By Anita Murray & Patrick Langston, All Things Home
New homes, renovations, kitchens, bathrooms, housing details and more — voting is now underway for the All Things Home People’s Choice Award.
This award is a prestigious trophy given out at the annual Housing Design Awards — a much-anticipated celebration of the Ottawa housing industry’s finest in design that’s put on by the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association. It’s the only one voted on by the public.
Through six weekly preliminary rounds that began Aug. 15, the 285 projects entered in this year’s Housing Design Awards are vying to make it to the final round of voting, where 16 finalists will duke it out Sept. 19 to 24 online and at the Ottawa Fall Home Show.
“We are very excited to invite the public to vote for their favourite designs through our People’s Choice Award,” says Linda Oliveri Blanchard, who chairs the awards committee. “While winners of the Ottawa Housing Design Awards are selected by judges from across Canada — judges who are top-level professionals in architecture, construction and design — the People’s Choice Award is selected by the public.
“It is always interesting to see what the general public selects as their favourite design because it gives our industry’s designers insight as to what people are looking for when it comes to looks, feel and functionality,” she adds.
“Because of this, many of our finalists see this as the most prestigious trophy of the awards program. We draw thousands of votes from the general public, and we are very excited to see what design the public selects this year as the very best of the best.”
Love design — or just enjoy being an armchair critic? Then check out the entries and have your say. You can vote in this week’s round now at gohbavote.ca.
To whet your appetite, here’s a sampling of past winners.
2022 — Potvin Construction
An architectural approach to open-concept kitchen design and close client involvement in the project propelled a contemporary kitchen by Potvin Construction into the winner’s circle last year.
The brightly lit space, which features an efficient commercial feel and connects directly with the living room, is part of a custom bungalow. The massive walnut veneer island with its stepped design anchors the space while rounded LED pendant lights and a nearby chandelier help soften the kitchen’s strongly linear design.
2021 — BEX Interiors & Urban Quarry
A remodelled 19th-century country kitchen took the 2021 trophy. The project was the work of the homeowner, BEX senior designer Erika Matheson.
It boasts original red pine floors, 10-foot ceilings, new cabinetry and an island with a maple gunmetal base and a wood countertop made from a reclaimed bowling alley floor.
2020 — Greenmark Builders
A gleaming white ensuite win in 2020 was the custom home builder’s third People’s Choice win in just six years. The ensuite, bathed in natural light thanks to large windows and floor-to-ceiling mirrors, features dual pedestal sinks, massaging jets in the shower and a sculpted, free-standing tub.
There’s also an LED-lit raised platform for the tub and shower with an identical dropped section in the ceiling, also softly lit by LED lights.
2019 — Greenmark Builders & Rinox Signature
A modern-themed, multi-area backyard won in 2019, the second time in two years that an outdoor space took the prize. The resort-inspired backyard, which was previously just grass and a patio, boasts a 33-foot pool with a hot tub, a raised dining space with a built-in barbecue, a lounge with a fire feature, an outdoor kitchen, and a three-season pool house with retractable screens.
2018 — Neoteric Developments
Neoteric Developments scooped up the 2018 award for the home of the company’s owner, Or Bielak. While the pool’s modern design was inspired by what he and his family had (fixed this in our decade of PCs story) seen during their extensive travels, “the rest of the space was inspired by growing up with a cottage and being one with nature,” said Bielak.
2017 — Gordon Weima Design Builder & Ardington + Associates Design
A stunning modern farmhouse in Westboro took the award in 2017. The home, which features a warm colour scheme, custom millwork and a natural stone exterior with a welcoming porch, also won a national housing award.
2016 — Sierra Gate Homes
Design elements like a soaring, 18-foot cathedral ceiling, three fireplaces and a spa-like ensuite with freestanding soaker tub and heated floor helped net the prize for this open-concept single-family home just west of Tunney’s Pasture.
2015 — Greenmark Builders
A four-bedroom, family-oriented home that blends traditional features such as exterior stone columns and gables with a modern elongated fireplace in the great room was the 2015 winner. The home also took top honours in its custom home category.
2014 — Simmonds Architecture & RND Construction
A spectacular double deck earned this duo their third People’s Choice Award in a row. The top level is a floating design, while the tapered bottom deck gives a view of the back garden from the dining nook in the kitchen.
Anita Murray and Patrick Langston are the co-founders of AllThingsHome.ca, Ottawa’s go-to resource for homeowners and homebuyers.