Mediterranean turnkey

Van Cleef and Arpels

On a beautiful summer’s day, a couple of globetrotters arrive on the Isle of Beauty. To create their dream haven, they call on Les Ensembliers who share their common passion for homes.

The work to be done is overwhelming. The mandate, requiring the complete overhaul of a house built in the 1980s in a private neighborhood near Bonifacio, is to be managed by the Montréal office of designer Richard Ouellette and architect Maxime Vandal. But the two men are well suited: their company offers turnkey services (architecture, design and construction), and their clients are interior design enthusiasts. The work begins with gutting the house entirely and starting from scratch. The decor is inspired by a Mediterranean style with white and blue dominating the color scheme. Instead of using the traditional fishstyle motifs, our creative duo prefer a strong contrast of fabrics in simple solids, or highend graphics.

All walls showcase a rough wood painted white. In this case, travel souvenirs, many from Asia, live side by side with carpets (Red Carpet), sofas and armchairs (Celadon), or custom-made cushions from Montréal, as well as other accessories purchased in Corsica and Paris.

The challenges facing Richard Ouellette and Maxime Vandal were many: work on two continents; manage the logistics associated with working on an island; deal with work methods very different from those practiced in North America; deliver the project on time … Fortunately for them, they had already gained experience designing a Paris apartment for their clients. The clients took an active part in decision-making, leaving the professionals to focus on the more pressing and stressful logistics. Of note, the custom-made items: a two-tone jute rug, small stools in zebra-striped linen, cushions made from rich fabrics (Crescendo). Add to this, the integration of the decorative taste of the owners: to showcase the Buddha and orchids at the entrance, Richard and Maxime chose a Chinese console table found at Tango Martini in Montreal.

The highlight of the renovated kitchen (Binova) is the white oak (stained dark) and polished French limestone worktops and floor. In order to embellish the windows, Richard and Maxime opted for wooden shutters with lots of character.

On one of the many terraces, the Manutti furniture (Jardin de Ville) sits on a floor made of ipe wood slats. Louvered wooden screens allow us to forget that we are above the garage, and provide privacy to this area adjoining one of the eight rooms of the house. Throughout the home, “the design interfaces between inside and outside are quite fluid.”

Living in Corsica, even in a second home, implies taking full advantage of all the Mediterranean climate has to offer: exceptional light, sea, pine trees and bougainvillea, terraces of all styles to enjoy the sun, comfortable furniture designed to withstand the elements (Manutti at Jardin de Ville), a fully-equipped summer kitchen, a shaded lounge area, day beds for sunbathing, a generous-sized swimming pool, accent lighting to enjoy the balmy evenings, outside shower (whose pipes are hidden in the rock), ipe ledge surrounded by stonework and vegetation … But all this had to be conceived, designed, constructed and delivered in time for the summer season. Les Ensembliers took one year to complete this inspiring project, to the surprise of local artisans and the delight of the owners.

”It’s a lifestyle where one lives as much outside as inside.
– Les Ensembliers ”

Photos: Les Ensembliers










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