St. Lambert Residence by René Desjardins

November 15, 2008

Montreal, Canada based interior designer René Desjardins provided a contemporary update for this 1960s bungalow in St. Lambert, Quebec, for a young couple with two children.

Visit the website of René Desjardins – here.

Two lateral wings were created behind the existing structure, framing either side of a large terrace / sculpture garden. One of the wings houses bathrooms and bedrooms for family members, and is served by a corridor with glazed bays on the exterior wall. Full-height doors face these openings, creating the illusion that you are stepping out of the bedroom directly into the garden. The corridor, equipped with museum lighting, also serves as an art gallery.

The original bungalow, from which all partitions were removed, now has the living room and dining room / kitchen. This is the festive part of the house. The tone is set as soon as you step in the door. Guests are greeted by an oversized chimney in bands of slate; small joyful flames dance along the entire length of the rectangular hearth. Open to both sides, the fireplace immediately provides a vista to the living room and the garden beyond. The layout places a priority on space, using as little furniture as possible to ease circulation.

For the sake of minimalism, the same materials are used throughout the home: ipe wood, a species from Brazil, and polished stone from Saint Marc. Walls are finished in vanilla white, and the windows and bays are free of curtains, such that the space fills with natural light. Nothing holds the eye but the artwork. Glass is also used to enhance the impression of fluidity. The sliding screens in the bathrooms are glazed, with the turquoise glass softening the austerity of the stone and dark wood. In the corridor of the east wing, walls feature translucent strips of glass lit from above to create an effect of diffused light. Also in glass, the staircase railing is an absolute expression of discretion, a way to give the voids centre stage.

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