Natural connectionsPublished on September 30, 2019

Photo by: Mark Holleron

Ottawa has now become a city of one million people. No longer the small, sleepy community that was once the capital’s reputation, the city is growing at an impressive rate with the housing starts to prove it.

While subdivisions are flourishing and offering buyers plenty of options close to parks and green spaces, the core of the city is enjoying its share of growth and development as well.

Developers are seeing the beauty of creating naturally-inspired living, right in the heart of the city. Condo developments play up the benefits of a region that offers locations with waterfront and open green-space views from the balconies, along with scenic vistas of the Gatineau Hills and its recreational park, lakes and ski hills all close by.

The Echo project is adjacent to the canal and much of its design reaps the benefits of sitting on the water’s edge. Both interior and exterior spaces have incorporated the trademark feature. Danielle Hannah, co-owner and designer with 2Hinteriors, worked in collaboration with the developer, Uniform Developments, and Hobin Architecture on the project’s interior details.

Danielle believes that the location is what helps create an identify for this development, and the idea of connecting a building to its natural surroundings and influences is being seen throughout the city. “Being adjacent to the canal helps bring an identity to the project. The sidewalks and green space entice people outdoors, whether on terraces or to stroll to nearby restaurants and stores. Most people are drawn to nature as a stress reliever. Water and green space are elements that inherently add calmness to our lives,” states Danielle.

Living in a four-season city creates a strong need to connect the interior space to nature. Colder months mean more time spent inside, so Danielle advises utilizing collections from nature and plants to bring in the outdoors. “As soon as you have wood floors, some wood furniture, personal collections of driftwood or stones and some plants, you have brought nature into your home,” she offers.

In a highly-connected world where information of all kinds sits directly at our finger tips, the development community has sensed a need for homeowners to feel a deeper connection to green space. But that doesn’t necessarily mean building on a large plot of land away from the bustle of city living.

“The nearby presence of water and nature—whether park, stream, canal, lake or sea—means a lot and influences mood. Everyone needs to feel a connection to some natural surroundings,” says Danielle. To reflect this, she paid careful attention to the design aspect of both the interior and exterior space in her work on the Echo project so that balconies became extensions of interior space.

Similarly, when decorating a deck or patio, it is important to make a seamless transition from indoors to outside with the look and feel of the interior décor. This helps to avoid the outdoor areas from appearing as unusable space when the colder months set in.

Mary Taggart

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