For more than a year, headlines have been drawing attention to the heated real estate markets in Vancouver and Toronto. With prices climbing at a fast clip and foreign investors driving them even higher, provincial lawmakers in both British Columbia and Ontario have introduced new rules to curb spiking prices in an attempt to keep the cost of home-ownership within reach of more than just the ultra-rich.
For most people, having an in-house artist means tacking a few children’s drawings onto the fridge. But this east-end condominium has become a showcase for work by the owner’s spouse, an artist from Miami who has brought those South Beach-inspired hues north to Montreal.
The town is a 29-kilometre stretch along a barrier island off the eastern coast of Florida. It is no wider than 1.2 kilometres and narrows to about 150 metres at points, covering an area of 27 square kilometres, of which only 10 is land. The rest is water. Oh, and there is sunshine everywhere.
Mélanie Laberge and her husband Robin wanted to transform their two-storey duplex in Rosemont-La Petite Patrie into a single-family home. Moreover, they wanted the home to be filled with natural light.
When the current homeowners bought and renovated it eight years ago, it had been previously owned and modified by the famous Québécois architect Roger D’Astous, the only Quebec architect to have studied under acclaimed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. D’Astous is perhaps best known for having designed the Château Champlain hotel in Montreal and the Olympic Village in the city’s east end, where the athletes lived during the 1976 games.
Erin Kleinberg, former fashion designer and current advertising agency executive, had a vision. What her mind’s eye saw was her tiny Cedarvale-area cottage transformed into an oasis of Palm Springs chic. It’s a look embraced by such international designers as American Jonathan Adler and Australian Greg Natale, refined and minimal with a touch of old-Hollywood glamour.
The homeowners had asked interior designer Jennifer Heffel, owner and founder of HB Design in Vancouver, for something that would make them feel that they were in the mountains, but “they weren’t into that clichéd ski-resort stuff,” Heffel says. “They liked alpine contemporary, and the general BC West Coast style that incorporates wood, glass, and open spaces. They wanted clean lines, an uncluttered look, and a bright and airy feeling.”
Industrial design has been making inroads since people began converting former manufacturing spaces into residential lofts. So it was a matter of time before non-loft dwellers would want that creative look in their own homes.
This time, it was the winter 2018 show. And it was no less intimidating than my first visit in September 2017. You may recall from my report of that visit that the event is staged in the centre’s eight halls, which cover a mind-boggling 246,000 square metres. Seeing all of the exhibits is impossible.
We don’t need a special occasion to tell our mothers how much we love them; we can do that every day. However, Mother’s Day gives us an opportunity to shower them with carefully chosen gifts. Here is a guide to help you find the perfect present for your mom.