Modest on the outside, redesigned on the inside, a 1954 home is updated for the 21st century. Looks can be deceiving, and a good example of that is this house, which straddles the boundary between downtown Montreal and Westmount. From the street, it looks like a relatively modest red-brick structure, at least by Westmount standards. But it is actually an expansive mid-century home that cascades down the side of the mountain, providing stunning views from all three levels at the back.
There are renovation stories and then there are renovation stories. The latter are not characterized merely by upgrades and dramatic transformations, but by complete architectural renaissances, in which old buildings are re-imagined and restructured. The process takes a clear concept, plenty of planning, a dash of daring and bit of a budget. But the result is singularly spectacular. It’s almost magic.
A successful young family man with an Old-World soul and an eye for exquisite details wanted his Westmont home to be renewed as a light, airy canvas infused with jewel tones. The co-founders of Evolution Design achieved his vision with a classic decor spiced with Art Deco influences.
Homeowner Marie-Josée Lepine smiles every time she enters her Candiac home and sees the foyer’s bold floral black-and-white tiling. “I can’t help it,” she says, laughing. “Their design is so playful that they immediately put me in a more joyful and relaxed ‘glad-to-be-home-again’ mood.”
Montreal’s St. Henri district has a long, storied history. From its early days in the late 1800s as a working-class neighbourhood, where residents toiled in its tanning factories along the Lachine Canal and laboured on the nearby railroad, to its struggles in the last century as many of those same factories shuttered their doors, St. Henri has had to find ways to adapt to change.
Sometimes, a house is like a book. It should not be judged by its cover. Because once you open it up, you might be surprised by the wondrous tale that awaits. You might just find yourself getting lost in an adventurous journey that transports you to another time. So with that in mind, let’s take a peek behind the door of what – from the outside – looks like a typical Montreal duplex in the city’s Plateau Mont Royal district.
The moment I arrived in the capital, Pape’ete, I could tell that I would not be disappointed by the trip that I had dreamed of for decades. Stepping off the plane, I inhaled the warm, fresh air and visually devoured the brightly coloured tropical flowers and sparkling azure-blue water.
Who has not dreamed of escaping into the lap of luxury? Of closing one’s eyes and breathing in deeply as a warm wave of sumptuous relaxation envelops one’s body? Safe, secure and detached, this is what enjoying the moment really means. But what if you could enhance this exquisite sense of timelessness, this feeling of living in the now, by having it all steeped in the style and intrigue of ancient Spain?
Its name is mud — mudroom that is. But despite the unpromising moniker, in today’s houses, mudrooms are taking on new importance and lots of style. No longer an afterthought, “Eighty per cent of the large renovations we do have mudrooms on the wish list,” says builder Dave Evans, partner at Cliff and Evans Ltd., a construction company in Toronto.