WHEN SOMEONE SPENT THEIR ENTIRE CAREER IN REAL ESTATE, THEY KNOW INTERIORS. OPINIONS ABOUT DECORATION – THEY HAVE THEM, EVEN IF THEY’VE RETIRED FROM THE FIELD. DENYSE ABRAHAM, ORIGINALLY FROM LEBANON AND BROUGHT UP IN SAGUENAY, ISN’T AFRAID OF ANYTHING WHEN IT COMES TO INTERIOR DESIGN. SHE EVEN DARED TO DO HER CONDO WHITE – COMPLETELY WHITE.
After buying an apartment on the 24th floor of the Crystal de la Montagne building, she called designer René Desjardins to design the technical plans because she bought the condo unfinished – just concrete floors and walls. Everything needed to be done. For the decorative aspect – curtains and blinds – she retained the services of Anne Bondarenko, but this owner wasn’t short on her own ideas or being daring either. So why white? She was influenced by Florida where she owns a pied-à-terre. She likes the whiteness of the light and finds it very restful.
“It’s me,” she concludes. So easy, but risky too. After all, you know what they say about white – it gets so dirty. Well, not if you live without children, have leather chairs and marble, quartz, and lacquer surfaces that are easy to clean. You just need to follow your heart and dare to be different. The result is truly spectacular and surprisingly soothing. There is just one touch of colour – two yellow chairs in the living room blend in well with the steel grey storage units. Yes grey, because sometimes there are imperceptible changes from white to grey, but it doesn’t mar the overall result.
Abraham admits that her building’s name (Crystal) did inspire her, and she got some ideas in Florida too, like the two types of wallpaper she found at her designer’s place that now decorate the support columns; or her wall of water in the dining room that was inspired by something similar she saw in a restaurant. The concept of single flooring throughout, from the living room to the bathroom and bedroom, was another of her interesting finds: the white Brazilian marble she chose creates a unified space and gives you the impression that the furnishings are floating above the city. The metropolis is abundantly visible through the numerous floor-to-ceiling windows and adds changing colours to this immaculate scene.
Ten Lazy chairs from Patricia Urquiola face each other across a table, also from B & B Italia. A transparent glass wall with enclosed water bubbles reflects various shades of blue at nightfall thanks to special halogen lights.
An Italian kitchen (Cuisilab), displaying little more than the taps (Batimat) and a coffee maker (Saeco), is discerned amidst a sea of white. Everything is smooth and shiny. The lights are recessed; the music is too, thanks to a centralized audio system that plays music throughout the condo (Kébecson).
A white leather sofa by Jane Worthington for Leolux (Bonaldo) is appropriately named Vol de rêve (dream flight), and two yellow Heartbreaker pivoting armchairs with heart-shaped backs by Oscar Tusquets Blanca (Tonon) are favourites that were brought up from Florida, like the glass coffee table by Neolitico 40 (Reflex) and glass side tables Jupiter (Draenert). The television and camouflaged sound system that are diffused throughout the condo by Kébecson.
Chair backs stand on guard under a Swarovski chandelier, custom made by Lumidéco according to the owner’s specifications.
The freestanding bathtub and faucet (Batimat) look dramatic in front of an immense curtain. A minimalist shower of marble and glass stands beside an Alessi-Laufen toilet (Batimat) with its WonderGliss technology for easy cleaning
The bed (Bonaldo) with city and river views has cushions and a duvet cover chosen and custom-made by Anne Bondarenko. Unlike the translucent window treatments found throughout the apartment, these ones are opaque for obvious reasons.
Abraham’s desk (Bonaldo) sits before upper and lower storage spaces separated by a mirror. To the side, is a frame aluminum square. (Osmond Mirror by Pietro Derossi for Driade Kosmo.)
Photos PAUL ANDRÉ-LAROCQUE