Welcome to John Ota Home

Home is important for all of us… as a place for rest, for sharing our lives with friends and relations, for reconnecting with nature, for working, eating and living. Each living space that we “step into” here is a snapshot of the solutions that designers and builders have devised to enhance our lives. The homes display distinctive responses to their unique environments, lifestyles, sites and budgets.

Contemporary, historic, small, large, famous and hard to find, we will get inside them all to see what contributes to a perfect home.

JOHN OTA HOME celebrates the history, diversity and energy of house design in Canada, the United States and around the world. Welcome.

Made to order: A kitchen and an Arts and Craft cocoon

With soothing amber light, bookshelves that frame a glowing fireplace and dark oak mouldings that warm the entire room, David Lillico’s kitchen reflects both his love of cooking and passion for Arts and Crafts design.

“I wanted a place that would be a functional kitchen and also blend in with the Arts and Crafts style of the house,” says Mr. Lillico. “It had to be a kitchen that could be intimate and relaxing for myself as well as when I entertain my friends.”

Designed by Thornhill, Ont. architect Haim Riback, the recent 800-square-foot renovation to the Arts and Crafts house in Toronto’s High Park area includes a new kitchen, eating area, bathroom and rear entrance porch. In contrast to the sterility of contemporary industrial kitchens, stepping into Mr. Lillico’s kitchen is like being enveloped in a cocoon of warm colour, serene light and artistic furnishings.

Continue reading Made to order: A kitchen and an Arts and Craft cocoon

Arthur Erickson, An Architect’s Life.

During the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, a larger than life figure in Canada and the United States was architect Arthur Erickson.  I have written a book review of David Stouk’s recent biography titled, Arthur Erickson, An Architect’s Life.  It was the most important book that I read in 2014.

David Stouck is professor emeritus of English at Simon Fraser University.

I wrote the book review because I found the biography to be an honest and sensitively written account of a triumphant and tragic figure of our time who was not fully understood in Canada.

The book was a finalist for the RBC Taylor Prize this past March 2014.  In addition, the biography has picked up four more award nominations.  They include 2 BC Book Prizes, plus the Melva Dwyer Award for best book on Canadian Art and Architecture, and a prize given by the UBC Library identified as the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Book on BC.

Continue reading Arthur Erickson, An Architect’s Life.