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February 23, 2015
A clever design team recasts a cramped home as an open, contemporary residence.
A modern renovation near Montreal

The architecture firm Open Form and the interior design firm Clairoux collaborated on this modern update of a 1950s-era house in Laval, Quebec, north of Montreal.

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A modern renovation near Montreal

A clear railing follows the stairs to the second floor.

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A modern renovation near Montreal

The renovated house is outfitted with a sauna.

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modern reno

The renovated dining room.

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A modern renovation near Montreal

A new staircase turns a corner at the large stone chimney, an element of the original house that the designers were careful to preserve. 

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A modern renovation near Montreal

The architects and interior designers did away with the home's cramped, darkened layout and recast the interior as an open space defined by clean lines.

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A modern renovation near Montreal

The kitchen features a distinctive cantilevered countertop.

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A modern renovation near Montreal

The architecture firm Open Form and the interior design firm Clairoux collaborated on this modern update of a 1950s-era house in Laval, Quebec, north of Montreal.

The interior design firm Clairoux and the architecture firm Open Form collaborated on this update of a 2,850-square-foot family home in Laval, Quebec, north of Montreal, that was originally built in the 1950s. The challenge that Julie Lafontaine and Frédric Clairoux of Clairoux set for themselves as to preserve a space that they say is “steeped in memories” for its longtime owners while giving it a modern update.

They did this by transforming a formerly cramped, inward-looking space, giving it a much more open and inviting layout. They retained one major feature of the original space: a natural stone chimney in the large central fireplace. 

“Above all,” Lafontaine and Clairoux said in a statement, “we wanted to avoid sterile black-and-white juxtapositions, which have been overused in recent years. Our goal was to create an elegant contemporary space by breathing new life into an architectural legacy from the previous century. To pull this off, we relied on subtlety and a clean-canvas approach that focused on lines, volumes and materials.

Our colleague, interior decorator Patrick Robichaud, delivered distinctive design totally in compliance with the project’s requirements. Furnishings and accessories were selected with the owner – a joint effort that resulted in the sober and elegant finish we were aiming for. A home has life and character, it is something that is always evolving, and so some design touches will continue to be added over time.

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