Built nearly half a century ago and completely renovated in 1998, this house has drawn undeniable attention to the arts and to the exceptional taste of its owners.
Built in 1964 on the high slopes of Westmount, the residence held particular allure for the contractor, due to its streamlined interior design and absence of architectural flourishes. What better than a sober style to showcase the artwork lovingly collected by this businessman.
Aided by a Parisian designer, the couple had one year to decorate the new home that showcases famous furniture from the 1950s. Why so many references to this period? Our host explains that it was a hypercreative time, refuting the aesthetics of previous decades … and perhaps the decade which stamped her childhood.
In the living room, a first glance reveals the humor and daring of the owner: a paper airplane sculpture by Fabio Viale is framed in the window; and a Dale Dunning bronze reclining head flanked by chairs designed by Edward Wormley. The bronze tables and the lamps were created by a designer friend. The sofa on the left is crowned with a canvas by Canadian, Karin Davie; the other, with a painting by Arman. The ascending staircase takes on the air of an art gallery under the watchful eye of the Master’s faithful dog, Caesar!
In the dining room, works of art and rare objets d’art. Like the Italian chairs from the 1940s, the bronze table pedestal by Philip and Kelvin Laverne, and the Jason Martin diptych. Before passing into the small living room, you pass before a round canvas of painter Claude Tousignant, while in the background you can see the favorite of the mistress of the house, a Kim Dorland, which, she explains, is a fascinating painting as it changes to reflect the light and seasons.
The kitchen reflects a happy marriage, as much of styles as of the occupants themselves. The classic cabinets in beech, expansive windows, and large floor tiles provide the room with abundant light, and a timeless look into which the famous Charles and Ray Eames chairs harmonize perfectly. Equally successful: the discrete integration of a Bang and Olufsen (Kébecson) sound system, super design but … 30 years old! Result? A relaxed atmosphere that has fostered many informal and cheerful meals with friends.
Monsieur’s office holds more treasures. Like the famous Arne Jacobsen chair, and the Florence Knoll table. But the focal point of the room is undoubtedly the twelve Edward Gormley prints that symmetrically line the wall. The effect is spectacular.
The TV room also contains select works. Above the Roche Bobois sofa hang three Luce Meunier oil paintings. Further along, an Eames chaise longue placed under the mythic hanging Arco lamp designed by brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, creates an atmosphere of relaxation and contemplation. Throughout the home, the owners have chosen with care each item that makes up the decor.
Together with the living room and family room, the bedroom features among the preferred rooms of the owners as it reflects the execution of the plan and comes closest to the original vision. This room exemplifies in every detail the signature of the designer who designed the eel skin ottoman and Lucite lamps. As well, we find a Fritz Brandtner on the walls and exceptional furniture: a Fontana Arte mirror and a rare Alvar Aalto table.
Now grandparents, the owners have put up the house for sale. Madame is eager to embark on a new project, but Monsieur admits to a heavy heart thinking of the many beautiful evenings spent around the pool and around the home’s art collection. Fortunately, the challenge is only to duplicate the experience and to squeeze this magnificent collection into a condo…
This property is currently offered by Marie Sicote and Jeannie Moosz, of Groupe Sutton Centre-Ouest (514) 933 5800.
Photos Yves Lefebvre