This gracious century home located in Montreal’s Lachine borough had outgrown its closed-off rooms and once-trendy finishes. Designer Mélanie Cherrier envisioned a much more sophisticated future for the space, with belle epoque checkerboard floors, unpainted wood accents and crystal chandeliers in the kitchen. One year and $800,000 later, she achieved just that for homeowner Karine Borris and her four children. “I opted for a French style, since it’s classical and simple at the same time,” Mélanie explains. “My goal was to preserve the heritage character as much as possible.” Take a virtual tour of the magnificent century home below.
All the exterior windows and fascia were replaced. A harmonious palette marries the slate roof with the metal one over the porch.
When marble proved too cost-prohibitive, designer Mélanie Cherrier chose large-scale ceramic tile to replicate château-worthy flooring in the entrance. Mirrored doors liven up two new built-in closets.
With four children, Karine insisted on a durable leather sofa, but Mélanie was wary of the living room looking too clubby. She added a diamond-patterned rug and floral throw pillow for softness. A coffee table was bought online and topped with the same quartz as the kitchen counters for continuity.
Graceful cabriole legs make this petite black desk pretty enough for the formal living space. A graphic wire chair and vintage-look task lamp further dress up the area.
The two chandeliers hanging above the kitchen island — an indulgence at $1,500 apiece — and bentwood stools give the space a bistro-style romance.
Karine splurged on custom inset cabinetry, with the lowers painted in Benjamin Moore’s Coventry Gray (HC-169), that rang in at $24,600, but the backsplash was a frugality at only $8.99 per square foot. Quartz countertops have marble-like striations but are easier to keep pristine. Using the same trim as the cabinets for the range hood softens the look.
In the dining room, twin built-in breakfront cabinets flanking the bay window are graceful reminders of the home’s heritage. Mélanie had custom headers built above the cabinets to give them more architectural distinction.
A mix of open and closed storage, plus a drying rod tucked under the shelving, is stylish yet functional. Enclosing the washer and dryer in custom cabinetry off the floor creates a polished effect.
In the kids’ bathroom, patterned cement floor tiles and a custom vanity are charming, rustic touches. A gallery wall of inexpensive photography adds personality.
Karine initially wanted an aged-cement application on the wall behind the bed to warm up the principal bedroom, but the estimate was too high and would have meant a four-day delay. Instead, grey paint highlights the wall, blending into the tonal headboard and subtly contrasting with the light-colored chandelier. Perforated blinds are tucked up under the window valances for a clean look.
When a designer-brand tub turned out to be too expensive for the principal bathroom, a floor model and fixtures were a budget-friendly compromise. The porcelain honeycomb floor tile mimics marble but is only $10 per square foot.
The big savings in the principal bathroom came from the star-motif ceramic tiles that line the shower. Mélanie admired the print’s slightly aged look. “They were inexpensive, but they don’t look it. The print is really well-done,” she says. The schoolhouse globe light was a steal at $17. Mélanie designed the Louis XV–style custom vanity to look like an antique French furniture piece.
Author: Wendy Jacob
House & Home June 2017
Mélanie Cherrier, Blanc Marine Living