TRUE GRIT

Interplay of textures and light uplifts this minimalist home in leaps and bounds.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Adrien Williams

MAGAZINE T80 P1_V125 HF Desjardins 1

The living area features an open plan scheme to house two clusters of lounging space with plenty of room for a spacious kitchen and dining.

MAGAZINE T80 P2_V125 HF Desjardins 2

A streamlined approach to creating spaces with natural textures and plenty of light streaming in from large expanded windows and a skylight.

MAGAZINE T80 P3_V125 HF Desjardins 3

Low cabinets in the kitchen allows for an uninterrupted visual flow.

MAGAZINE T80 P4_V125 HF Desjardins 4

A single partial wall provides seclusion for the well-lit and open plan kitchen.

MAGAZINE T80 P5_V125 HF Desjardins 5

White washed walls installed with cove lighting functions as gallery space for the owners' prized paintings.

MAGAZINE T80 P6_V125 HF Desjardins 6

The centrepiece of the home is the suspension lamp in the dining room, a work in blown glass by Gabriel Scott. A true work of art, the lamp is reflected in the smoked-glass table to dramatic effect.

Exposed brick is so cliche. Today, it is all about raw, industrial finishes from plywood to concrete. The owners of a concrete house built in the 90s needed an update in its interiors ridden with obtrusive walls and clad in garish    primary colours.     

Spearheading the challenge to convert the property into a modern all-encompassing home is the team at Desjardins Bherer. The original plan has the kitchen as the core of the property. Since the house was built of concrete, it has no bearing walls, so the kitchen could be completely opened up to the living spaces. The only constraint was the polished concrete floor, which had a radiant heating system that could not be modified. Any changes to the pipes were out of the question. 

First to go are the partitions around the kitchen to create a completely open living area that would let in as much light as possible. Low storage cabinets were installed instead to open and free up the space. White cabinets with a counter of the same colour, placed in front of a large, expanded window, can accommodate all the accessories. Two cabinet units of grey-stained oak face the kitchen, discretely demarcating the space. The circulation was redefined, and the structure streamlined.

The designer Marc Bherer and his team used uniformity to create a harmonious decor. Identical carpets in the living room and the sitting room create an attractive visual unity, as do the linen sofas and the reading lamps in the two spaces. The fireplace, open to both rooms and clad in concrete, also brings cohesion to the spaces.

In the sitting room, a large storage space has been integrated under the fireplace, extending under the seat of the breakfast nook. This practical element blends into the room without adding clutter. The coffee tables and occasional tables have been selected for their simplicity. Their refinement add a graceful presence, much like the small armchairs. Artwork and souvenirs collected by the owners maintain a discrete presence under the windows of the living room and the dining room.

The otherwise muted decor is uplifted with natural textures and neutral colours. Linen, bamboo, leather and "Chanel-type" fabrics cohabit with concrete and steel. The studied selection of materials, furniture and colors give the space a unique flavour, warmed by the light streaming in through the many openings on the ground floor.

Upon entry to this skilfully updated home, the "gallery" welcomes and displays photographs by one of the couple's friends. The largest of these pictures, created for the space, graces the wall separating the kitchen from the entry. The gentle lighting of this room sets the tone, whilst each frame is lit separately.

Relieved of its partitions, the house now express its full potential: an open plan, testimony to the grand theories of modern architecture. The textures, the materials and the pertinence of the design are highlighted in this home where the finely interwoven living spaces add to the joy of its occupants.

SOURCE

Desjardins Bherer, www.desjardinsbherer.com