The Britannia Village neighbourhood, bounded by the Ottawa River to the north and west and Mud Lake Conservation Area to the east, presented itself as a seamless fit for two physicians searching for a place to call home. Although the 1970s style didn’t quite exude Carole Dennie and Fraser Ruben’s classic-modern taste, any inkling of concern was non-existent.
Given their busy careers with impressive titles, Carole as Co-Director of Cardiac Radiology and MRI at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Section Head for Cardiac and Thoracic Radiology at The Ottawa Hospital, and Fraser, a cardiac surgeon, a home brimming with natural influences right outside their door proved ideal. “When I looked around and saw what I was surrounded by, I thought, this is me; this is what I want,” said Carole. The couple shares their home with the community for the 2022 annual Homes for the Holidays tour in support of Hospice Care Ottawa.
Meandering up the meticulously manufactured driveway, Homes for the Holidays décor is immediately evident, thanks to the efforts of Elizabeth Young, owner of Flowers Talk Tivoli. The doorway is flanked by planters and prominently displays a wreath, the Christmas touches reminiscent of a quaint town plucked directly from a Hollywood film set. Elizabeth says she has always possessed a genuine love of both flowers and plants, made evident by the amalgamation of both throughout the home.
To showcase the indoor pool area, Elizabeth opted to float a floral arrangement constructed of various wintergreens, brandishing pure white garden roses, and sprinkled with artificial red berries. Just beyond the glass windows that overlook the pool, a striking centrepiece is perched on an ottoman, rife with texture and the essence of the season. Red Princess double tulips, piano garden roses, pepperberry pinecones, magnolia, eucalyptus, and additional wintergreens provide the perfect pop.
With an equal emphasis on plants, Elizabeth highlights their abundance and perfect placement throughout the home, including rosemary, winterberry, a pop of gardenias, cyclamen, and ellwoodii cypress trees — all of which will last for the entire holiday season.
The formal dining room table is set, awaiting the delivery of Christmas dinner, awash with garden roses, hydrangeas, Dutch tulips, and the addition of a select few wintergreens.
The high ceilings of the loft-style living room are perfectly conducive to an eight‑foot Christmas tree, flecked with pure white garden roses popped into tiny glass vessels, clipped directly onto the tree branches, to incorporate an elevated elegance. Fresh magnolias are also incorporated, which dry to emphasize a glossy green on one side and chocolate brown on the other.
Finally, felted animal ornaments are added, including endearing selections such as mice and owls, for a touch of whimsy that doesn’t compete with the formal décor of the home, including the Phalaenopsis orchids in hand-painted gold hurricane vases displayed prominently on the baby grand piano. An established oratorio and concert soloist, Fraser often serenades friends and family with private concerts, and their home is now perfectly decorated as an accompaniment to a classical holiday score.
For more on this year’s tour, or to support, visithospicecareottawa.ca