Best of Both Centuries: Maison Merveilleuse

A 19th century townhouse located in the Pointe-Saint-Charles area, is the product of a complete home renovation by Montreal-based interior design agency, Imagine.

Conceptualized by the owner, Mélodie Violet, interior designer and founder of Imagine, Maison Merveilleuse’s transformation began with a new structural strategy and the strengthening of the original foundations of the 1875 townhouse.

Photo credit: Annie Fafard

The design firm added new rooms and created 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,” says 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 entrance features Italian floor tiles and 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.

The rear of the home has been completely redesigned and includes large open living spaces with a spatial layout of a modern interior. Upon entering the home from the entrance hall, a visual corridor extends to the rear dining room area, centered around a ceiling light with rounded graphic shapes that is positioned like a floating work of art.

Photo credit: Annie Fafard

“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,” says 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.

“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.

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.

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.

“The staircase had to be safe, but we wanted something transparent, light and airy,” says 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.”

Photo credit: Annie Fafard

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. 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.

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.

“Our goal was to create a warm, elegant, welcoming, and entertaining home, where spaces connect through the use of noble and authentic finishes,” says 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.”

Technical Sheet
Location : Montreal, Qc Canada
Designer : Imagine, agence design by Mélodie Violet
Structural engineer : Geni-Fusion, Guillaume Drapeau
Cabinet maker : Ebenisterie Charlebois
Suppliers : Ciot, Ceragres, Ramacieri Soligo, Atelier Gris
Lighting : Artemide, Homier Lighting
Photo credit : Annie Fafard & Guillaume Gorini
Completion : August 2020