Touring the Du Tour Residence

Using clean, contemporary colours to create a soft and comfortable space, Québécois design agency Clairoux proves it’s possible to reimagine an old family home without sacrificing its memory-steeped past

Balance is one of the most talked-about elements in the world of interior design. This was even more so the case in the remodelling of this 1950s bungalow in Laval, Que., where the challenge faced by design firm Clairoux was to balance the home’s family-filled history with contemporary design.

The bungalow had belonged to the same family for decades, and what these residents desired was a reimagining of their longtime home without sacrificing the uniqueness of its structure, and without wiping out the memories that had taken place there. Clairoux, a new design firm headed by industry veterans Julie Lafontaine and Frédric Clairoux, was more than up for the task.

“Naturally, the house is steeped in memories and, in a sense, is a showcase of family history,” says Frédric Clairoux. “This is a quality we were asked to preserve.”

Working closely with the architects at Open Form, Lafontaine and Clairoux first took on the home’s prairie-style exterior, which they restored by recreating horizontal lines and focusing on bringing out the beauty of the wood. Moving from outside to inside, the designers “exploded” the inside — which had formerly been a “cramped and inward-looking space,” according to Clairoux — to create a sense of space and possibility.

Dubbed the “Du Tour Residence,” Clairoux passed its balancing act with flying colours — or lack thereof. Cream white douses every room in the house, which at 2,850 square feet feels spacious and bright. The simplistic yet elegant colour scheme allowed the designers to add to the home’s rich history, rather than erase it.

“Our goal was to create an elegant contemporary space by breathing new life into an architectural legacy from the previous century,” says Clairoux. “To pull this off, we relied on subtlety and a clean-canvas approach that focused on lines, volumes and materials.”

In a joint effort with the homeowners, Clairoux interior decorator Patrick Robichaud furnished the bungalow, allowing the space to create a quiet yet powerful statement.

Steeped in serenity, the family home now reflects its past while looking onward in revitalized style. Clairoux, which prides itself on being a non-compromising agency when it comes to putting its clients’ visions to form, is as thrilled as the homeowners with the Du Tour Residence.

“Our customers grant us creative freedom and place their trust in us — and these are the things that spark our gratitude, drive our inspiration and enable us to deliver our best work,” says Clairoux. “We are truly grateful for the opportunity to work on this project. It was a challenge, but we pulled it off.”

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Amanda Storey

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