A first-class winnerPublished on November 14, 2015

  • Warm tones in the ensuite

  • he 14-foot-long island offers ample entertaining and casual dining space in the kitchen

  • A TV room off the kitchen shows off the vibrant work of Australian photographer Peter Lik

  • Martha Sturdy custom dining table with custom chairs from Uproar Interiors

  • A silk orchid collection carpet from Toronto’s Elte sets the luxurious tone in the living/dining room. Custom fabric from Uproar Interiors on Montauk sofas in the living room

  • The home office carries the warm contemporary elements of the principal rooms

  • Classic-rustic holiday decor

  • Mood Moss Flowers helped to dress the holiday table in luxurious gold and green

  • Resin Stag head from Uproar Interiors greets guests at the front door

  • Brass cocktail tables from Uproar Interiors

  • Schumacher wallpaper in the powder room

Everyone wins in the creation of a spectacular new home built on a leafy lot in Rockcliffe Park. It was an award winner in the annual Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association Housing Design Awards last year, and by displaying its dramatic design on this year’s tour of Homes for the Holidays, it’s also a winner for helping to support Hospice Care Ottawa.

Tour visitors will be inspired by the design of this high-end bungalow of glass and stone in its festive setting. Decorated for the holidays by Janise Saikaley of Uproar Interiors in a style of classic elegance with a twist, she incorporated fun accessories such as gold trees and rhinestone animals. The seasonal arrangements were provided by Mood Moss Flowers in New Edinburgh, with Eric Cardinal opting for subtle floral colours of green, white and sage, plus some berry textures.


The plan to build a home on the owner’s vacant lot in Ottawa’s historic village evolved over many years. It eventually became a reality when architect Barry Hobin put his professional skills to work in partnership with custom builder Roca Homes. Together, the first-class design and construction of the contemporary bungalow won them both a GOHBA award for a customized urban infill home.

Limestone is used extensively on inside walls, floors and fireplaces as well as for landscaping and on the exterior, combined with mahogany cladding and an imposing mahogany front door. The steep roof is covered in copper and the home curves around a landscaped courtyard and pool. This U-shaped layout forms distinctive pods of living areas that are bathed in natural light from walls of windows and glass inserts, with expansive views and a seamless transition to the outdoor environment. It’s a uniquely contemporary design that was carefully crafted to fit the homeowners’ vision of their home and individual style.


Making choices on the interior design and layout was equally important. In addition to the holiday decorating, interior designer Janise Saikaley was also the go-to person for bringing in the expertise on various design elements, material finishes and décor. She explains that she has known the homeowners for more than 20 years and helped with ideas throughout the long design-tweaking process of the challenging four-bedroom home with a luxuriously finished basement.

Describing her clients as more traditional in style, Janise introduced some modern elements to create what she calls a tension in design to contrast different looks. “It takes years to develop a house and we’ve taken it slowly. I’ve tried to use Canadian designers as much as possible as we have so many talented people in this country.”

One of her all-time favourites is Vancouver’s Martha Sturdy, whom Janise considers a Canadian icon. She is known for her unique décor and resin jewellery. The big brass dining table is one of her signature pieces and Janise teamed it with 10 brass-studded chairs upholstered in beautiful Schumacher fabric.

Gregor Bruhn of Handwerk Custom Cabinetry created the sleek white kitchen, which features a 14-foot-long island with teak side panels and spacious storage drawers. “His work is flawless,” says Janise. “Having a Gregor kitchen is like winning the lottery!”

In addition to praising Canadian talent, Janise gives credit to her Uproar associate designer Sorcha Finn, who also worked on the décor. They both describe the overall feel of the interior as simple and elegant, which reflects the personal style of their client.

“They were looking for a warm, inviting home,” adds Janise. “So we brought in colour and texture to contrast with the clean lines of contemporary design. I’m a big fan of drapes over blinds on windows to warm things up, especially in a glass house in Ottawa. We used sheer drapes in Italian linen for the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room " it’s my trademark.”

Other elements to contrast the white velvety walls and add tension to the decor include surprise wallpaper accents, exotic rugs and upholstered furniture. The main bathroom features flocked paper that looks like concrete, the mud room has a wall of hand-embossed paper in gold and blue, and even the closets are wallpapered for a more feminine effect.

Walnut flooring warms up the office " which the homeowner calls his throne room " with its panorama of windows. But the latest showstopper is the new carpet in the living room. It’s a silk sari rug from Elte in muted jewel colours with a plum daisy pattern. These second-life rugs are made from actual saris and Janise calls them “the Mercedes of carpets " worth their weight in gold.”

And that, she believes, is just what a first-class home deserves!


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