Looking out at the well-treed landscape and gently-curving streets, it’s easy to forget you’re a stone’s throw from Canada’s largest technology park and the ever-growing amenities of suburban Kanata. That’s what homeowners Erin Waterfall and her husband, Andy Maahs, loved so much about their Beaverbrook neighborhood when they found a classic mid-century bungalow situated on a quiet cul-de-sac.
Though tired, dated, and desperately in need of updating, Erin and Andy could see its untapped potential to transform into an inviting family haven, flooded with natural light and a Scandi-cool attitude. “From the moment we walked into the house, we knew we had to have it,” explains Erin. “But we also knew there was a lot of work ahead of us to make it our own.”
Design-savvy herself, Erin reached out to family friend and renowned Ottawa designer, Irene Langlois, to help realize her vision. Together with Maple Leaf Custom Homes, they knocked down walls and opened up the main floor to create an easy flow between the living room and kitchen, designed with entertaining in mind. They refinished the original oak flooring, which Erin loved, and paired it with a neutral colour palette for a minimalist base.
The kitchen's white frameless cabinetry adorned with polished chrome handles compliments the brass sink faucet. Overhead, pendants from Arevco Lighting Ottawa add a fresh contrast to the warm wood tones of the oversized island. Erin had the custom reclaimed Barnwood sliding door made to close off her main floor home office.
For Erin and Andy, IT and sales professionals plus parents to two young girls, creating a welcoming space for their extended family and friends to gather was the driving force in making decisions about their renovation plans. “When my guests feel comfortable at my house,” explains Erin, “I feel good.” To that end, Erin took extra thought to add little details to her home, encouraging guests to relax and enjoy their time. Floating shelves in the kitchen house glasses and dinnerware so that someone might feel more comfortable reaching for a drink.
Speaking of family, it’s against this neutral backdrop that pops of colour, from Erin’s beloved plants and her eclectic art collection, really sing. The home is filled with original works by her sisters, artists Veronica Waterfall and Alia Waterfall, and pieces by Ottawa muralist Emilie Darlington, Beth Gamble, Yangyang Pan, Canadian landscape artist Peter Hoffer, abstract artist Claire Desjardins and contemporary artist, Joyce Westrop, to name a few.
“We’re not afraid of colour and have never chosen art to match a room,” says Erin. “Instead, our philosophy is, if we love it, we’ll make it work and move things around if we have to.” The result is a modern, vibrant family home: a juxtaposition of earthy, natural elements with chic-yet-durable furnishings by Leclair Decor, DwellStudio, CB2, and Article, filled with moments of wonder and inspiration.
“We love our home and neighborhood so much,” says Erin. “We knew we had found something special, and the more time we spend here with our girls and our family and friends, it just continues to make us happy.”