REN­O­VA­TION IS­SUE

DÉ­COR-FOOD-FASH­ION

Ottawa Business Journal - Ottawa at Home - - FRONT PAGE - WRIT­TEN BY ALEXIA NAIDOO PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY MARK HOLLERON

Ren­o­vat­ing an older home re­quires a unique set of cre­ative and tech­ni­cal skills to make it come to­gether. But when the right magic hap­pens, the re­sult can be in­spir­ingly unique.

As artis­tic people, hair stylists Josiah Frith and Jes­sica Tate knew they wanted to find some­one to take over the prac­ti­cal man­age­ment of the ren­o­va­tion of the kitchen, fam­ily room and two bath­rooms in their 1892 By Ward Mar­ket town­house, while tak­ing “flights of fancy” in the de­sign. They brought in Denise Hu­laj and Ja­son Bellaire of StyleHaus In­te­ri­ors to spear­head the project.

“A talent of ours is to un­der­stand the clients’ per­son­al­i­ties and their de­sign es­thetic, then try to in­ter­pret and es­ca­late it,” says Denise. “That means our work re­ally re­flects who the client is and what they love.”

The tricky part, how­ever, was in­cor­po­rat­ing the two de­sign es­thet­ics of the home­own­ers.

Josiah’s fa­ther was a poet and his mother was an artist at Walt Dis­ney World in Or­lando, where he grew up. “I owe most of my taste to these in­flu­ences – fan­tasy and great at­ten­tion to de­tail,” says Josiah. “I grew up in a big house that was dec­o­rated like an English cot­tage. It was very Vic­to­rian, with lots of paint­ings and pic­tures on the walls, and antiques thrown in with mod­ern stuff.”

Be­ing more of a min­i­mal­ist, Jes­sica needed StyleHaus to come up with a de­sign that would also have clean lines and a more edited look. “You can marry the two looks, but it has to be done clev­erly,” says Ja­son.

Jes­sica now ad­mits she likes the “clus­ters of in­ter­est” that Denise and Ja­son cre­ated from var­i­ous in­her­ited pieces of art and col­lectibles, in­clud­ing paint­ings from Josiah’s fam­ily, who were early set­tlers to Ber­muda. In one

“Old was never a dirty word in our fam­ily” — JOSIAH FRITH

the bath­rooms, an­other in­ter­est­ing ar­range­ment is added with a se­ries of framed 1950s tat­too art. Josiah’s un­cle, Michael K. Frith, who was a cre­ative di­rec­tor with Jim Hen­son Pro­duc­tions, did the art­work dis­played in the en­suite bath­room.

Both Jes­sica and Josiah re­ally wanted a ren­o­va­tion that would re­flect the age and char­ac­ter of their home and would stand the test of time. “I have a real love for ev­ery­thing hand­made and old,” says Josiah. “Old was never a dirty word in our fam­ily.” Many of the de­tails of the de­sign, such as the an­tiqued coun­ter­top, crown mould­ings, and cus­tom paint, blend per­fectly with the char­ac­ter and age of the home. “They were mad about brass,” says Ja­son. “So we in­cor­po­rated oil-rubbed brass de­tails into both the kitchen and bath­room.” A cus­tom-de­signed brass hood fan was also added as a vis­ual cen­ter­piece to the kitchen.

Josiah and Jes­sica also did the ren­o­va­tion with the idea of hav­ing a fam­ily. For max­i­mum stor­age in a small space, Ja­son and Denise worked in cus­tom cab­i­netry that uti­lized ev­ery inch, with a nod to­ward the nau­ti­cal stor­age con­cepts of the boats on which Josiah spent his sum­mers in his youth.

“They knew ex­actly what we wanted,” says Josiah. “There are so many choices and we needed some­one who could edit them.”

“People think they can try to do all this on their own,” says Ja­son. “There are so many ques­tions to an­swer and con­trac­tors need pieces on-site quickly. We fig­ure all that out ahead of time and when is­sues come up we can deal with them quickly.”

And it’s a process that both de­sign­ers and clients were happy to de­scribe as one they thor­oughly en­joyed. “It’s not a for­mula that you ap­ply to ev­ery home,” says Denise. “It’s about be­ing cre­ative and tak­ing those el­e­ments that the client gives you to make some­thing truly beau­ti­ful.”

CHAR­AC­TER ART TAT­TOO ART IS ON DIS­PLAY IN THE MAIN BATH­ROOM; BER­MU­DIAN MYTHS AND FAIRY TALES ABOVE LYLA’S CRIB BY MICHAEL K FRITH

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.