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Oasis of serenity

Avenue Design

In downtown Montreal, in the heart of the action, a couple have transformed their condo into a haven of peace and serenity.

Paintings and sculptures illuminate this bright, minimalist space that borrows from the architectural vocabulary of museum installations. The entrance, with its rows of white walls and parquet doussie, an African wood, sets the tone for guests on arrival. Elsewhere, the wall hangings leave no doubt about the passion of the occupants. “I wanted to create an oasis where the works have room to breathe together with us and with our friends,” says the owner. The works of Hurtubise, Ferron, Kiefer, Cragg, Dine, Ufan and others are on display, all in good company.

It’s not only a pure artistic aesthetic which distinguishes this interior: the choice of furniture also illustrates a bias for beautiful things. Be it the dining area furniture (the Eero Saarinen tulip chairs) or the living room and bedroom furnishings (Maralunga sofa and Atollo lamp by Vico Magistretti; armchair and Egg ottoman by Arne Jacobsen; or Portofino shepherdess chair by Rodolfo Dordoni), the choices reflect well established classical models, many of which are already found in museums.

After living more than a quarter century in a single family home in Outremont, the couple purchased a condo in a building that had just been construced. Many talented designers have worked on the project, followed very closely by Madame and her careful suggestions. “I got involved a lot,” she says. “I really enjoyed doing that.” What’s more remarkable, she has never been interested in decorating these past 28 years! For the wood and lacquered kitchen, she entrusted Guy Gibeault , who conceived a set of sharp lines, infused with a beautiful sobriety.

What we don’t realize by looking at these photos is the sheer amount of work done to achieve this result. The condo was purchased on plans and delivered as a concrete shell. For example, the entrance hall wall was designed by the owners, built in modules and then delivered to the site. A painter followed, dressed like a ‘deep sea diver’, spraying specialty paint with a gun device. The electrician was also asked to install low height spot lighting in the entrance which does double duty as a nightlight via sensors, an example which highlights the care brought to create a welcoming interior infused with serenity.

Photos: Paul André Larocque
Stylisme: Guy Gibeault

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