Nestled in the forest, built using ancient Japanese techniques and furnished with iconic modern furniture, this house is the essence of serenity.
Gerardo and Leliane, our two young professional homeowners, have yet to reach 30. They met in law school: she became a notary in Mont-Tremblant, and he, born in Italy and a non-practising lawyer, now runs a chain of shoe stores that bear his name. They chose to make their home in Sainte-Adèle, halfway between their respective jobs, in a development called Via Sauvagia. After they purchased a plot, Gerardo decided to take on the role of builder while construction was under way. He hired architect Olivier Blouin and designer Dominique Côté, but admits the job was more difficult than he expected. Fortunately, the couple knew what they wanted, and had done their homework, researching everything from building materials to furniture, to bathroom fixtures. Leliane had spent a lot of time consulting her friend Geneviève Tardif, owner of the Jardin d’hiver boutique in Mont-Tremblant, to help her decide on lamps, rugs and other pieces. Gerardo looked to Kébecson for his Bang & Olufsen sound system, television, and other entertainment needs. For kitchen counters, the couple chose an innovative new stone product called Lapitec, and it took plenty of patience when it came to certain coveted items: they had to wait five months for the freestanding Ottocento tub by Agape of Italy for the master suite! “It was a little luxury Leliane felt very strongly about,” notes Gerardo. The couple made similarly daring choices outside. For siding, they went with charred cedar. Burning the wood using a Japanese technique known as shou sugi ban can significantly extend the lifespan of the siding and requires no maintenance! Indoors, knotty cedar was used for the ceilings, adding a Québec touch to a house whose flat roof speaks to a more contemporary design. The entire ground floor, with its living areas, have cement floors with radiant geothermal heating. The young couple are sensitive to environmental concerns and wanted their energy footprint to be as small as possible. For this same reason, they cleared very little of the land. Although they are perched on a mountain overlooking a valley and Lac Rond, Gerardo and Leliane were more interested in the coziness of the forest than a grand view. Into this lovely nest a baby will arrive next spring, and one of the three upstairs bedrooms is being appropriately prepared. Gerardo and Leliane are not only keen on family life, but also have an active social life with many friends, whom they enjoy hosting in their enormous kitchen which is flanked on one side by the dining room, and on the other by a deck equipped with a fireplace, barbecue and a pizza oven imported from Naples! Clearly, these are articulate and passionate people, who enjoy working hard and living well, and their home suits them to a T.
photos: Adrien Williams