Laura's Sustainable Canadian Condo

House Call

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.

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.

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
  • 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

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)