Photography: Maxime Desbiens | Design: Jean Stéphane Beauchamp | Styling: Nicola Marc
With the help of designer Jean Stéphane Beauchamp, this family celebrates the season in a subtle and cozy way.
Frédérick Lebeau and Julie Arcand loved their little house so much that they decided to replicate the aesthetic when they moved to a bigger home in June 2017 that has room for their growing family. Now, they’re preparing to celebrate Christmas at their expansive yet cozy new home in the city of Blainville, Que., about an hour from Montreal, along with their young daughters Jeanne, 3, and Marion, 1.
To the new house (twice as big as the old at 3,000 square feet) they brought their best ideas from the previous place, including hiring designer Jean Stéphane Beauchamp, who had helped realize their first renovation.
The designer was tasked with reproducing some of the elements he had brought to their first home and toning down the more formal look of this 2003-built house, with its high ceilings and extensive mouldings. “Everything here was dark and formal,” says Julie, “and we told Jean Stéphane we wanted the place to feel like the old one, like a small home and not a big house.”
The intimacy of the updated space is especially felt during the holiday season, when the main floor, where the living, cooking and dining areas flow seamlessly, is ready to welcome family and friends. Against the backdrop of the couple’s favourite paint colour, Farrow & Ball’s Cabbage White – “a beautiful off-white with a hint of blue-green,” says Jean Stéphane – the rooms are filled with whimsical decorations that complement the year-round decor. “There’s a soft neutral palette,” says Jean Stéphane, “with bold blue, green and pink accents throughout.”
The Christmas decorations are simple and often handmade, like the icy blue satin Christmas stockings hanging on the mantel and the linen and silk heart ornaments on the tree, all stitched by Jean Stéphane. To reinforce the homey atmosphere, the diminutive Christmas tree is anchored in a basket of pinecones, while multi-toned evergreen boughs and eucalyptus branches festoon the treads of the classic staircase and fill vases that are peppered throughout the rooms.
The look is contemporary yet cozy, urban yet comfortable, colourful yet serene. During the holiday season, “we enjoy bringing a lot of people together to celebrate with us,” says Julie. And now that the family has plenty of room to do so, they truly feel at home.
The entryway’s mix of herringbone-laid ceramic tiles, classic blue-grey wainscotting and a pale pink bench feels formal yet funky. The pretty twig wreath sets a festive tone. The base of the banister was trimmed with soft evergreen boughs and eucalyptus.
The dining room features built-in cabinetry with a small bar sink and Moroccan-inspired cement backsplash tiles. The round pedestal table is surrounded by vintage scroll-back chairs with linen-upholstered blue seats and green backs.
Hexagonal tiles and a turquoise-painted base add interest to the kitchen island. Varied cabinetry styles and colours further the eclectic feel, as does the custom grey nickel range hood.
The white console set along the staircase wall stands out against warm grey-painted panelling, as do the hits of black in the picture frame and lampshade.
The room offers a striking mix of geometric pieces, from the rug and ottoman bases to the mirror and fireplace screen, which keeps it fresh and current.
Mint velvet-upholstered ottomans are at the centre of the living room, surrounded by 1950s wood-trimmed red velvet chairs and a mid-century-style leather sofa with tufted cushions. Handmade blue satin stockings hang from the living room’s elegant subway tile fireplace surround.
The small and simple tree is trimmed with handstitched heart ornaments. Gifts are wrapped in mostly polka-dot and solid grey papers and adorned with ribbon in various shades.
In the master bedroom, the colour scheme is punctuated by the black sleigh-style bed frame and black metal fixtures. The convex mirror is a fun touch.
Peony pink tones are striking set against icy blue walls and dark accents.