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A CABIN REBORN

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THE SETTING…

was spectacular: a rocky promontory at the edge of a sparkling lake, surrounded by tall pines. The house, however, a humble cabin of log and stone that had been in the same family for 40 years, did not match the magnificence of its surroundings. Recently, its owners hired Montreal-based Paul Bernier Architecte, a boutique firm with a stellar reputation, to transform the rustic original structure into an open, fluid and bright contemporary space that takes full advantage of its lakeside locale.

 

 

 

THEIR MAIN…

design challenge: carrying out a luxurious expansion without losing the warm, vernacular feel of the beloved original cabin. To maximize water views, Bernier and his team, including architects Claudia Campeau and Luc-Olivier Daigle, decided to build up instead of out, adding a second floor. They preserved the cabin’s cathedral ceiling, though a floor was added above, by replacing the old, frail roof structure with a sturdier frame of Douglas fir that replicates the cabin’s sloped roofline. For continuity, they echoed the cabin’s all-wood construction in new pale wood floors, a beamed ceiling and a minimalist staircase with open wood treads. The massive stone fireplace was retained and restored, still central to the space but now visible from all sides.

 

 

 

 

HIGH-END…

fixtures like the Lacanche range and gold-toned faucet from Perrin & Rowe, along with Magari wall sconces, modeled on mid-20th century European lighting, up the style quotient in the kitchen, which is distinguished by counters and a backsplash of highly figured white marble.

 

 

 

WITH ITS…

vast walls of windows, the new structure significantly enhances the homeowners’ visual and emotional connection to the lake. Daylight abounds, filtering down from large-scale skylights to the lower level through a walkway floor of translucent glass. White painted surfaces throughout the house reflect light to the max.

 

 

 

 

 

STYLISH…

contemporary furnishings, sparely deployed, stick mostly to a serene palette of white. Distinctive shapes, such as those of the plump Pacha lounge chairs, a classic 1975 design by French architect Pierre Paulin, and the X-legged stools with channeled leather upholstery by Thomas Hayes Studioat the kitchen island, keep things interesting.

 

 

DOWSTAIRS…

the heart of the old log cabin remains, newly suffused with natural light.  A new screened porch, the only addition at ground level, leads out to a curved dock. It offers another vantage point on the lake, fully integrated, like the house itself, into surrounding nature.

 

 

Architecture/Design: Paul Bernier Architecte

 Photography: Raphaël Thibodeau

 

 

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