New Home, Old Soul

  • Yanic's go to neutral: Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23.
  • In this space, Yanic repurposed the metal art mirror above the sofa where it becomes a focal point. Benches create bridges between different zones within an open concept space. The black leather tufted bench is part of the conversation grouping and an extra seat near the fireplace.
  • Dabble Savvy: Turn a singular window seat into a destination with furniture and lighting. The walnut stools anchor the seating arrangement and the glass globe chandelier and plug-in sconces provide a flattering layer of light.

Words by Yanic Simard | Photography by Brandon Barré

Often, when homeowners move into a new space, whether freshly built or staged to sell, they’ll find the house simply doesn’t feel like a home.

Designer Yanic Simard shares his rules for claiming a new space and creating an interior that feels familiar and comfortable.

Treasured Heritage

Rather than replacing original details like mouldings and doors to achieve a more “perfect” look, allow these elements to become features using contrasting paint colours and finishes.

Dabble Savvy: In this Victorian house the walls, ceiling and trim are painted in one shade only, Benjamin Moore’s OC-23 Classic Gray. A single colour throughout visually obscures uneven lines and imperfections. A matte finish is used on walls and ceiling while the trim gets subtle emphasis with a satin finish. The doors are painted in Benjamin Moore’s 2121-10 Gray—a deeper shade that makes them pop for architectural interest.

In with the Old

To create a sense of personal history, introduce treasured items already owned.

Dabble Savvy: Blend vintage and contemporary pieces to blur time periods and create a custom, timeless impression.

Redraw the Lines

Never settle for a pre-existing layout—experiment with new furniture arrangements and always pull seating away from the walls.

Lighten Up

To add character without clutter include sheer and see-through elements like the draperies and peek-a-boo seating.

Dabble Savvy: Mirrored finishes and reflective metals (like the gold-leaf glass cocktail cubes in the living room) enrich almost any colour scheme without creating visual overload. Avoid a “matchy-matchy” look by casually mixing metals in warm and cool tones.

 

Modern History

  • Sunlight fills the entry, throwing light onto stone walls likely more than 400 years old.
  • A series of glass paneled doors greets the entry and closes to offer privacy (when combined with blackout shades) in the master bedroom.
  • The building’s shell is composed of a combination of pottery and beach sand. The bisque and terracotta colours create natural warmth in the coved dining room.
  • The architects created distinct viewpoints in each of the rooms, often providing a glimpse into adjacent spaces. The organic shaped coffee tables and rustic woven rug support a mandate to use natural, raw materials.
  • The Mediterranean Sea is reflected in a mirror that brings light into the spare living space. The cable strung staircase rises gracefully to the master bedroom above.
  • The galley kitchen efficiently carves utilitarian space into the home and provides those in residence with an expansive view of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Sleeping quarters are stacked above the living room, where they enjoy full ocean views.

Set above the harbor, facing the majestic Mediterranean Sea in Old Jaffa, is an ancient structure given new life by the thoughtful architects hired to restore its integrity.

Though it’s difficult to determine the structure’s exact age, it is clear that it is hundreds of years old. Over time, changes and additions had damaged the original integrity of the dwelling. The central ideal, therefore, was to restore the original characteristics—the stone walls, the segmented ceilings and the arches—to peel back and expose the original state.

The language of minimalism embedded in a historic residence in Old Jaffa.

“Surprisingly modern, minimalistic construction styles (especially ancient ones) allow us to create new spaces that blend periods together—even intensify them because of the contrast and tension between the ages.” ~ Pitsou

The historical is expressed by preserving the textures and materials of the building’s outer shell and by respecting the engineering accordingly.

The modern is expressed by opening spaces and altering the internal flow, and by incorporating natural materials such as stainless steel banding, iron and wood.

Pistou’s project succeeds in both honoring and preserving the historical and romantic values of the structure while creating a contemporary project suited to today’s lifestyle.

Designed by Pitsou Kedem, Raz Melamed & Irene Goldberg

Photography by Amit Geron

Nuit Blanche Toronto: A Free Art Event

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Experience the city transformed by artists for Toronto’s seventh annual sunset-to-sunrise celebration of contemporary art.

Discover more than 150 contemporary art projects within three zones. Some works encourage an intimate encounter with art, while others will wow you with large-scale spectacle.

One night only. All night long.

September 29th, 2012
7:00 pm – Sunrise

For more information, visit: Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

Quebec City’s Top 5 Design Spots

One of Québec City’s best features is its walkability. “That is,” says Victoria Drainville, “if you have the right boots for the job.” Little else is required to enjoy this truly great Canadian design destination.

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1. Start the day with a stroll in the Quartier Petit-Champlain. Lined with charming stores and quaint restaurants, the area has a European feel thanks to some of the most beautiful stone buildings in the country. If you love to cook, don’t miss a visit to Pot en Ciel. Many of the shop’s kitchen items are imported from France.

2. In the Old City, make your way to Un Fauteuil Pour Deux. Furnishings from all over the world reflect owner Nancy Ricard’s passion for travel. Victoria’s fallen for some pillow shams (left).

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3. If you agree with the idea that a room is never complete without at least one antique, then you’ll love Québec City. The Antique District on la rue St-Paul is Victoria’s go-to spot and a must visit shop is La Nouvelle-France Antiquités for Québec folk art. Owner Yves Duval is happy to share the history of any of his pieces.

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4. Mà Mobilier Actuel, located in the new and upcoming Saint-Roch District, sells contemporary furniture that reflects the look and style of the Orient. Their exclusive collection is predominantly made of tropical woods that originate from controlled forests.

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5. After a satisfying day of shopping in the Old City and Saint-Roch District, it may be time to splurge on a cab ride back to the upper city. If you still have energy, make your way to Zone Maison and enjoy trendy home décor at reasonable prices. With fabulous gadgets and accessories for humans and our four-legged friends, you’re bound to find an inspired holiday gift.

Black and White Inspiration

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Showcasing 35 fabulous black and white contemporary interiors, Freshome pays tribute to this unique combination. For those of you considering designing your space in black and white, here’s your inspiration. We selected 4 of our favourites from their list.

From lacquered furniture to original-shaped decorating elements, these decors are sure to surprise and trigger the creativity of the viewer. Enjoy the refinement and elegance exuded by the black and white interiors below.

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ABOVE: Add touch of bold to a simple palette.

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ABOVE: A strict black and white bedroom.

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ABOVE: A minimalist space.

For more inspiring black and white design, visit freshome.com.

Retro Revitalized

  • Andy Warhol’s “Diamond Dust Shoes” takes pride of place above the slab marble fireplace.
  • Thanks to the broad, sweeping lines contemporary designers crave, this1970s home is a worthy candidate for stylish revitalization.
  • The horizontal mirror reflects the opposite side of the family room and the large hanging orbs used for ambient lighting. Aluminum floating beams with adjustable AR lamps act as spotlights for artwork.
  • “The key to working with an all-white scheme,” says Eric, “is to vary textures and finishes.” Here, sleek white lacquer cabinets are paired with a textured tumbled marble back splash made up of small mosaics. White leather barstools add another layer of interest and provide secondary seating within the generous kitchen.
  • The chrome banding on upper cabinets mimics the horizontal thrust of the island’s bar, made of honed Lagos Blue limestone.
  • A Brueton ‘Ginger’ dining table is surrounded by four white leather chairs and positioned within the sunny kitchen alcove.
  • Relocating a well-loved piece of art sparks new appreciation. Case in point, the playful chrome sculpture moved from home office to kitchen.

Large Scale Intimacy

Interior designer Eric McClelland of Fleur-de-Lis Design Inc. was eager to maintain the retro-modern edge of this urban Toronto home. With his client’s wishes for minimal colour firmly established, he set out to improve the functionality of the main rooms while respecting the home’s inherent architecture.

Ask anyone in a small condo if they’d like more space and the answer is likely a resounding ‘yes’. But extra large rooms have their own challenges.

“By dividing the long family room into two distinct seating areas,” says Eric, “we were able to create a more intimate scale for family gatherings and conversation.”

An extreme change of ceiling height (from 9 to 18 feet) provided another challenge, easily solved by strategically positioning nine hanging mirrored orbs to create a visual balance between the adjacent areas.

Using a simple palette of smoky taupe on the large upholstered pieces provides warmth and comfort without distracting from the room’s best commodity, an impressive art collection. Bright fuchsia toss cushions are a single nod to the client’s favourite colour.

Light Matters

To create more usable space, appliances were relocated within the renovated kitchen and desk space was allocated to an underutilized adjoining hallway. The Lagos Blue limestone anchors the setting by providing a warm contrast to the all-white kitchen.

“Previously, the lighting was comprised of giant pot lights, making a Swiss cheese effect on the ceiling.” says Eric. “To modernize the lighting plan, we introduced multiple MR 16 store fixtures and recessed pot lights into simple architectural coves.”

Dabble Savvy

  • Group AR bulbs in a series of three or four to create a single architectural fixture, avoiding a sea of pot lights.
  • Drop a ceiling when necessary to add cove lighting, which tucks up into ceilings.
  • Light sources with rotating heads offer flexibility, allowing you to put the focus on artwork or noteworthy collections.