COUN­TRY STYLE IN KANATA

IN THE COUN­TRY

Ottawa Business Journal - Ottawa at Home - - FRONT PAGE - BY JANE WHIT­ING PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY MARK HOLLERON

With the ar­rival of their sixth child, Lori and Mered­ith Egan got se­ri­ous about mov­ing to a big­ger house. They even­tu­ally found a two-acre lot in ru­ral Kanata and built an im­pos­ing 5,000-square-foot, three­storey home, com­plete with five bed­rooms and a self-con­tained apart­ment for the grand­par­ents.

The com­bined fam­ily of 10 moved into their new coun­try home 13 years ago and the tired mom ad­mits it was all a bit of a blur back then. “The first time my hus­band brought me out here, I had no idea where I was,” says Lori, who grew up in the east end of Ot­tawa and had lived in the Civic Hos­pi­tal area for years.

While the house was un­der con­struc­tion by lo­cal builder Jim McGill, the fam­ily rented a cot­tage in Con­stance Bay. The move fi­nally hap­pened nearly six months later when the youngest Egan had just turned two and the el­dest was 15 or 16, re­calls Lori as she counts back the years. With charm­ing can­dour, Lori states that they had no clue at the time about home de­sign and plan­ning. “The only thing we told our builder was that I wanted a sep­a­rate liv­ing and din­ing room. I love a for­mal din­ing room, even if we only use it for spe­cial oc­ca­sions.”

In hind­sight, the only ma­jor change that Lori would make is to dou­ble the kitchen space, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the size of the house and her fam­ily. But she says it func­tions very well and up­dated fea­tures in­clude a new back­splash and black gran­ite coun­ter­tops. The kitchen flows into an

open fam­ily room with a stone fire­place and large win­dows to bring in the forest­like set­ting. French doors lead to a huge screened-in porch that tran­si­tions eas­ily into the coun­try-sized back­yard and pool area, where the kids have played hap­pily for most of their lives.

An­tique pieces of fur­ni­ture mix in with con­tem­po­rary el­e­ments to ac­cent the warm at­mos­phere and nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. “I like it when peo­ple tell me that my house feels like a real fam­ily home,” says Lori, “be­cause that’s what it is! And the view out­side is al­ways beau­ti­ful, whether it’s sum­mer or win­ter.”

ALL DRESSED UP FOR THE HOL­I­DAYS

In win­ter, the big stone home is just as wel­com­ing. And this hol­i­day sea­son, the dec­o­rat­ing will be par­tic­u­larly stun­ning as it un­der­goes the pro­fes­sional magic per­formed for houses on the Homes for the Hol­i­days tour.

Shan­non Gor­man, the owner of Pretty Pots Flower Shop in Stittsville, is the des­ig­nated florist and this will be her first in­volve­ment with the popular tour. As a pre­view for this is­sue of Ot­tawa at Home, she is dec­o­rat­ing a few ar­eas of the home to give a sense of what to ex­pect.

“In the liv­ing room, I’m work­ing with the im­age of a white orchid pic­ture above the man­tle to dec­o­rate with groups of orchid planters around the fire­place. I want to keep the over­all look of the home as nat­u­ral as pos­si­ble, with branches and bark pieces, but add some glitter as well.”

Out­side, Shan­non plans to adorn the wide stone steps with coun­trystyle hol­i­day planters and tra­di­tional treat­ments. But inside, she is tak­ing an ex­per­i­men­tal ap­proach to dec­o­rat­ing the Egans’ trea­sured Christ­mas tree. The wow fac­tor of a fresh 14-foot tree that soars up through the curv­ing stair­well will be pumped up in an ex­cit­ing new way.

“I’m go­ing to bring some vines and branches out of the tree and loop them for a three-di­men­sional ef­fect,” ex­plains Shan­non, who adds fit­tingly that she is go­ing out on a bit of limb on the tree dec­o­ra­tion. It will cer­tainly be an in­spi­ra­tional idea for this year’s tour vis­i­tors!

COUN­TRY EL­E­GANCE

CLOCK­WISE: OR­CHIDS AND AN­TIQUES COME TO­GETHER IN THE LIV­ING ROOM; RUS­TIC PIECES SPEAK TO THE IN­FOR­MAL FAM­ILY STYLE IN THE KITCHEN; SOFT TONES EX­UDE CALM WITHIN THE FAM­ILY LIV­ING SPACE.

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