The Magical Pond, E18teen
18 York Street is considered as the nec plus ultra in Ottawa’s Fine Dining Scene. Ensconced behind majestic oak doors that grace an aristocratic facade, it sorely needed updating. The catch? Work around previous design language that had to stay. Southam took the historical grey fieldstone walls as a starting point and kept the putty and grey hues of the remaining curtains and upholstery as her primary colours. Warming up the decor as well as refreshing the surfaces meant that the fireplace, concrete columns and backbar were re-clad in white and black tiles punctuated with strips of gold mosaic. When the Cole and Sons Waterlily Paper was bravely accepted, the theme became “The Magical Pond”. Gold tree stumps carried large glass tabletops and leaf themed Aerin Lauder chandeliers over the banquet room at the back complemented the acorn pendants at the bar. Hicks hexagon wallpaper was used as a backdrop to the wine shelves and complemented the Pompeian bronze and black trellis pattern elsewhere. Gold leather banquettes in wet Otter skin pattern were layered with plum Mongolian sheep cushions. Driftwood sconces and urchin floor lamps added to the visual story further depicted in the carefully curated Art from Lumas. To further the sense that one has stepped into a special place, the bar apron was clad in a deeply tufted ox-blood leather and a new black granite bar top supported elegant lamps in a white onyx and gold base. Patience is a designer’s most valuable virtue: Southam is waiting for the green light to complete a fuller overhaul in 2019.