Author Archives: Rebecca

Luxury penthouse with a panorama

Posted on March 6, 2013 by Rebecca

A magnificent view of downtown Montreal serves as the focus in this bright, warm loft-style apartment by interior designer René Desjardins.

The initial space consisted of a large unit assembled from two penthouses. The result is a family home that takes the form of a great rectangle spanning across the full length of the building, with full-height windows that provide an exceptional amount of natural light.

The apartment comprises two zones. On one side, the shared areas: the living room, dining room and kitchen as well as a living area/home theatre; and on the other, the private quarters of the client and his son.

The high ceilings were lowered slightly to accommodate lighting fixtures and conceal the electrical controls for the window coverings. Sheets of fabric combining natural fibres with threads of stainless steel, completely invisible when raised, descend from the ceiling at the touch of a button. In order to maintain the spirit of a loft, the structural columns were simply sanded and painted in the same shades and finishes as the walls.

In the large main room, a great interior wall of white oak stained with a charcoal grey forms a perfect backdrop, maximising the sense of space and turning the focus to the spectacular view and contemporary furniture.

With its countertops of charcoal granite quartz and generous dining room table, the kitchen is functional yet bold. At the other end of the room, couches finished in walnut, cotton and linen are an open invitation to conversation.

The bedroom of the client is in a rotunda facing due east. The suite includes two walk-in closets and a master bath, with heated white Calacatta marble floors.

The son’s quarters are in the style of a boutique hotel. Mostly charcoal, due to the alcove of the bed and the woodwork on the ample storage units, the room has linen curtains and opaque window coverings that can be closed to provide total darkness. These quarters also have a walk-in closet and a bathroom.

Through its clean design, a range of natural hues and many architectural details, the apartment is a great success. Here is a home that speaks of calm and comfort, whilst showcasing the continually changing city beyond.

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Montreal interior preserves its architectural heritage

Posted on February 21, 2013 by Rebecca

From a tree-lined street of 1960s bungalows the new house is far from conspicuous, blending with ease into the surrounding landscape. But inside is a deceptively designed space that harbours generous volumes on three levels. The original house was in such a state of disrepair that the clients were granted a demolition permit, on the strict condition that the new building follow the original plan. This could have potentially posed a real problem for the designer, given the clients required the liveable space to triple in size. But with just the one floor, a long façade and a double-pitched roof, René Desjardins has created a space of sheer inventiveness. An essential quality of any family home is the space to come together, but also to disappear. The fluid circulation that is so characteristic of the Desjardins’ style has been rendered in such a way that the parents can easily cohabit with grown-up children seeking independence.

In the vestibule next to the garage, a steel-and-glass staircase leads to both the guest suite and the basement, a place where the boys can venture off on their own, enjoying the living room, the steam room/washroom and the home gym. The designer, whose manifesto is “less is more”, has created a home completely respectful of the clients’ personalities and lifestyle choices.

The ground floor foyer sets the tone. It is generous and unadorned, with the garden on the horizon and a spectacular staircase in anthracite iron lace. A feeling of well-being is immediate, with a unity achieved through materials and colours. There is a definite sense of looking to a simpler future, which is rather apt given one of the clients recently turned 50. The decision to take the building contemporary – a brave decision on the part of the client, has been sympathetically embraced.

The neutral palette serves to frame the beginning of a promising art collection. The same can be said for the discrete lighting rails and niches, which will eventually house sculptures.

The ground floor doubles as both a living area and a setting for parties, with the immense island in the kitchen a great spot for a DJ. A perfect example of minimalism creating space for possibility.

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