Laura's Sustainable Canadian Condo

House Call

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Name: Laura Paul
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

My home is an 850 square foot, two-bedroom condo in Old Ottawa South, which I purchased when moving back 'home' after living in Toronto. Sustainability is my passion, and Buildings are my canvas (I obtained a Bachelors in Civil Engineering). I went to work renovating the dated condo to be more sustainable, and inline with my personal aesthetics.

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My focus was on removing petroleum based materials, and replacing with natural materials (wood, metals, stones). I used some creative juices to keep the budget low, my 'go to's' included: dumpster diving, refurbishing, reuse and diy's. When I purchased new materials I considered their initial sustainable impact as well as end of life.

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Some projects/components I'm most proud of:

  • Creating my own statement dining room table from a refurbished IKEA iron table (which I painted white) and old wooden FSC board which I stained walnut.
  • Dumpster diving a classic old wingback chair, and getting it cleaned/reupholstered
  • Face lifting instead of replacing, all items I could - such as the cabinets and tiles (repainting/updating hardware/re-grouting).
  • Creating a walk-in closet with curtains and home building closet system
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  • Bathroom vanity has hand hammered sink (found at Habitat for Humanity ReStore) and concrete countertop (created from local stones).
  • Wood floor from trees harvested over 100 years ago which sank to the bottom of the Ottawa River and have been preserved there (Logs End)
  • Canadian designed and manufactured furniture (EQ3 Sofa and seat)
  • No VOC paint
  • Non animal based materials (no wool, silk, etc)
  • Energy Savings: removed AC, lighting sensors, programmable thermostats
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I think in the end, I created a space that is comfortable, crisp, and modern - while still being inline with my passion and ethics.

Thanks, Laura!

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(Image credits: Laura Paul)