Montréal-based studio Clairoux has recently transformed a family home built in the Fifties in Laval, Canada, into a contemporary residence. The same family has owned the property for decades. Naturally, the house is steeped in memories and, in a sense, is a showcase of family history. Working closely with architects at Open Form, Julie Lafontaine and Frédric Clairoux created a serene and elegant space in harmony with its natural surroundings.
They restored the house’s prairie style on the outside by recreating horizontal lines and bringing out the beauty of the natural wood. Next, they “exploded” the inside (formerly, a cramped and inward-looking place) to create a sense of space and possibility. Southern exposure suggested a floor-to-ceiling window – in this case covering both floors for optimal natural light. The splendid natural surroundings cried out for an opening in the southeast corner, in the heart of the living space, providing a stunning view of the stream nearby.
Inside, designers opted for a clean contemporary look featuring horizontal lines and streamlined volumes. The only bulky feature they kept was the natural stone chimney in the large central fireplace.
“Above all, we wanted to avoid sterile black-and-white juxtapositions, which have been overused in recent years.” explain Clairoux. “Our goal was to create an elegant contemporary space by breathing new life into an architectural legacy from the previous century. To pull this off, we relied on subtlety and a clean-canvas approach that focused on lines, volumes and materials. For a perfect example of the power of combining horizontal lines and up-to-the-minute design, take a look at the kitchen.”
Interior decorator Patrick Robichaud, delivered distinctive design totally in compliance with the project’s requirements. Furnishings and accessories were selected with the owner – a joint effort that resulted in the sober and elegant finish. A home has life and character, it is something that is always evolving, and so some design touches will continue to be added over time.
all images © JB VALIQUETTE