BEHIND THE TYPICAL MODERN-ERA FAÇADE OF THIS HOME ON THE SLOPES OF MOUNT ROYAL LIES A TIMELESS, LIGHT-FILLED INTERIOR.
It was the unique design that seduced the new owners. To be sure, the home, built in the 1970s and located just steps from downtown, had plenty going for it, including impressively large rooms, original slate flooring and mahogany trim. But the charm was easily lost due a severe lack of light. Shaded by overgrown vegetation and hidden behind a stone wall, the house was gasping for air and light! The team at Daoust Lestage got to work breathing new life into the home, focusing on the backyard, the ground floor rooms and upstairs bathroom.
The first challenge was to illuminate the back of the house. An upstairs balcony completely shaded the deck below, squeezed in between neighbouring homes. The supporting beams are now all that remain of the former balcony. The architects added an ivy hedge with a reflecting wall that projects light into the kitchen windows all day long.
Inside, the walls were torn down and skylights and mirrors installed, instantly highlighting the delicate original plasterwork, rich woodwork and the deeply nuanced slate.
Marrying old and new was equally important in the upstairs bathroom. The mahogany door and beams were kept, but the eye now falls first on the white Corian countertop, marble floors and the mirror, which magnifies the space and reflects the light from the ceiling fixtures. “It’s about having an overall vision,” said Daoust Lestage. “Being there to understand what the client needs, meeting those needs and improving on the solutions.”
While the architect serves as a guide, shaping the space, working the materials, the occupant fine-tunes the décor. The owners chose a streamlined style with a few touches of colour to brighten and contrast. White walls are the perfect backdrop for a transparent china cabinet and eye-catching artwork, and they make the pomegranate sofa really pop. There’s magic at work in this house, where past has transitioned smoothly into the future.