Renfrew -- Eganville-born Candace Plotz developed her love of creating beautiful living spaces in her childhood, inspired by her mother Teresa who loved to redecorate their family home.
Despite her interest and passion for design, Candace first moved to Toronto to build a career in the healthcare industry, travelling across the USA implementing hospital software. Constant moves -- 40 in total -- might have been a drawback for some but, for Candace, it provided the opportunity to put her own distinctive stamp on each new home, mixing old with new, modern with traditional timeless pieces.
Her family and friends often consulted her for advice on decorating, but it took a move back to the Ottawa area and the purchase of a home which provided the impetus to enrol in design school. As they say, the rest is history. Her business, Candace Plotz Designs, is booked solid for all of 2021. Candace cites COVID-19 as a mixed blessing with many more homeowners looking for renovation and design solutions.
“People working from home and spending more time in their houses were realizing how their living spaces weren’t appealing or functioning as well as they could,” she said.
The design element of her work ranges from custom homes to the redesign of a kitchen or bathroom, or the addition of a workspace or office. Seeing how her clients enjoyed their new living spaces inspired Candace to offer those same elements to the public in her retail shop.
The 800-square foot boutique retail outlet at 690 Stewart Street in west end Renfrew grew out of the private showroom for clients of the design branch. Planned since October, COVID-19 created delays and setbacks, she was finally able to open on June 12 but without the benefit of the usual ‘store opening’ promotion. The bright airy space showcases furniture, lighting, art, rugs, accessories and home décor -- all of it customizable by the client.
The signature look is clean and timeless, with statement furniture pieces from a Canadian source and also from the renowned furniture showrooms in High Point, North Carolina. Add distinctive rugs and lighting for a uniquely contemporary look which can also accommodate treasured family heirlooms or antiques. Couches, tables and chairs are sturdy and comfortable yet beautifully proportioned in clean, pleasing lines.
“I like furniture you can live with,” Candace says. “Realistically, this is a couch you can take a nap on.”
High performance stain, fade and microbial-resistant fabrics, such as Sunbrella and Krypton, enhance the liveability of each piece.
The comfort factor is increased by the addition of a variety of throw pillows in linen and other dramatic and enduring fabrics. A selection of throws from Scotland, woven from recycled wool add texture, warmth and coziness or “hygge”, the Scandinavian word for homey comfort. Candace’s trademark custom candle scent was created for her shop by an Ottawa Valley candlemaker and a line of hand soap was also curated for her.
“I believe there is a niche market of local homeowners who don’t necessarily want to go to the city to source their furniture and décor needs,” says Candace. “I want to offer a local boutique experience with a range of quality and selection that I can source for my clients. Good furniture is an investment”.
She adds, “I encourage my clients to add pieces that speak to them.”
As well as furniture, lighting and accessories, Candace Plotz Designs is the first Canadian retailer to carry JHWall Paints, a natural lime and mineral paint similar to Venetian plaster. Simple to apply with a brush and roller, the non-toxic paint adds the depth, texture and aesthetic of old-world plaster to wood, masonry, drywall or stucco.
The increased interest in renovating and upgrading, as well as homes changing hands in the current real estate boom, has created awareness of all the potential for good home design. Unfortunately, the same growth and interest, as well as COVID-19 related issues, created delays in access to products and materials. Part of Candace’s effective promotion and outreach is her website, her presence on Facebook and Instagram, and a regular blog which features a “Tuesday Tip”
Candace encourages homeowners to bring in their Pinterest page or photos of the design and décor trends which appeal to them. Her fresh and sophisticated style, attention to detail and eye for bespoke elements, can transform a house into a distinctive setting which expresses the homeowner’s own taste and pride in their living spaces.
Candace Plotz Design is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and closed Sunday and Monday. You can find her company at 680 Stewart St. Renfrew or online at candaceplotzdesign.com.
Johanna Zomers, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader