At the dawn of retirement, a couple chose to root for an old-fashioned trilogy, across from Montreal’s La Fontaine Park. To compensate for the lack of a garden, La Shed Architects transformed the garage into an inner courtyard, whose walls, painted emerald green, brighten the space.
After raising their two children in a large home in Rivière-des-Prairies, on the eastern tip of the Island of Montreal, Jo’Anne Lavergne and Guy Chartrand decided to listen to each other and enjoy their retirement. “We wanted to simplify our lives and take advantage of the cultural offerings of the city: to be able to go to museums, to the cinema or to attend a show on foot,” explains Jo’Anne.
While searching for the plateau in 2013, they visited a trio of gray stone with beautiful woodwork facing La Fontaine Park. The house built at the end of the nineteenth centurye A century of a fur trader, it still bears traces of its rich past: stained glass windows, rosettes, carved shelves… But it is light above all, plus an ideal setting, that convinces Jo’Anne to purchase this 1,150 square meter space. .ft flat2 On the corner of two streets. With 60 feet2 windows, you had the impression that you were outside,” she explains.
fingerprint of the past
Returning from a trip to Scandinavia in 2018, where Jo’Anne loves the simple and authentic lifestyle, she decides to call La Shed to rethink the hallway kitchen at the back of the apartment, which is impractical on a daily basis. “I wanted a kitchen that didn’t look like a kitchen, something I was less likely to get bored with over time,” says the owner.
The architects suspect this interference in a random interior of renovations without overview, and convince the couple to review its organization for the comfort and value of his property. “Instead of doing a clean sweep of the past, we decided to keep what was in good condition and restore the apartment to its nobility by recreating it a bit as it should have been back then, while making it more suited to today’s needs,” says Sébastien Parent, co-founder of La Shed. .
The architects decided to open up the space to allow for more fluid circulation. One of the three bedrooms is sacrificed in the process in favor of a beautiful dining room. The kitchen at the back of the apartment has been moved to the middle of the décor thanks to the black units designated as freestanding furniture. The rose’s location on the ceiling facing the mantel inspires architects to locate a new one. A square plunger is recreated, and the arches define what was once a living room. Thanks to the expertise of the craftsmen, the molds were restored or reproduced in a less refined space in the back, undoubtedly reserved for the staff of the house, and the ceramic mantel was renovated.
Sébastien Parent explains: “All of the original elements (the rosettes, woodwork, doors, etc.) were painted white to accentuate their texture, pattern or relief thanks to shadow and light effects.” Furniture and accessories with simple lines and warm materials, some of which were brought from Scandinavia, provide a happy contrast to the décor.
The couple, who rarely use the garage, can be persuaded to convert it into an inner courtyard and restore 250 feet.2 Livable all year round thanks to careful insulation, new windows, a heated concrete slab and a large ribbed glass opening in the adjacent living room.
Wooden slats painted emerald green, a nod to the nearby park, dress up the new space. This touch of color (which adopts warm or bluish shades depending on the light) visible from almost every corner of the apartment gives it character. The step allows you to store the car, if necessary.
“In winter, with all the plants, you get the impression of being in a flower shop,” notes Sébastien Parent. Jo’Anne enjoys working there and above all entertaining her family and friends. “We have a picnic or a drink there. When the doors open, we have the impression that we are outside, and this enhances communication with neighbors and passers-by who are sometimes surprised to see us.”