Photos by Justin Van Leeuwen
Thanks to Ottawa pros Barry Hobin and Lucie Cadieux, an Ottawa couple’s long-prized waterfront lot has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind home that’s perfect for them, inside and out.
“My husband was lucky enough to get his hands on this property many years ago and he always had big dreams about what he wanted to do with it,” the happy homeowner explains. “When I met him, I fell in love with it too and so began the process of building a home that would do this amazing spot on the earth justice.”
In her words, “After touring a number of homes in Ottawa, we quickly realized the architect who could turn our dreams into reality was Barry Hobin. Barry immediately understood how active we were and how much we loved being outside, soaking up the sun, the sand and the incredible views of the Ottawa River.
“He took away our folder full of notes, clippings (and even a sketch or two) and designed a home that was beyond our wildest dreams—totally transparent, with sweeping views that bring nature inside in a way we appreciate every single day.”
Then, there was the inside to consider. “The challenge was finding the right person to help us transform the interior space,” she continues. “We wanted to respect the Frank Lloyd Wright vibe of the house…. We even had dreams of tiered dining room lighting that would mimic the effect of those spectacular Sputnik chandeliers at The Met in New York City. And blue. We wanted lots of blue.”
Calling it “a massive project,” she admits, “We were very concerned about finding the right person to work with. The day we connected with Lucie Cadieux was one of the luckiest days we’ve had during this whole process. She is so knowledgeable, so sure-footed in her approach and an absolute delight to work with.”
“The day we connected with Lucie Cadieux was one of the luckiest days we’ve had during this whole process.”
That fortuitous connection happened during COVID. “Our clients reached out by email and suggested we have a Facetime meeting and tour their home,” says Lucie, who’s a design consultant at Ottawa’s acclaimed Cadieux Interiors. Cadieux is known for one-on-one, full interior decorating service, with a focus on timeless, thoughtful design people can live with. In this case, Lucie started working with the couple to select pieces for two rooms that needed new furniture. “We soon realized that we worked so well together that the initial two rooms turned into an entire house,” she notes.
The homeowner has high praise for this interiors expert: “She immediately understood what we wanted, what the bones of this house demand and she was not afraid to push us a little out of our comfort zone at times to achieve the perfect design. What’s more, Cadieux Interiors is truly unique in Ottawa—able to track down beautiful furniture, gorgeous rugs and elegant, unusual lighting. For a busy couple, Lucie and her team were the perfect resource.”
The collaboration started with plenty of conversation. Likes, dislikes, styles and colours were discussed. From there, a whole home concept was tailored to the clients’ tastes, incorporating lighting, wall treatments and furnishings. And Lucie’s years of experience sourcing furniture and accessories provided invaluable. She was able to curate items from a multitude of suppliers and craftsmen to imbue this home with a unique, personalized decor.
“It is in a very private setting with spectacular vistas of the river,” she points out, adding, “The natural setting greatly influenced the direction of the interior spaces, from combining precious materials such as glass, stone and crystal to incorporating natural textiles.”
For instance, the facade of the home has a pond in front of the floor-to-ceiling glass beside the entry, drawing attention to the river in the background. Once you step into the foyer, though, it’s Lucie who has created the visual magic. She dreamed up a design featuring lily pads on a curved, vertical surface covered in grass cloth. This wall is accentuated by a stylish, upholstered bench that perfectly hugs its curve. The bench is covered in a luxe, shimmery fabric that brings to mind waves in the water.
Look up and you’ll see the foyer’s striking light fixture, its strie glass discs echoing the shimmer and curves, while the stunning sconces on the opposite wall are handcrafted of rock crystal. In all, it’s quite an introduction to living space that’s full of arresting visual impact.
“The dining room is nothing short of showstopping,” Lucie notes, “with the multiple Sputnik chandeliers in antique brass with acrylic spokes that can be viewed from the massive windows in the front and back of the house.”
In the living room, she explains, the layering of textures provides depth and interest. “The chic velvet sectional is paired with a hand-knotted rug with a subtle pattern incorporating hues of blue and gold that seems to sparkle in the light. Organically shaped mirrors are paired to expand the space and offer reflections of the water’s edge.” Multiple seating arrangements create interest, while also providing enjoyable space for large gatherings.
In the master bedroom, Lucie notes, “The layout is all about soaking up the beauty of the water. A comfortable chaise lounge sits in the corner window and offers a panoramic view. It’s a perfect place to read.” Lucie designed the custom bed, with its tall, channeled headboard upholstered in a luxurious patterned velvet. Integrated reading lights are flanked by taupe lacquered nightstands with black marble hardware.
“Everything is centered towards the breathtaking views,” Lucie says. As for the homeowner? “These days we still wander through the rooms, marvelling at how it has all come together and how thrilled we are with the space, inside and out,” she declares. “It’s elegant but welcoming, perfectly designed for the way we live. And that wizard named Lucie even tracked down our version of The Met chandeliers. Oh yes … and blue. Lots of blue.”