Recognized for its expertise and creativity in high-quality interior design for major corporate and residential projects, Montreal agency, Imagine, is pleased to unveil Maison Merveilleuse, a completely renovated 1500 sq. ft. townhouse in the Pointe-Saint-Charles sector. Conceptualized by the owner, Mélodie Violet, interior designer and founder of Imagine, the project consists of a complete renovation of this 19th century townhouse, with a new layout and a modern and elegant design signature.
The project began with a new structural strategy and the strengthening of the original foundations of the townhouse, built in 1875. Imagine then turned its attention towards a completely new layout, adding new rooms and creating an open floorplan on the main level that results in a series of modern living spaces to frame the overall interior design vision. The concept also includes a separation between the private spaces of the house and the professional spaces of the Imagine office, located at the front of the home.
“It was important to establish distinct boundaries between the office, which must be able to accommodate clients, and the private, more intimate spaces of the home,” explains Mélodie Violet, founder of the firm and owner of the townhouse. “We were able to accomplish that division while maintaining a single main entrance for the house”.
The spacious and functional entrance, which includes a large, black storage area, features elegant Italian floor tiles and welcoming green walls, with the latter establishing the first link to other parts of the home through its connection to an abundance of plants and a rear garden area. From the entrance hall, two doors lead respectively to the private spaces of the home and to the offices of Imagine, a bright workplace with white surfaces and contemporary furniture.
An open embrace
On the private side, the rear of the home has been completely redesigned. The living spaces articulate a large open space, bathed in natural light and overlooking the garden of the house. The result is a warm and friendly atmosphere, with a spatial layout of a modern interior that aligns with the current lifestyle of the owners. Upon entering the home from the entrance hall, a visual corridor extends to the rear dining room area, centered around a ceiling light with nicely rounded graphic shapes that is positioned like a floating work of art. To the rear, a large patio door and full-height windows open onto the garden, which is hidden from view.
“The goal was to open up the south-facing rear wall as much as possible in order to allow for an infusion of natural light,” explains Mélodie Violet. “It’s very fortunate to have a garden in the city and, for that reason, I wanted to open the exterior wall as much as possible to enjoy the soothing view from the interior living spaces.”
The selection of materials, the lighting concept, and the choice of furniture and accessories was the result of in-depth research carried out by Imagine. A balance of noble and refined textures, with marble, white oak, and porcelain, is enhanced by discreet and strategically integrated lighting. Minimalist 2-inch recessed lights, in sets of two, illuminate the large openings and highlight the owner's travel photographs. A variety of different ambiances are created according to the intensity and the type of lighting used as a complement to the bright white painted walls that frame the spaces.
“In order to bring the walls to life, I came up with the idea for a molding detail that adds depth and catches the eye, without jeopardizing the modern design of the home,” says Ms. Violet.
Adjacent to the dining room, casual comfort defines the ambiance of the living room and its furnishings. The two spaces sit one step higher than the kitchen level, which is an architectural constraint that Imagine leveraged to mark the separation between the cooking area and the living room area. The island, anthracite on the kitchen side and black on the living room side, serves as a link between the two spaces. A notable front covering with matte black lacquered, half-round moldings, provides a nice contrast to the brass-finished stools. A central element to the home, the kitchen, sleek and modern, is distinguished by its simplicity. The veining of Carrera marble links the anthracite colour of the kitchen with its white walls. Everything has been carefully thought out in order to optimize space and storage, including custom cabinetry, integrated appliances, and recessed handles. On the far side, two doors conceal access to a large, walk-in pantry, where small appliances and food products are stored.
Key steps to a successful project
Like in many older homes, the staircase initially led directly from the entrance area to the second floor. The firm decided to relocate it to the open area adjacent to the home’s original exposed brick chimney. Constructed of folded sheet metal, the staircase is composed of only two blocks suspended by thin steel bars. From the ground level, the ascent begins with two walnut stairs, strategically lit by the placement of three diagonal spotlights embedded in the wall.
“The staircase had to be safe, but we wanted something transparent, light and airy,” notes Ms. Violet. “I opted for a modern design, like a light sculpture that blends perfectly into the home and offers an interesting contrast, while being transparent.”
On the upper level of the house, Imagine proposed a completely new layout. The original spaces of the top floor were devoid of intimacy, including two bedrooms and two bathrooms. As a result of thoughtful planning by Mélodie Violet, the finished project now includes a master suite with a walk-in closet and a bathroom on the garden side, as well as two additional bedrooms and a family bathroom. With elegant simplicity, the master bathroom features large marble tiles that extend from the flooring to define the walk-in shower. It is no coincidence that marble is also featured, in mosaic form, on the floor of the family bathroom. Its matte white wall tiles are animated by light and shadow play, wrapping the free-standing bathtub. The three-dimensional look of the tiles brings the decor to life, while an infusion of colour from blue-grey painted walls soothingly blends with the bathroom’s marble-tiled flooring.
“Our goal was to create a warm, elegant, welcoming, and entertaining home, where spaces connect through the use of noble and authentic finishes,” concludes Ms. Violet. "I think that we have achieved that goal in designing a home with modern lines and a soft and soothing atmosphere conducive to fostering precious moments.”
Designer: Imagine, agence design by Mélodie Violet
Structural engineer: Geni-Fusion, Guillaume Drapeau
1. Cabinet maker: Ebenisterie Charlebois
2. Suppliers: Ciot, Ceragres, Ramacieri Soligo, Atelier Gris
3. Lighting: Artemide, Homier Lighting