For empty-nesters Richard and Ronda, their hope was to create a space in Montreal that would be the opposite of their countryside homes. “Sort of like a large luxurious hotel suite where they can stay when in the city,” interior designer Luke Havekes says. Located in downtown, the flat is steps from the Museum of Fine Arts and some of the city’s finest shops and restaurants. Luke was brought on to help create their oasis in the city, maximizing square footage and bringing a dose of style. The designer tells us more.
First, the overall aesthetic of this home is really unique. In a few words, how do you describe the style?
The architecture of the space and the building was a huge influence on the style. Built in the 1960’s in the brutalist style the interior volumes of the building are far larger than usual apartments from the same period. The apartment consists of two large loggia spaces which are essentially airy indoor balconies with wall-to-wall windows that have spectacular views of Mont Royal. These loggias, reminiscent of a venetian palazzo, span the length of the main room and the primary suite. Consequently, we decided to create with these main elements mind. Our vision for the space was to recreate some kind of timeless modernized space as elegant and well-proportioned as a classic palazzo.
What was the greatest challenge with this project, and how did you overcome it?
The flat had undergone major renovations in the early 1980’s to extremely high design standards. Many original elements in the space were so well done and cool we decided to keep and modify and restore them. As such it was not a total gut job and that meant that modifying any electrical or plumbing was a huge challenge. The walls are concrete on metal mesh. Moving any plugs or electrical was a total nightmare. A major modification for the lighting was carried out, cove lights added in many spaces as well as integrated lighting for art and sculptures. [Editor’s Note: The homeowner, Ronda Diamond, is a talented artist and the home features much of her work.] Adding all of this into an existing envelope was a great challenge.
How long did the project take, and what did the client say when they saw the finished space?
The project started right before the pandemic and consequently took much longer than planned due to lockdowns and delays. Overall, we spent about a year doing the work. The clients were absent through much of the project as they were living at their home in Vermont. Much of the work was a total surprise for them and the finished product was so much to their liking that we actually added several more layers and elements after the fact to really take their space to the next level.
See more in the slideshow.
Carpets by Y & Company
Fabrics and wall coverings by Crescendo Gala
Plumbing and tile from Ciot
Kitchen Counters from Italbec
Kitchen Cabinets by Cuisines Capriglioni
Contractor/ Project Manger:JB Waxman Construction