“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.”
Let the wind howl and the snow pile up. When you’re warm and snug at home, you’re good. When your surroundings are inviting and stylish? Even better.
The best, though, is when the items in your living space matter to you. The special pieces you’ve carefully selected are the ones that define “home” and lift your spirits. Always, you’re more apt to invite relatives for Hanukkah, friends for Boxing Day brunch or guests for New Year’s Eve when home is your happy place.
Actually, Ottawa is your happy place too. Look around and you’ll discover home décor gems to fill you with pleasure. They’re made right here in the capital.
For starters, feast your eyes on the creations of Christopher Solar Design. At a studio on Gladstone Avenue, on the edge of Little Italy, furniture-maker Christopher Solar designs and builds gorgeous modern furniture. “All of my work is handmade to order, using top- quality natural materials like local hardwoods, leather, and wool upholstery,” he explains.
His collection for the home includes seating, occasional tables and cabinets. Most of these offerings can be customized to suit your needs or tastes, and he also designs and builds custom pieces on commission.
“My work has a clean-lined aesthetic, with hints of Scandinavian and mid-century modern style,” Chris mentions, adding, “I try to make furniture that will last decades, both in terms of being physically durable but also with a timeless design and subtle details. at’s what I mean by ‘furniture that won’t give out or wear out it’s welcome.’ ”
Largely self-taught, the furniture designer and maker arrived at this eld of specialty from an interesting angle. “My original career was in software design, but I left that eld about 12 years ago,” he notes.
Ottawa’s creators are reimagining home style
Christopher Solar Design isn’t the only source for home items that will become “keepers” and family heirlooms. There are makers across the region
crafting beautiful products of all sizes and descriptions.
Maker House Company is a place featuring local, handmade furniture and homewares created by over 120 area artisans. Located at 987 Wellington Street in Hintonburg, it’s open Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. e bonus? Two per cent from purchases is donated to community projects; beneficiaries have ranged from the Ottawa Tool Library to Ecology Ottawa.
On Dalhousie Street, an Ottawa-owned retailer called Goods Shop offers plenty of made-in-Ottawa style choices for the home. All ages will appreciate the prints from the Alphabetta Natura series by Jennilee Murray, as well as the whimsical prints by Ottawa artist and carpenter Drew Mosley. You also might find cutting and serving boards by Na Coille Studios, a team of creators that uses reclaimed lumber and salvaged timber from the Ottawa Valley to craft everything from tables to benches.
Finally, check out the handcrafted wall caddies, coasters featuring Ottawa neighbourhoods, and maps etched on reclaimed wood by Ottawa’s N-Product. is husband-and-wife business follows the Slow Goods movement and uses locally available materials to craft its home goods with great care. See n-product.com. ◆