exterior spaces."

Both indoor and outdoor spaces will be focal points to showcase holiday décor in its entire splendour during the tour, which takes place Nov. 14-16. Crystal Hill from the Fresh Flower & Gift Basket Company will be honouring the home's clean lines and esthetic, while promising to include some traditional elements with greens and flowers to add striking, bold elements for the wow factor. For more tour information, visit


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