Inspiring interior

Chantal’s challenge was to imagine and plan her home to make the most of every square foot; to organize the space to create a pleasant environment, in every season. Along with her friend, architect Renée Daoust of Daoust Lestage, this dream home is now ‘mission accomplished’.

Chantal and Jean-François lived in a mansard-roofed home in a town on the North Shore. What they truly desired, however, was the land next door. It was an odd property, but it backed on to a wooded area and featured a lovely stream. She called on long-time friend, Renée Daoust, to help her see the potential. The architect stood in the middle of the property and took stock of the situation. The verdict: transform limitations in to possibilities. “We’re going to have fun,” she said. Chantal purchased the land, and thus began the long process of planning that involved several obstacles. The first of which started with the municipality, which was not used to architect-designed contemporary homes in the neighbourhood. In fact, the house had to be discreetly ‘hidden’ behind the trees. The planning process would take three years, and involve plenty of animated discussions between the two friends. As a businesswoman in fashion, Chantal was used to long-term projects in which every detail counts. Therefore, the task of seeing the project to completion fell on her. Jean-François, her partner in business as well as in life, is a man of action, who prefers tangible results. He graciously went along. Creating a dream home with a close friend was clearly exciting for the whole family, which includes three children.

The house is divided in to three sections: the basement for the children, the main floor for the family, and the upstairs for Chantal and Jean-François. As Chantal loves to entertain family, friends, and staff alike, she envisioned an open, friendly space. The entire living area floor is tiled in heated travertine, with multiple south-facing windows opening on to the spectacle that is our four seasons. Chantal believes in the importance of living symbiotically with nature, equally appreciating the sunshine and the rain (“Which creates a whole other atmosphere!”), nestled in a temperature-controlled cocoon all her own. The kitchen posed a design challenge, one that had to accommodate two chefs – our heads of household. Appliances were chosen with great care, with the help of a friend, legendary chef Normand Laprise! The upstairs floor is customized for the couple: a bedroom with corner living area and adjoining bathroom, a huge closet, exercise room, and office. Chantal adores her walk-in, where everything–clothing, shoes, cosmetics, and fragrances – is beautiful, and easily visible. Her work involves a lot of travel, and she is constantly switching from one season to another. Her closet must therefore contain whatever she needs at any time, with everything perfectly organized. In fact, the well thought out storage throughout the house is deeply satisfying to Chantal: “I did a great job, and I appreciate it every day,” she says. Not to mention that her home is a source of inspiration for the creative work she does. “I am truly happy here.”

Photos : Marc Cramer

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