Sophisticated Family-Friendly Apartment

A pre-Depression-era apartment with a dark, outdated interior was remodeled for a modern-day family. Designers Jay Britto and David Charette used a crisp neutral palette, better lighting, custom furniture and colorful modern art to breathe new life into the home.

Modern Design in Intimate Living Room

Modern Design in Intimate Living Room

The neutral color palette in this space gives this living room a bright, inviting feel, while darker tones on the sofas and the curtains help to make the space feel intimate, and with the absence of a television, this space is the perfect place for the family to gather for some face time.

Photo by: David Giral

David Giral

Why did this home appeal to your client?

Our client wanted to be closer to his family, and this home is just across the street from his brother’s house, so it was the perfect location for him. The building had always caught his eye because of its pre-Depression-era history and because it’s just off the main avenue of downtown.

What did your client want for his home?

The owner’s priority was a home that would meet the needs of his three children. He also wanted it to reflect his modern tastes and love of travel. Heated walls and floors to help ward off the frigid winter temperatures were also a must for our client.

How did you improve functionality for your client?

Modern Master Bathroom with Plenty of Light and a Large Soaking Tub

Modern Master Bathroom with Plenty of Light and a Large Soaking Tub

This master bathroom used to be dark and claustrophobic, so with the renovation, designers added plenty of light to the space with canned lighting and a modern light fixture. The modern tub gives the homeowner plenty of space to soak after a long day, while the double vanity gives the space plenty of storage.

Photo by: David Giral

David Giral

Before we began working on this project, the home felt really dark and cramped with low ceilings. We wanted to brighten it up and make it more modern, so we painted the walls and ceilings white and then added a neutral color palette and chrome finishes. You’ll see that those carry through the whole house. Our client looks at everything like an investment, so we wanted the home to feel timeless. We wanted it to work well for a long time. We also gutted the bathroom and created a double-envelop design, so that our client could shower in privacy. Because this home is in such a high-traffic area, you can see into the apartment from multiple directions, so we had to think about how to provide privacy in an urban environment.

What was your biggest obstacle during this project?

Because the home was older, we started to find certain structural issues as we progressed, like asbestos. So we had to find ways to respect the architectural details of the home while also gutting the interior and bringing it up to code. We even had to go to the city to get approval to make certain changes to the layout, like removing the home’s other staircase. Our client knew it was a unique, older home and was aware that you can’t anticipate everything, so he understood what we had to do, which helped streamline the process.

What guided the living room design?

The client wanted this space to feel comfortable and classic, so I picked the sofa and fabrics with that in mind. We also ripped out the old fireplace, because it felt too old school for the room, and brought in the piece you see now. Finally, the marble and recessed lighting gave the space a bright, modern look.

Did you preserve any of the original architectural details?

Intimate and Sophisticated Living Room

Intimate and Sophisticated Living Room

From dreary and dated to calm and sophisticated, designers restored the neoclassical plaster work in the living room to reveal a luxurious, yet comfortable space. They removed the old fireplace that was dark and too heavy for the space and replaced it with a monolithic slab of real marble and a fully functioning fireplace that is light and inviting. The room’s lower ceiling lends the space an intimate feel that is enhanced by the absence of a television, putting the emphasis in this space on face-to-face family time.

Photo by: David Giral

David Giral

One way we maintained the integrity of the home was by keeping the original floors. We stained them darker, as you can see in the living room. We also took molds of the home’s original detail, like in the dining room, so that those features could still be enjoyed and appreciated after the remodel.

How did you create a stylish kid-friendly home?

For the kids’ rooms, we really thought about lighting, storage and warmth, because Montreal is very cold. We installed warming floors in each room and focused on making the palettes more youthful, while still neutral. The girl’s room has shades of red and pink, while the boy’s bedding has pops of blue. We also added curtains over their windows, to give the illusion of more space.

What did your client want for the dining room and breakfast nook?

Custom Banquette Gives Modern Kitchen an Eat-In Component

Custom Banquette Gives Modern Kitchen an Eat-In Component

The owner wanted a place where his family could enjoy meals together, so designers added a custom banquette to give the kitchen an eat-in space, while the fun upholstery makes the space lively and casual. Although the main function of the banquette is to provide seating for the family, it serves the dual purpose of hiding the radiator in the home and was built to be easily taken apart and moved in case repairs need to be made.

Photo by: David Giral

David Giral

He wanted a traditional dining space where he and the kids could come together and sit down as a family. So the dining room has plenty of chairs for everyone, with the artwork bringing in the color and breaking up the monochromatic palette. And then for the breakfast nook we added that custom round banquette for the kids, so the space doesn’t have to feel too precious.

What “hidden gems” are in your design?

In the kitchen, you’ll see that we took the panels up and over the ceiling, which makes the space feel more intimate. Overall, we really enjoyed working with the stonemasons in Canada, because they have such a level of craftsmanship and took as much pride in the project as we did.

What did your client think of the finished design?

Our client’s intuitive and knew exactly what he wanted, and I think we delivered on that. We created a sense of home for him and his kids, and I think he was really pleased with that.

Hallway in Pre-Depression Era Apartment Before Renovation

Designers transformed this traditional look to something more contemporary to reflect the style of the homeowners.

