Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Why this is Ben Cowan-Dewar’s favourite room

When developing Cabot Links, a golf course resort on Cape Breton Island, Canadian entrepreneur Ben Cowan-Dewar also built himself a cedar-clad, minimalist-style house located close by in Inverness, N.S. The 4,000-square-foot home, shared with wife Allie Barclay and the couple’s three young children, was designed by the acclaimed East Coast architect Omar Gandhi with an interior by Jill Greaves of Jill Greaves Design in Toronto. Given the five-bedroom property’s proximity to both the sea and the cliffs where the most recent addition to Canada’s most-talked-about golfing destination, Cabot Cliffs, opened this summer, care was taken to create a home with jaw-dropping vistas. The best of those can be had from the open-concept living room overlooking the spectacular beauty of the Cabot Trail. “I love it because we can look right down the beach line at Inverness and oversee both golf courses, the town and the harbour,” says Cowan-Dewar, a native of Kingston, Ont., who also owns a home in Toronto. “The design was so much about the view when we did it. Everything is focused toward that view.”

Ben Cowan-Dewar and wife Allie Barclay in their favourite room in Cabe Breton, N.S. / Younes Bounhar

The lights “They are big ball lights, a bit playful, which Jill and Allie chose. I think they got them in Toronto. It’s a really high space – the ceiling is about 18 feet with an open cable – and these big white balls hang there, providing a lovely light in the evening.”

The fireplace “It’s a double-sided propane gas fireplace. The other side faces our dining room table. We use it more from the living room side. It provides warmth for the room. It’s by Town & Country. The surround is stone. I quite like it. It’s a brown and mocha colour and is on the face as well as on the sides and tops of the surrounding bookcases.”

The books “Given that golf is so much part of our life we limit our exposure to golf in the home to a section in the book case. The books are more about architecture and design of classic and modern courses around the world as opposed to instructional guides. We don’t have our book. Yet. But our course is featured in some of these, here.”

The couch “It’s a sectional that Jill designed and it has the same walnut on the corner piece. It’s a silver-grey fabric. It just worked with the colours in the room while also serving as a big sofa for three young kids to bounce around and read on.”

The vase “It’s by Cape Breton Clay in nearby Baddeck. The maker is Bell Fraser, a local artisan who makes beautiful things with clay, including platters, vases and bowls. She does a lot of things with Maritime accents. This one has a starfish on it. I love the design.”

The chair “It’s a really simple design, but I like it. It’s made of blue fabric and its colour reflects the sea. It’s really comfortable.”

The blanket “We fell in love with it during the early days of being in Cape Breton, around 10 years ago. It comes from a farm in Nova Scotia, and the farm’s name is Bellemeade. We have these same wool throws in all our resort rooms. I love that it’s local. I also love the colour and the fact that the wool comes from just down the road. I see those sheep when I drive by.”

The flooring “It’s walnut, a wood I love. Given the simplicity of the interior, the glass and white, the walnut stands out. It’s a little more dramatic.”

The glass wall “That’s a doubleheight space with a 20-foot glass wall that centres the entrance view of the home. The wall encloses a staircase connecting the two levels. All the bedrooms are down below. As you come into the home you walk into this view.”

Report an error Licensing Options
Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.