Water is both the natural element and a key aspect in the form and function of a magnificent home on the Ottawa River.
The spectacular Crystal Bay setting, which combines a private beach on the water with the backdrop of the Gatineau Hills, was instrumental in the renovation of the property to maximize an infinite vision of water both inside and out, front and back.
The flowing design
It took almost a year of major renovation work to transform the traditional layout of the home into a super-modern design that flows like the water that surrounds it. The new homeowners had their own infinite vision of an open design, with straight, clean lines and worked with Friedemann Weinhardt of Design First Interiors to implement an innovative main floor concept.
Combining their own extensive experience of property renovations with a passion to create their ultimate home, the husband-and-wife team jumped in with both feet. His hands-on approach to construction and project management, in partnership with Denis Cadieux of Lynden Renovations Services, and her keen eye for interior design gave the couple the opportunity to tweak things along the way to fit their family and lifestyle needs. It also allowed them to keep a cautious eye on spending while dealing with the challenge of balancing the existing structure with new elements to maintain a similar footprint on the impressive landscape.
Blasting out walls to create angular frames, with the addition of five new beams to keep the 6,500-square-foot house afloat, the main floor became a series of open rooms. The West Coast feel is enhanced with 18-foot-high glass entry doors and a 22-foot-long NanaWall system of glass doors that open up to the patio. Together, they offer an unobstructed view of the water even before the front door is opened.
Dark bamboo flooring throughout leads to the first unique feature you will encounter as you enter the home. It's an amazing glass-fronted, walk-in wine cellar tucked behind a grey stone panel. Situated where the original staircase used to be, the area is now a stylish display of 340 wine bottles with a flooring of collected cork tops and an inventive wine-glass light fixture. Another striking eye-catcher is a two-sided salt-water aquarium with living coral and exotic fish that light up in cool white and blue hues.
White-on-white décor with nine-foot-high step ceilings create a perfect canvas to highlight the wrapped-granite fireplace in the living room, the walnut cabinets and Caesarstone counters in the kitchen, as well as many more fine customized details and works of art.
The dramatic renovation continues upstairs with new ensuite bedrooms, glass-panelled balconies, a family room and convenient laundry area. Meanwhile, the master retreat is especially luxurious with a glorious waterfront vista from the bedroom and a turreted seating area. Panoramic windows in the huge spa-styled master bathroom ensure scenic viewing from the triangular tub in the middle of the room and the family-sized steam shower.
Water, water everywhere!
Every room in the house is positioned to have a water view and some even have two! The front of the property is beautifully landscaped, with a limestone bridge over a natural stream that waterfalls into a large fish-filled pond. Yet this is just a tantalizing appetizer for the main aquatic event on the other side . . .
The grand outdoor resort was designed by Yards Unlimited Landscaping to have a seamless flow that makes the outside space feel like an extension of the house. Granite steps lead from the patio to an infinity pool that appears to spill over onto the homeowners' private 135-foot-long beach and waterfront. An eight-foot linear gas fireplace lights up the sunken seating area where family and friends enjoy the amazing sunsets.
Al fresco dining is a breeze with a full outdoor kitchen in a creative pergola framed byaluminum posts and a tempered-glass roof. The intricate construction was done by Dunbar Inc., which also supplied all the glass-panelled railings for the patio and balconies.
With a powerboat floating at the dock, wakeboards and water toys ready to go, and all the comforts of the outdoor/indoor paradise waiting to be enjoyed, the family is planning to stay at home for many summers to come - and that is all part of the couple's master plan when they envisioned the full potential of what could be.