built for two

Ottawa Business Journal - Ottawa at Home - - ADULT LIVING - writ­ten by an­drea dou­glas pho­tog­ra­phy by mark holleron

T“ A home is not a mere tran­sient shel­ter: its essence lies in the per­son­al­i­ties of the peo­ple who live in it.”

— H. L. Mencken

he famed Amer­i­can writer coined these words al­most a cen­tury be­fore Car­man Joynt and Gail Ryan be­gan the process of down­siz­ing. To­day, the words still cap­ture this beau­ti­ful, thought­fully de­signed, adult-liv­ing in­spired home. It’s been a long jour­ney, but for these two busy and so­cial semi-re­tired pro­fes­sion­als ( she’s all the way there, he’s still work­ing on it), the jour­ney is the rai­son d’être.

Car­man ini­ti­ated the process al­most 12 years ago when he de­cided it was the right time to re-think their 4,600 square-foot liv­ing space off Is­land Park her­self with an empty build­ing lot less than a kilo­me­ter to the north, and no home to live in.

! " # $ % a tra­di­tional ar­chi­tect, the cou­ple found the artist had a won­der­ful sense of style and in­stinc­tively knew what their needs were as they wound down their

ca­reers, pushed their chil­dren out of the nest and em­barked on the next part of their life.

In just 24 hours, John had de­signed ( within a very strin­gent bud­get) what has be­come a unique and beau­ti­ful home with all the space the home­own­ers need to con­tinue their love of en­ter­tain­ing fam­ily and friends. The clever de­sign also looks to the fu­ture in small, but im­por­tant de­tails.

“ No knobs, just levers,” says Gail as she points out the door han­dles. She adds that an­other smart idea was to make the bath­room coun­ters the same height as kitchen coun­ters to re­duce bend­ing over. While it’s im­pos­si­ble to think of this vi­brant woman, who has only been re­tired for three years, as ever be­ing any­thing but healthy and on the move, both she and Car­man are re­al­is­tic about the fu­ture and be­lieve that this home is where they plan to stay.

Apart from the prac­ti­cal side of the house, which in­cludes a mul­ti­tude of built-in cupboards, it’s the space, the light, the colour and the unique­ness of this show­case home that strike the vis­i­tor. Be­cause, al­though they have & ' where to put stuff when you down­size,” there

was no com­pro­mise on style.

In its de­sign, John wanted the home to speak of a jour­ney. Pass­ing through the front en­trance, the home wel­comes you into a hall­way with a 13-foot ceil­ing. And be­fore the ques­tion of “ is there any­thing you’d do dif­fer­ently” is asked, Gail sug­gests the hall­way should have been wider to bet­ter dis­play some of their im­pres­sive art col­lec­tion. One mis­take in al­most 2,500 square feet? Not bad.

The Cana­dian Shield made way for a full base­ment at the back of the house. It fea­tures a large and cap­ti­vat­ing fam­ily liv­ing area, two was told that cou­ples need sep­a­rate spa­ces far away from each other in re­tire­ment), and the im­pres­sive wine cel­lar – a must for two avid som­me­liers.

Back up­stairs, just a few steps up from the main en­trance, light and colour awaken the senses – deep reds, dark pur­ples, and the per­fect fur­ni­ture ( chairs built for his height; a sofa de­signed for hers) placed just so. Art­work is care­fully ar­ranged, from well-known older Cana­dian painters, to up-and-com­ing artists, some of whom have even been nur­tured by these two pa­trons of the arts.

to dis­play the many me­men­tos the keen trav­el­ers and col­lec­tors have picked up along the way. In a lesser home these pieces, some func­tional, some pure art, would be called clut­ter. But, here, col­lec­tions this home boasts – the lines, the hide the mul­ti­tude of small de­tails that make it a whole.

Maybe it’s the feng shui? As “ stu­dents” of the and her hus­band en­joy bal­ance and sym­me­try in their home and lives. They em­ployed feng shui prin­ci­pals in the de­sign of their stun­ning back gar­den as well.

“ This was such a com­plete change from our shui spe­cial­ist to as­sist with gen­eral place­ment is­sues,” ex­plains Gail. “ Imag­ine how de­lighted we were to learn that the ‘ bang wha’ ( cen­tre of the home) fell squarely where our kitchen was des­tined to be. And the kitchen is truly the cen­tre of our home!”

Per­fectly po­si­tioned for in­ter­ac­tive cook­ing, " liv­ing space. From coun­ters to ap­pli­ances to back­splash, it gleams el­e­gance, yet works as a highly func­tional gourmet kitchen.

Gail pos­i­tively ra­di­ates en­thu­si­asm and zest for life. With Car­man at her side, in a dream home built for two, how could it get any bet­ter?

The Jean-Fran­cois Provost paint­ing above the sofa is from Ga­lerie St-Lau­rent + Hill and the cus­tom cof­fee ta­ble was made by Al­lan Gustafson to show­case a col­lec­tion of an­tique ink wells. fac­ing page, clock­wise: The red chest in the hall­way fea­tures a cus­tom gran­ite top by In­ter­scapes Tile and Stone Gallery. A James La­hey paint­ing com­pli­ments the dé­cor with stun­ning dra­matic im­pact. Car­man

Joynt & Gail Ryan Joynt.

clock­wise: Com­fort­able and stylish base­ment space was cre­ated for vis­it­ing adult chil­dren. The din­ing ta­ble set for en­ter­tain­ing. The ‘ bang wha’ is pre­cisely where the kitchen is, in the cen­tre of the home.

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