After 15 years in the business – including 9 turning FX Studio Design into a success – Julie Lafontaine and Frédric Clairoux have taken the leap and launched their own brand. In a word, Clairoux. With experience comes maturity, and lots more – a more refined design signature, a more confident contemporary style, and a more rigorous approach to technique and execution. Clairoux is all about optimizing interior space and achieving projects with zero compromise. Thanks to their tried-and-tested working methods and well-connected network of contacts, the duo can create picture-perfect styling and deliver high-touch interior design every time.
Du Tour Residence
Reimagining a 1950s bungalow
Our challenge was to transform a family home built in the Fifties into a contemporary residence. The same family has owned the property for decades. Naturally, the house is steeped in memories and, in a sense, is a showcase of family history – this is a quality we were asked to preserve. From the outside, we had an interesting prairie-style “canvas” to work with; and inside, we allowed the house’s unique features to guide our design decisions. Working closely with architects at Open Form, we created a serene and elegant space in harmony with its natural surroundings.
Volume and perspective
First, we went to work on the outside. We restored the house’s prairie style by recreating horizontal lines and bringing out the beauty of the natural wood. Next, we “exploded” the inside (formerly, a cramped and inward-looking place) to create a sense of space and possibility. Southern exposure suggested a floor-to-ceiling window – in this case covering both floors for optimal natural light. The splendid natural surroundings cried out for an opening in the southeast corner, in the heart of the living space, providing a stunning view of the stream nearby.
Inside, we opted for a clean contemporary look featuring horizontal lines and streamlined volumes. We wanted light; we wanted flow. The only bulky feature we kept was the natural stone chimney in the large central fireplace.
Elegance and sobriety
Above all, we wanted to avoid sterile black-and-white juxtapositions, which have been overused in recent years. Our goal was to create an elegant contemporary space by breathing new life into an architectural legacy from the previous century. To pull this off, we relied on subtlety and a clean-canvas approach that focused on lines, volumes and materials. For a perfect example of the power of combining horizontal lines and up-to-the-minute design, take a look at the kitchen.
Our colleague, interior decorator Patrick Robichaud, delivered distinctive design totally in compliance with the project’s requirements. Furnishings and accessories were selected with the owner – a joint effort that resulted in the sober and elegant finish we were aiming for. A home has life and character, it is something that is always evolving, and so some design touches will continue to be added over time.
There’s more to high-end projects than budget considerations. 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. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to work on this project. It was a challenge, but we pulled it off.
Area: 2850 sq. ft.
designers: Frédric Clairoux & Julie Lafontaine
photograph: JB Valiquette