Photo By: David Giral

Ambient Light and Modern Art Collection Update Pre-Depression Era Hallway

Before renovating this pre-Depression era apartment, the spaces in the home were very dark and traditional. To remedy this, designers added ambient light to brighten up the space. In this hallway, they restored the neoclassical plasterwork to highlight the architectural elegance of the space and added modern art to match the homeowner's personal style. These efforts highlight the history of the building, perfectly blending it with the modern style of the homeowner.

Living Room Before the Renovation

Before the renovation, this living room was very traditional. The space was dark, lit only by sconces and the odd lamp, and it felt very cluttered. Designers have simplified the space and modernized it so that it now feels open and light.

Photo By: David Giral

Intimate and Sophisticated Living Room

From dreary and dated to calm and sophisticated, designers restored the neoclassical plaster work in the living room to reveal a luxurious, yet comfortable space. They removed the old fireplace that was dark and too heavy for the space and replaced it with a monolithic slab of real marble and a fully functioning fireplace that is light and inviting. The room’s lower ceiling lends the space an intimate feel that is enhanced by the absence of a television, putting the emphasis in this space on face-to-face family time.

Modern Design in Intimate Living Room

The neutral color palette in this space gives this living room a bright, inviting feel, while darker tones on the sofas and the curtains help to make the space feel intimate, and with the absence of a television, this space is the perfect place for the family to gather for some face time.

Dining Room in Pre-Depression Era Apartment Before the Renovation

The dining room in this space before the renovation was traditional and cluttered, so designers created a dining space with a more streamlined, elegant design.

Photo By: David Giral

Renovated Modern Dining Room in Acadia

Once a very traditional and dated dining room, this space is now a modern masterpiece. To lighten up the dark room, designers added ambient lighting, and to modernize the space, they brought in an elegant dining table and chairs that were upholstered in luxurious Missoni fabric. Modern art and an beautiful rug were also added to the space to modernize it.

Eating Area Before the Renovation

This dining space was outdated and closed in, but designers turned it into an open, modern space.

Photo By: David Giral

Custom Banquette Gives Modern Kitchen an Eat-In Component

The owner wanted a place where his family could enjoy meals together, so designers added a custom banquette to give the kitchen an eat-in space, while the fun upholstery makes the space lively and casual. Although the main function of the banquette is to provide seating for the family, it serves the dual purpose of hiding the radiator in the home and was built to be easily taken apart and moved in case repairs need to be made.

Pre-Depression Era Kitchen Before the Renovation

Before the renovation, this kitchen was dark, claustrophobic and outdated; however, designers turned this space into a modern masterpiece.

Photo By: David Giral

Polished and Functional Modern Kitchen in Pre-Depression Era Apartment

Since the homeowner's main focus in the design of his home was spending time with his family, designers created an open plan kitchen with plenty of space to prepare, cook and enjoy meals together. State of the art appliances and tech features have been cleverly hidden behind cabinet doors and in the kitchen island to maintain the design's seamless and polished appearance.

Sleek Kitchen Island Gives Plenty of Work Space to Modern Kitchen

This sleek kitchen island gives the homeowner and his family plenty of space to create and enjoy their food. The size of the island not only gives the family space to enjoy each other and their culinary creations, it also adds plenty of space to conceal the high tech devices the family needs.

Bedroom in Pre-Depression Era Apartment Before the Renovation

The bedroom in this apartment before the renovation was very traditional and very dark, so designers redesigned the space to include luxurious features an an open floor plan.

Photo By: David Giral

Acadia's Master Bedroom Gets a Modern Facelift

This master bedroom was once dark and traditional, but now, it is light and modern. To brighten the space, designers added sheer curtains that allow light into the room instead of blocking it. Heavier curtains were hung on a rod just outside the sheer, though, to block light and add privacy when desired. The modern headboard is the statement piece in the room, with the nightstands built into it, and the footboard doubles as a cabinet to house the television and conceal it when not in use.

Bathroom in Pre-Depressino Era Apartment Before the Renovation

The traditional look of this bathroom before the renovation is a little stuffy, so designers modernized it and made it an oasis. See it at hgtv.com.

Photo By: David Giral

Modern Master Bathroom with Plenty of Light and a Large Soaking Tub

This master bathroom used to be dark and claustrophobic, so with the renovation, designers added plenty of light to the space with canned lighting and a modern light fixture. The modern tub gives the homeowner plenty of space to soak after a long day, while the double vanity gives the space plenty of storage.

Pre-Depression Era Library Before the Renovation

Wall to wall green was not a good look for this pre-depression era library, but designers have revamped the space, restoring it to the intellectual haven it was always intended to be.

Photo By: David Giral

Modern Library with Retractable Screen

This library space was once a sea of wall-to-wall green with gold accents and cluttered bookshelves. Now, the space is elegant and calming. The home's original molding and wainscoting has been restored and highlighted in this sleek, new design, and the bookcases have been cleaned up and stocked with myriad books. The luscious, overstuffed furniture gives the family a great place to relax and read, but this space has also been equipped with some tech savvy gadgets, such as a projector with a retractable screen, so that the family can watch their favorite soccer matches in style.

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Jay Britto & David Charette

Contact Me
Britto Charette
https://www.brittocharette.com IIDA, ASID, AIA ASSOCIATE 310 North West 26th Street Miami, FL 33127 305-640-5005