A Home That Loves You Back, The Glebe Residence


Our Clients had been working with another designer for almost a year and reached out to us for a second opinion. After our initial review and design suggestions they switched to working with us for the design and construction of their home renovation. They wanted a more functional home that felt grand, we found a way to complete that for them by reworking the existing space rather than merely adding on more square footage.


This beautiful Glebe home was featured in All Things Home and The Ottawa Citizen; Here are some of the highlights.

It’s all in the details.

At least that’s true for design expert Moneca Kaiser, owner and lead designer at Moneca Kaiser Design Build. She explains that every square inch—not foot—of the interior of a home should add value in quality of life and return on investment.

Kaiser has had many clients switch designers for that very reason. Attention to detail.

Just this year, Kaiser and her team finished a main floor renovation of a Glebe home. The owners, Anne MacIsaac and Chris Nelligan, had been working with another designer for almost a year.

“We were ready to sign on the dotted line with the other company, but at last minute we decided to get a second opinion,” says MacIsaac. They simply wanted to compare prices and were hesitant, even reluctant, to look at Kaiser’s design.

Everything changed when they did.

Almost immediately they made the switch and haven’t looked back since.

“We felt really lucky that we ended up going the way we did,” says MacIsaac. “We’re really, really happy.”

What Kaiser describes as the “kiss of death for a designer” is when they attempt to fulfill every desire of the homeowner even when the result is impractical.

That’s not to say Kaiser is saying “no” to her clients, but she’s also not saying “yes.”

“What I tell them is you have to make friends with the god of compromise. For every yes, you have to say ‘what am I saying no to?’

“What we really focus on is helping clients become attuned to what they truly value and then we keep directing them back to that to help them assess whether this choice does so or not,” says Kaiser.

The cornerstone of this project had to do with a crumbling addition at the rear of the home. It needed to be removed and replaced. The previous design team had decided to put the addition back in its original location. Kaiser saw it differently.

She relocated it to the kitchen area to add much-needed space to the previously cramped room. It made a huge difference and changed the entire design of the home.

The interior is now barely recognizable. The main floor was changed from closed to more open-concept, dated beige walls were replaced with fresh lilac-tinted white paint, and traditional characteristics were swapped for classic features like herringbone tiling, shaker doors and light wooden flooring.

At just 800 square feet, the main floor feels gracious.

“It was really about getting the design right,” says Kaiser. “There shouldn’t be any wasted space. You have to be conscious of the proportions of the room in relation to others and try to avoid as much dead space as possible.”

Nelligan jokes the design team was more picky than they were.

“They were very meticulous in their work. They didn’t cut corners. They weren’t satisfied unless something was just right.”

For example, after painting the entire main floor in the lilac white Kaiser decided to re-paint the kitchen in a pure white to match the cabinets better.

Overall the house has really become a home for the family of five. MacIsaac says. “It’s something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Sometimes it’s hard to believe we’ve actually done it.”

At Moneca Kaiser Design Build their motto is “A home that loves you back.”

Kaiser was happy to say, “It loves them back now.