HOMES

Emotional Fabric and Angular Context Give Energy

April 23, 2019 | PHOTOGRAPHY BY GORDON KING

Life, love and finally coming home to country living in Calabogie.

Our Homes Ottawa Spring 2019A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of  OUR HOMES The City of Ottawa, p.32. Find local businesses in our Ottawa directory.
Sue Lebrun and Peter Maheux are gifted in making visitors feel welcome immediately. It only makes sense that their serene Calabogie home would do the same, from the way it is pleasantly perched on the lot, to the way the interior design leads you in and lifts you up.
 
Although this is categorically a dream home in the truest sense of the word, its origins were less idyllic. Sue and Peter both lost their spouses to cancer but had the serendipitous luck to connect in a support group. They helped each other to heal and continue to include both of their late spouses (Luc and Jay) prominently as part of their current family. Their presence is felt and seen with photos and artwork throughout their home. Sue and Peter both wrote books about their grief and loss, donating the proceeds from book sales to charity, which is a testament to their strength and to their desire to help others.
 
Sue and Peter’s home is built with traditional materials, but it is the emotional fabric that really gives it its strength and its energy. It is rare that you get to see the transition from a house to a home and that is precisely what they have accomplished together.
Typically, homeowners climb a property ladder; for Sue and Peter it has been more of a property journey. They have run the gamut of lifestyle homes and property types, including this home’s polar opposite: high-rise urban living. Nothing quite fit. There is a real sense, with the construction of this comfortable Calabogie home, that they have truly arrived.
 
Sue and Peter worked with project manager and builder Chris Fleming who specializes in Linwood Custom Homes. His company is aptly named Generation-3 because he is the third generation of his family to build homes in the area, with his grandfather starting to build in the 1960s.
 
They eventually picked the Denver model and added upgrades and modifications, including lightening and heightening the ceiling, adding a loft and skylights. Sue has an interior design background, which explains the specific strategy in the home’s design. “This home gave me a great opportunity to set rooms on angles,” she explains.
 
This is made more prominent by a number of other details, like angled ceilings, exposed beams and angular windows that lend the vistas symmetrical context. This theme even extends outside, with a slight angle of the home on the lot, increasing its curb appeal.
 
The foyer, featuring a smart built-in bench (Deslaurier Custom Cabinets) and pine doors (Calabogie Rustic Woodworks), gives you a sense of what is to come: a thoughtfully laid out home that benefits from sweeping pastoral vistas. From the foyer, an open-concept living room curls around into the open kitchen and dining room.
 
In the living room, a stone fireplace (Friendly Fires) is at once both subtle and striking in its impact on the rest of the space. It serves as a personal gallery for Sue’s late husband Luc’s artwork. They elected not to run the stone (Dougherty Stone Masonry) all the way to the ceiling, instead placing a pine beam that Chris had sourced from Algonquin Park, adding a rustic but refined quality.
 
The kitchen colour scheme reflects a love of dark colours and contrast. The flow of light through this home is incredible, with windows strategically placed at multiple vantage points. This home brims with hope and happily ever after.

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