oakwood screen grabA new, state-of-the-art design centre showcases innovative home
design and environmentally friendly construction techniques that
Mike Holmes calls “very impressive.”

LET’S SAY YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT A RENOVATION. You’re brimming with excitement just thinking about the design options. What materials will you choose? Hardwood? Tile? What about the backsplash? And then there’s lighting options and colours. It all sounds great, except…there’s a great big “but”.

And what is that “but”? It’s the fact that you have to march around half-a-dozen or more stores and suppliers scattered across the City to check out all of your material options and prices. All of a sudden your enthusiasm wanes. What was once an exciting adventure becomes a tedious chore as you envision trudging from one location to the next and then cobbling together your selections. Weekends and evenings are lost. Your shoulders sag. Maybe you even wonder whether you really have the energy to renovate after all.


Now imagine that you could go to one location in the City where you talk to a qualified, certified Design Consultant about your renovation vision or plans. First you get inspiration by walking around the largest selection of renovation products in the City; all artfully displayed with modern museum perfection.

You see under one roof, at one time, everything you need to plan, design, and select all materials for your renovation or new home: from trim, tile and backsplashes to counters, windows and appliances. Nothing is run of the mill. And instead of being limited to an in-store selection or handful of traditional brands, you can choose any product or any brand from any manufacturer in the World.

Best of all, you saved hours if not days by doing everything in one meeting with the guidance of a qualified expert and at one location. Yet, it doesn’t end there; and your renovation or new home excitement continues to mount. Because a week or so after finalizing your materials, your Design Consultant presents a breathtaking photo realistic 3D rendering of your renovation or new home. Now you know exactly what your renovation or new home will look like before anyone lifts a hammer. Welcome to the brand new OakWood Design Centre on Taylor Creek Drive – the heart and soul of OakWood’s flagship Design and Build service.


“Our Design Centre has been 60 years in the making,” says John Liptak, OakWood’s President and CEO. “We started out as a small family run carpentry and renovation business. We grew into a complete Design and Build Company.” Over that time Liptak says the family always had an unwavering vision to bring everything a homeowner needed to design and plan their renovation or new home under one roof. That included high-quality materials for countertops, cabinets, tile and flooring solutions, bathtubs, faucets, and more – a proverbial one-stop-shop for renovations or new home. “It has taken us over a half-acentury to get here; but now we’ve done it,” he says.


Designed by Barry Hobin, one of Canada’s foremost architects, the OakWood Design Centre and new corporate headquarters has been constructed using the most advanced construction and green building techniques available today.


Even Mike Holmes, who admits to seeing everything – “the good, the bad, and the ugly” – acknowledged on a recent tour of the facility that what OakWood has accomplished is indeed impressive. “Platinum certification alone will make the OakWood building unique among home improvement and new home contractors in Canada,” he says. “They are building tomorrow’s buildings today. They are leading by example and building it right.”


For homeowners planning a new home or renovation, walking into the Design Centre is a feast for the eyes – a cornucopia of thought-provoking options. You are immediately greeted by two fully functioning kitchens, both done in contrasting styles. The first is a traditional kitchen centered around a La Cornue gas range. OakWood is the exclusive distributor in Ottawa for La Cornue’s Chateau Series; the range used by Gordon Ramsey and many other celebrities. These are among the most prestigious ranges in the world and handmade to order in La Cornue’s facility outside Paris.

The building is widely expected to be ranked as one of Canada’s highest LEED platinum buildings in the country. Achieving platinum level certification – Liptak’s explicit goal – was no easy task. Liptak tackled the challenge with steadfast determination and consulted with some of Canada’s foremost green building experts. “More than anything we wanted this to be a showcase for what is possible,” says OakWood’s COO, Patricia Liptak- Satov. “We wanted to lead by example and show that beautifully designed renovations can go hand-in-hand with industry leading environmentally friendly construction methods”, she adds. Moreover, the same technologies and green building practices used on the Design Centre can be used in any home renovation she says.

“They are building tomorrow’s buildings today. They are leading by example and building it right.” Mike Holmes, Canada’s Most Trusted Contractor

The second kitchen is far more contemporary and it features a spectacular cantilevered island, which is unique in Ottawa. Both kitchens feature paneled appliances. Both are superb examples of contrasting styles and OakWood’s ability to design anything.

Those displays barely scratch the surface of what’s available. The Design Centre is over 22,700 square feet; and every nook and cranny highlights yet another design or technical innovation – often both. For example, a featured steam shower using Cipollino marble that is slab mitered to ensure no joints are visible and complete with state of-the-art digitally controlled, multiple shower heads.

Or be inspired by the Uber Kitchen and Dining Room that features liveedge furniture, mirrored inlay and a beautiful, one of-a-kind custom wine rack that can scale to any room size.

Then there’s the Zero Threshold Bathroom with an elite shower system; and no curb to step or stumble over to ensure a fully wheelchair accessible shower using universal design principals. The display is finished exquisitely with Axor Bouroullec series of faucets to create a very interesting sink and faucet combination that is at once simple and yet breathtaking.

The list of features, materials, and displays go on – and on. Every turn of the head, every step you take reveals a new possibility. “That’s the beauty of the Design Centre,” says Dan Lavigne, a senior Project Consultant at OakWood and one of the main designers and planners behind the layout, configuration, and materials on display. “We wanted to provide an exceptional range of examples to spark ideas,” he says. “And this is a truly unique place to get inspired and facilitate the whole creative side of the renovation or new home process. For example, someone could see one of our cabinetry designs, how we have integrated a refrigerator, a millwork or tile treatment, or an island counter; and bring one of those elements to our Design Consultants,” he adds. From there, an OakWood Design Consultant can work the idea and materials into a custom design based on the space and budget that has been allocated.


“The Centre is somewhat exclusive,” comments Liptak. He doesn’t mean that in a standoffish or snobbish way; but simply to note that it supports the OakWood Design and Build process. “It’s a perk and benefit for being an OakWood Client We certainly don’t mind people scheduling a visit and coming out to get inspired, but it’s really about bringing greater efficiency to the design and material selection stage of a renovation or new home where we do everything,” he adds.

Liptak-Satov is also quick to emphasis the open-door policy of the new Taylor Creek Design Centre. “While it supports OakWood Clients, it is a resource that is available to anyone – just call to schedule a tour and we will be happy to show you about,” she says. And get ready to be very inspired!