BY EMMANUELLE MOZAYAN-VERSCHAEVE. PHOTOS ADRIEN WILLIAMS
SMITTEN BY THE SPECTACULAR VIEW, WITH PROXIMITY TO EVERYTHING THEY COULD EVER WANT OR NEED, KAVITA AND ERIC GRAVELINE BOUGHT A PENTHOUSE IN THE RÉSIDENCE ROCCABELLA, NEWLY BUILT IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN.
It took a lot of searching, but the Gravelines finally found the perfect home. “When it came to the location and the panorama, nothing came close. Everything is within minutes, and we have unobstructed views of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, Mount Royal, Westmount and Lac St-Louis. It’s such a dynamic backdrop, changing with every hour and every season. Plus, the building has so many useful features and services, including indoor parking, meeting rooms and a pool,” says the owner. The building had been completed a few months before they purchased, but the 40th floor apartment was still just bare concrete. Mr. Graveline hired designer Marc Bherer and contractor Patrick Saint-Onge for the project. “We needed three bedrooms and an office, because I work at home,” he continues. There was ample space (3,156 sq. ft.) but the configuration made things complicated. “The condo runs lengthwise, with windows on three sides. The designer did a wonderful job, creating a wall with a fireplace to separate the living room from the office and other private spaces.” Light was a key factor for the couple. “They were coming from California, and wanted a pale palette, hence the sand-tone oak floor,” says designer Marc Bherer.
“It was a challenge to divide the long, narrow space without making it feel like just a series of rooms. The oak panels on the walls provide rhythm and grace, while breaking up the length,” explains Bherer. And the wood adds the warmth the family sought to create. “They wanted a contemporary decor that was also very comfortable. The huge sectional sofa was one of the first pieces we chose. It suits the proportions of the room, and the modular design is flexible, with easy-to-move ottomans. Plus, the different colours and textures keep things visually interesting,” notes Bherer. The furniture, in shades of brown, cognac and ebony, creates a soft, elegant atmosphere, punctuated by a spectacular crystal chandelier that sparkles over the dining room table. The kitchen is connected to the dining area; by opening it up, Bherer was able to make the island larger.
“ CURTAINS ON TRACKS, HIDDEN BEHIND THE DOORS, CAN BE OPENED TO SURROUND THE SOFA, SEPARATING IT COMPLETELY FROM THE OFFICE AND TURNING THE SPACE INTO A GUEST ROOM, WITH THE STORAGE UNITS SERVING AS A DIVIDER. ”
Like the kitchen, the master bath is done in white glass and marbled porcelain. “We used large panels of polished glass to keep joints to a minimum. The material also adds depth to the room.” The free-standing bath is a focal point, and balances the space, with its off-centre window. A moon-like fixture hangs in front of the fabric panel that diffuses the sunlight. Throughout the condo, including the bathroom, blinds, lights, music, temperature and electronics are all controlled by the latest in home automation systems.
A modern vanity table marks the entrance to the master bedroom, with its stunning view of the city. The large headboard extends behind the night tables, and the use of hanging fixtures instead of table lamps frees up surface space. Attention to detail is absolutely everywhere. The baseboard heaters have built-in customized electrical outlets, and the retractable television is hidden in the ceiling in front of the windows, flipping down on demand. The room opens onto the terrace, which, like the interior, is furnished with timeless, comfortable pieces.