Original title : Nature
Overlooking lake of Two Mountains, this contemporary home features extensive fenestration to maximize views of nature. Thanks to an elegant choice of materials, it also blends harmoniously into the surrounding environment. A place where the design promotes flow and invites light.
This peaceful setting with its breathtaking view of the lake was once occupied by an old house. “We bought the house in 2003 and renovated, but then had problems with basement flooding. We never wanted to have to go through that again, so we either had to move or tear down the house and build a new, flood-proof one,” explains the owner. He and his wife decided to stay and create a modern building focused squarely on the view. The couple knew exactly what they wanted, and architect Pierre Martin provided guidance with regard to the exterior while designer Sylvain Tousignant helped with the interior layout.
“What we really wanted was a house that made us feel as if we were outdoors when we were inside. It looks like a huge loft space with a wall of windows. The open area is more than thirty metres long, but we can see outside from one end to the other,” the homeowner notes. Cladding the building in high-quality materials that would complement the natural environment was also important. “The idea was to find finishes that resembled the colour of tree bark, and avoid creating strong contrasts, so we used natural stone, aluminium and wood.” Thanks to this selection of soft tones, the residence blends naturally and subtly into the landscape. The meticulous work and understated details, like the wooden garage doors that integrate seamlessly into the surrounding wood wall, also contribute to a complete design.
The materials used inside the house echo those on the outside. For example, the ceiling is covered in Western red cedar that continues outside under the overhang. The wood adds some needed warmth to an interior with so many windows and a soaring ceiling height. In fact, the space is finished with a perfect balance of strategically placed warm and cool materials: polished concrete floors, a steel fireplace mantel, wood ceilings, glass windows, with the staircase integrating all these elements. The ceiling lights in the living room also add to the decor, without obstructing the view.
In the dining area, the gold chairs surrounding the walnut table add a stylish touch, and help warm a space with multiple cool tones. In the white tempered glass kitchen, the detachable backsplash conceals electrical outlets and the faucet to create a clean, uncluttered look. The wine cellar and pendant lights in various sizes add interest and light.
The welcoming entrance features a textured cut stone wall and dark partition wall. “We wanted this area to be very open so people would feel comfortable when they step in the door,” says the owner. The ottomans are a handy perch for those who need to sit; the mirrors serve as ornamental decorations; and the eyecatching, multicoloured credenza echoes the hues of the painting in the living room.
The master bedroom is separated from the living room by an office, whose thick walls double as storage modules. The buttercup yellow armchairs inspired the bedroom’s decor. “We bought them at Bonaldo around 20 years ago and they are still in very good condition. We liked their warm colour and found it went well with the concrete, so we chose bedside tables in the same shade,” reveals the homeowner. The bed faces the lake, offering the owners a changing display of nature every day. The ensuite bathroom means all their living space is on the ground floor. “The two of us are here full-time, but our children and grandchildren often visit on the weekends and during the summer.” The upper floor is thus devoted solely to guests.
The floor of the living room is level with the patio and infinity pool. The hosts can take advantage of the covered outdoor living area as soon as the warm weather arrives. The landscaping includes large stretches of lawn planted with majestic trees and hydrangeas in various colours. “These perennials are well-suited to our yard and flower until late in the season,” notes the owner.
“During the summer, we slide open all the glass doors, which line up in front of each other; there is no division between inside and out.”