If "This Old House" and "Dwell" magazine had a baby, their love child might resemble master renovator Marc Kappinga. That's because Marc combines the best of both – a craftsman's respect for the past, with a designer's eye for contemporary style. Together, the four outstanding renovations he's completed on Upper Lorne Place helped revive the "village feeling" of this historic Victorian-era street. To his neighbours, Marc's a hero. »cont'd
The restored 1908 wood–frame at 131 Upper Lorne bears all the hallmarks of this superb craftsman's renovation artistry. With a dramatic raised site, original proportions, bold colours and sleek, in-character updates it's a great home to look at as well as a great place to live. And there's no other exactly like it, anywhere.
This old home's site – closer to the street than today's setbacks -- is part of the charm. What makes it work is height – the site rises high above the street, keeping sight lines private. And height means light. New stonework shapes front entry stairs and cascading rock gardens – perfect for a sunny west-facing perennial garden.
Bold orange cladding celebrates this great home's classic form: it's unreservedly "now" yet perfectly traditional too – updating the 19th century Canada's taste for big paint colours.
At the main entrance, notice the twin-windowed front door. It's a replica of the antique doors once common in this 1870's neighbourhood. What this door tells you is that Marc is a builder who cares about historic vernacular. Rare? Very.
Inside, more great details. You'll like the circular stone flooring in the space-saving entry, where a compact closet is equipped with efficient Euro-style pull out hanger. A clever little entry shelf for keys and phones? Check. Livability rules here. Sight lines are clean, free of extraneous details. Walls, windows hardwood plank floors – are all new. Sophisticated down lighting creates a lofty gallery feel. Space and light delight.
The original newel post and stairs act as the historic anchor to the sunny and inviting living room space. Incredibly, it took a worker two full weeks to sand 140 years of paint from this beautifully shaped antique post. You'll know why the effort was worth it.
Walk through to the dining area – smart, simple, open and spacious under high ceilings. Mating the room's window to small back sun porch assures privacy as well as light. A sleek powder room nearby is an entertainment must. And you will love entertaining in this home.
As always in a Marc Kappinga home, the kitchen is clever – part entertaining showstopper, part serious chef's domain. In his youth, Kappinga toiled briefly in the kitchen of famous chef Paul Bocuse. Evidently, the great chef's mania for perfection made an impression. Elegantly simple upper cabinets are set flush to a bulwark with abundant LED task lighting. White quartz counters gleam with "ready to work" concealed light. The five burner range with gas cooktop and electric stove is all business. But the lush cobalt blue kidney shaped island tells another story. Yes it's efficient, concealing dishwasher and cabinetry. But there's a mysterious aura of sociability here too – the promise of parties that will always be drawn to the blue bar island in kitchen.
Upstairs, beautiful private spaces enhance the pleasures of a truly urban life. A sunny den-retreat is great for reading – and media binging too. A guest room has details to please. There's a linen closet and a smart stacked laundry. The main bath marries refinement and comfort with large glass block window set above the mosaic-enclosed therapy tub, a superbly efficient vanity, and separate Euro-style toilet room.
The master suite artfully blends light, space and a sense of retreat. There's a private summer balcony, with a playful window feature. A skylight above the bed defies winter. Completing this right-sized urban suite: a compact walkthrough plus ensuite with backlit tiled shower, and brilliant euro vanity. Coolness factor? 10.
If you love Ottawa city living you know why this neighbourhood shines: Chinatown's shops and restaurants plus Little Italy's cafés are walking close. Above all, there's a diverse and lively pulse here.
From climate control, cellar wine racks , landscaped yard, with patio and natural gas BBQ, plus gorgeous new "hobbyist ready" garage, this meticulously built urban haven is complete. It's all here. But don't hesitate. Plan your appointment very soon.
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