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The Dover

A Year ago I received a call from Tamarack Homes here in Ottawa asking if I would be interested in designing 7 of their new model Homes being built in 2014 in Pool Creek, Stittsville. I have never designed model homes before and work solely with private clients, but being who I am, and the fact it was something different, I decided I was going to go for it. I quickly realized, however that this was going to be a daunting task. It was 7 homes, and I was but one designer, top that off with my other clients and you get a recipe for disaster. I called my friend and fellow Designer Maureen Coates of Modecor to see if she would be interested in this project and to my delight she was.

How do you start a huge project like this? Well, the first thing was to present a “basic” budget to Tamarack. This budget included design hours, sourcing hours, onsite visits, setup & revealed, all furniture, all accessories and all window coverings. Maureen and I then decided we would split up the houses and draw up our concept of how we wanted these houses to look. We wanted each house to be totally different than the other, all with very distinct personalities. Some of these homes would have full upgrades, and some of them would be almost all standard finishes. SKD took two single family homes that included the Dover and the Oxford, and two Townhomes that included The Hudson and The Cambridge. Modecor took one single The Madison and two townhomes that included The Chelsea and The Eton. We worked for about two weeks on our concepts, with lots of emails back and forth keeping each other up on what we were doing and then we presented to Tamarack. The presentation was a success, and we were off and running making our concepts come alive.

Now, even though we each had our homes, and we designed the concepts to them, from that moment on, we both participated in making them come alive.

In this blog series featuring each model, Maureen and I have again taken our individual homes and will feature each on our blogs.


The Dover



I knew right away that I wanted a modern home that unlike most would feel warm and moody rather than stark and cold. When I originally thought of this home Mad Men came to mind…warm woods, scotch by the fire and green velvet…yes velvet! This vision I had that developed into The Dover.


Here is a few of my original concept boards presented to Tamarack for The Dover…

Now like most design “concepts” they develop and bloom into something much more detailed, and the direction takes a new form.Our first visit to the Tamarack Design Centre was to start choosing all the finishes for the homes, this included the following

  • flooring- wood, tile and carpet
  • paint
  • door styles
  • mouldings
  • door hardware
  • bathroom tile
  • faucets
  • toilets
  • sinks
  • stone
  • backsplash
  • kitchen door styles
  • quartz counter tops
  • door hardware


We took pictures of all our selections, and the paper work was filled out.  Here is one of the kitchen boards for finishes


We then had several meetings with Muskoka Kitchens going over the design and final finishes and changed to kitchen several times trying to get exactly what we wanted. After many changes to the original designed kitchen, I sat down at my computer and designed the Dover kitchen to what it is today. It was a totally different direction to what tamarack has done before, but they loved that about it, and our kitchen was complete.

Here are a few of my final drawings for the Dover Kitchen and the custom fireplace and built-ins.


Now it was time for fabrics and wallpaper, after many, many weeks of sourcing for all of the homes our fabrics were chosen and ordered.


Here is a few of our fabric choices for the Dover


Next up was the lighting…..because these were model homes we were limited to only upgrading certain fixtures, so we really had to choose wisely to make the most impact. I love this part of the project; the lighting is so important to a space, it can truly make it…or break it.

Our concept board for the Dover lighting


For each of our concepts, we had chosen furniture ideas that would work in the space, some of those items made their way into the finished product, and some new ones appeared. Our biggest challenge was trying to find a velvet green sofa in the exact colour of green we wanted. We managed to find the perfect velvet while sourcing for fabric, so we had Luxe furniture in Ottawa send the fabric out and had it upholstered on our chosen sofa. It wasn’t the cheapest solution, but this was a key piece in the design and without it would fall short.

All of the furniture, area carpets and accessories in the Dover were purchased from the following stores.

  1. Luxe Ottawa
  2. Restoration Hardware
  3. Urban barn
  4. West Elm
  5. Structube
  6. Ikea Ottawa
  7. eCowhides
  8. Mikaza Home
  9. HomeSense 


Introducing The Dover


Dover Kitchen


The Dover Great Room



The Dover Dining Room



The Dover Basement Family Room



The Dover Basement Bathroom



The Dover Stairway



The Dover Main Bath



The Dover Master Bedroom



The Dover Master Bathroom



Photography : Charlene Burnside Photography 

Designers: Sonya Kinkade Design & Modecor

Builder: Tamarack Homes 

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