A 1960s Canadian Ski House Is Rebuilt Into a Gorgeous Abode

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By Michele Koh Morollo
In the mountain town of Saint-Sauveur in Quebec, an outdated ski house gets modernized into a simple and elegant family home.

When the owner of this 3,500-square-foot residence reached out to Jane Hope for ideas on how to update the home's tired-looking facade, it didn't take her but one look at the property before she had the solution.

The designer and co-founder of acclaimed creative agency TAXI knew it was best that they strip the house down to the frame and rebuild it.

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A look at the outdated facade. The original floor plan featured low ceilings and small rooms. 

A look at the outdated facade. The original floor plan featured low ceilings and small rooms. 

"Naturally, they balked," adds Hope. "But once we had gone through their wish list for a new exterior, new windows, new floors, the issues with heat, issues with water infiltration, problems lodging groups, etc., it made good economic sense to strip the house down to the frame." 

A look at the contemporary facade post renovation. The new standing steel roof and siding of one of the wings references the cathedral spire in the village below.

A look at the contemporary facade post renovation. The new standing steel roof and siding of one of the wings references the cathedral spire in the village below.

By redesigning the entire layout, Hope was able to create a more open concept, featuring a bright and airy atmosphere.

By redesigning the entire layout, Hope was able to create a more open concept, featuring a bright and airy atmosphere.

"There was no unity of scale of flow," she explains of the old floor plan. Therefore, she revised the layout, and reassigned open and closed spaces.

"A rehaul of this scale allowed me to indulge in my obsession with harmony and balance of scale, texture, weight, and flow," Hope explains.

"A rehaul of this scale allowed me to indulge in my obsession with harmony and balance of scale, texture, weight, and flow," Hope explains.

Through the renovation, the owners wanted to take better advantage of the house’s elevated site, which presents gorgeous views. 

Through the renovation, the owners wanted to take better advantage of the house’s elevated site, which presents gorgeous views. 

"I collaborated closely on details with contractor Dominic Toutant to assure every corner was considered," Hope notes. "The result is a sense of solidity and peacefulness that is hard to pin down, but that comes from careful consideration of the house as an ensemble." 

Hope stripped the house, but retained the foundations and frame. This allowed her to open the property up to the view of the valley by using fully-glazed doors.

Hope stripped the house, but retained the foundations and frame. This allowed her to open the property up to the view of the valley by using fully-glazed doors.

"The family are very close-knit with a lot of nostalgia for a cottage that their grandparents once owned. Things like cedar shakes, painted pine paneling, handmade bed quilts, and ceramic tiles reminiscent of quilt patterns bring those memories back. The clients' children are now young parents with contemporary taste and needs, so the design had to feel youthful," says Hope.

"The family are very close-knit with a lot of nostalgia for a cottage that their grandparents once owned. Things like cedar shakes, painted pine paneling, handmade bed quilts, and ceramic tiles reminiscent of quilt patterns bring those memories back. The clients' children are now young parents with contemporary taste and needs, so the design had to feel youthful," says Hope.

Hope restyled the interiors to give the property an honest, contemporary feel. 

Hope restyled the interiors to give the property an honest, contemporary feel. 

 To create more unified interior spaces, Hope designed a lofty, open-concept foyer, living room, and dining area that looks out to the valley.  

 To create more unified interior spaces, Hope designed a lofty, open-concept foyer, living room, and dining area that looks out to the valley.  

Four commodious bedrooms were located on the tree-facing side of the house. "This arrangement also saw that the front door be relocated to create a dramatic reveal through the glass staircase to the valley," notes Hope.  

Four commodious bedrooms were located on the tree-facing side of the house. "This arrangement also saw that the front door be relocated to create a dramatic reveal through the glass staircase to the valley," notes Hope.  

The total cost of the project from demolition to the purchasing of brand new bedsheets was $567,996.

The total cost of the project from demolition to the purchasing of brand new bedsheets was $567,996.

Project Credits:

Designer: Jane Hope

Builder: Dominic Toutant

Landscape design: Au Coin Du Jardin

Cabinetry: Cuisines Denis Couture