Down to its custom storage, this 850-square-foot loft in the heart of Montréal is tailored perfectly to the lifestyle needs of an aging couple.
“Most of our friends said we were going to drive each other crazy,” one of the homeowners recounts. “We also lived in Holland for two months, and that apartment was tiny, but we enjoyed the fact that life was simpler. We said ‘We can do this if we’re smart about it.’” The homeowners turned to Gepetto, a French Canadian firm based in Quebec, for a neat, low-maintenance and innovative design for their newly acquired 850-square-foot flat. The apartment, essentially one large room plus a bathroom and alcoves, was transformed into a carefully crafted minimalist residence in just six months. From shoji screens to extensive and understated custom cabinetry, this apartment lives up to its homeowners’ design belief that “Less is best.”
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A floor-to-ceiling wall unit accommodates a fridge, stove, oven, and convertible custom cabinetry. The pendant light is from the Multi Luminaire showroom in Pointe Claire, Quebec; the appliances are from Bosch and Miele.
The entire flat features in-floor heating underneath pre-oiled engineered oak planks manufactured locally by Bois Ditton. Like most of the apartment's built-ins, the heat source was designed to be unobtrusive but effective.
It was crucial to the homeowners that everything be tastefully concealed in the kitchen. Additionally, the wife explains, “I wanted a solid look, with no handles.” All the custom cabinetry was designed with soft-close doors and a 24-inch depth.
While the homeowners were inspired by shōji screens, the challenge was how to secure them. Gepetto’s solution was a sliding three-panel screen anchored at one end of the wall unit.
“What could I have that would feel luxurious, would make me feel really great?” muses one of the homeowners. “My husband and I travel a lot in Europe, and we always loved the marble showers. So we put a marble shower up against the window.” The sink and countertop are from Batimat, while the wall-hung vanity is another custom piece by Gepetto.
Gepetto built a Murphy bed that folds into a larger walnut storage unit. The wall, which also conceals a washer and dryer, does double duty as a partition between the bedroom and the loft’s entrance.
The architects had to master the art of hiding storage throughout the apartment, including with this custom walnut organizer. As the homeowners near retirement age, the architects explain that the flat is a “highly functional and sophisticated space that will serve them well as they begin another phase in their life together.”