Photography: Augus McRitchie
A flood of calm, cool hues sweeps a dated family home into a fresh new era.
The wave of inky indigo, vivid teal and palest sky blue that defines Elizabeth Metrakos’s delightful Montreal home does more than simply wash the spaces with colour and character. Designer Jean Stéphane Beauchamp relied on the unexpected palette to create flow and cohesion between the compartmentalized rooms in the 95-year-old home’s elongated, single-storey floor plan – especially where he couldn’t take down walls to facilitate modern, open-concept living. At the back of the 2,000-square-foot home, he was able to convert three rooms into one – goodbye, cramped 1950s kitchen; hello, huge, cheery combo kitchen-family room! “Elizabeth wanted bright, functional family living, where she and her two boys could be in the same space, but feel like they each had room to work, relax, cook and dine,” Jean Stéphane says of the stay-at-home mom and her 11- and 13-year-old sons. He crafted an “updated classic” look, and even pulled Elizabeth – a former commercial interior designer – outside her comfort zone to try edgier colours and concepts. In the end, it’s the perfect mix of calm and dynamic. “I love the flow of colours from room to room – from bright and airy to darker and more sophisticated, but still lighthearted and eclectic,” he says. “It feels family-friendly but elegant enough for a nice dinner with friends.”
Photography: Augus McRitchie | TABLE, Restoration Hardware; CHAIRS, Ikea; DRAWER PULLS by Emtek, Par le trou de la serrure; TABLECLOTH, NAPKINS, Qui Dort Dîne; CHANDELIER, Décor Maria; CONTRACTOR, Les habitations Marec; CONFITURES ART, Deyrolle; SMALL ARTWORK, Etsy; WALL PAINT, Silver Polish BL-W13, Behr; CABINET PAINT, Ultra White CC-10, Benjamin Moore; ALL FLOWERS, Fauchois Fleurs.
Elizabeth Metrakos’s bright, welcoming dining room is at one end of her newly opened-up, L-shape kitchen. Designer Jean Stéphane Beauchamp’s redesign included adding roomy custom built-ins. Glass fronts on some cabinets lighten the look and show off favourite glassware.
Photography: Augus McRitchie
Vintage food illustrations have a fitting theme, and their warm yellow tones balance the room’s cool blue hues. Jean Stéphane offers expert tips for an eye-catching vignette: “I always start with one great object. In this case, it’s the beautiful scale Elizabeth had. Then, it’s a matter of balance and colour when I start layering.”
Photography: Augus McRitchie | CABINET DESIGN, Jean Stéphane Beauchamp Design; WHITE CABINET PAINT, Ultra White CC-10, Benjamin Moore; BLUE LOWER CABINET PAINT, Borrowed Light 235, ISLAND PAINT, Vardo 288, Farrow & Ball; BARSTOOLS, Restoration Hardware; CEMENT FLOOR TILE, Ramacieri Soligo; LANTERNS, Décor Maria.
Elizabeth is a passionate cook, so the dated 1950s kitchen – tight on space and storage – was overhauled to create a larger, lighter space kitted out to suit her needs and open to the two dining areas. Oversize lanterns anchor the spacious island and add surprising drama. “Because they’re so airy, they don’t feel heavy,” Jean Stéphane says.
Photography: Augus McRitchie | BACKSPLASH TILE, Centura Tile; PULLS by Emtek, Par le trou de la serrure; RUG, Tapis H. Lalonde & Frère; OVENS, Monogram.
Initially, Elizabeth asked for an all-white kitchen, but she and Jean Stéphane had bonded over their shared love of blue, so she agreed to take the plunge and try hits of colour – pale blue lower cabinets and a vivid teal island – as long as Jean Stéphane promised to keep the look “light and bright.” White upper cabinets, quartz countertops, subway tiles and bistro stools do the trick nicely. The elongated hexagonal backsplash tiles are dynamic and unexpected. Fresh herbs in pots by the sink add life to the look – and to Elizabeth’s culinary creations.
Photography: Augus McRitchie | GLASS PENDANT, Décor Maria.
Photography: Augus McRitchie | TABLE, CHAIR, SCONCE, Restoration Hardware; CUSTOM BANQUETTE, Jean Stéphane Beauchamp Design; SOLID THROW PILLOWS, Qui Dort Dîne; NON-SOLID PILLOW FABRICS, Theo Decor; RUG, Tapis H. Lalonde & Frère.
With its mix of pale and deeper blues and greens, the breakfast area embodies the enchanting palette Jean Stéphane pulled together for the three-bedroom home. “It feels fresh and sophisticated without being stuffy,” he says. “And it looks amazing with the hardwood floors.” Drawers in the banquette’s base add storage.
Photography: Augus McRitchie | COCKTAIL TABLE, Bombay; TABLE PAINT, Bancha 298, Farrow & Ball; WHITE CHANDELIER, Coeur d’artichaut; CUSTOM WINDOWSEAT CUSHION, Jean Stéphane Beauchamp Design; TICKING STRIPE (on pillow), Ramacieri Soligo; PINK LINEN PILLOW, Qui Dort Dîne.
This corner of the living room shows off the designer’s flair for assembling artful vignettes. Jean Stéphane refinished a sweet old table in a piquant chartreuse that is striking against the moody blue walls, then added a statuesque mercury-glass finial from his own collection. The window seat looks out to the front yard and the street that’s lined with mature trees.
Photography: Augus McRitchie | DARK BLUE WALL PAINT, Hague Blue 30, CEILING PAINT, Borrowed Light 235, Farrow & Ball; WHITE TRIM PAINT, Ultra White CC-10, Benjamin Moore; RUG, Tapis H. Lalonde & Frère; GREEN CHAIRS, G Romano; BLUE FOOTSTOOL, Jean Stéphane Beauchamp Design; ART (over fireplace) by Marc Nerbonne, Dimension plus.
Just inside the front door, this view of the living room’s saturated tones and intriguing accessories let visitors know they’re in for a colourful ride in Elizabeth’s home. “I wanted it to be consistent with the rest of the house, but still have a different feeling from the kitchen,” says Jean Stéphane. “A lot more light comes into this room, so the dark colour feels calming not gloomy.” Finishing the ceilings in the palest sky blue – echoed here in the fireplace surround and rug – is an easy tweak that makes these spaces look anything but ordinary.
Photography: Augus McRitchie | VANITY DESIGN, WHITE CABINET DESIGN, Jean Stéphane Beauchamp Design; HANDLES (on vanity) by Emtek, Par le trou de la serrure; SCONCES, Décor Maria; TAPS, FAUCET, SHOWERHEAD, MIRROR, Ramacieri Soligo; SHOWER TILE, Centura Tile.
The bathroom’s elegant tone is set by its Prussian blue grasscloth- style wallpaper (actually a rugged vinyl version that stands up well to moisture). Jean Stéphane chose a softer grey-blue for the custom-designed vanity so it will work with a quieter wall colour if Elizabeth changes up the look in the future. He kept the base of the vanity open to lighten its look and promote air circulation; the tall white cabinet is a simple design so it doesn’t compete with the vanity. “The glass sconces add a little sparkle,” says the designer.
Photography: Augus McRitchie | BATHTUB, Batimat; FLOOR TILE, WALL TILE, Centura Tile; VINYL GRASSCLOTH-LOOK WALLPAPER, Métro Papiers peints; ALL TOWELS, Qui Dort Dîne.
The sculptural soaker bathtub replaced a huge outdated tiled-in tub that Jean Stéphane describes as “traumatic.” He chose the room’s deep ocean-toned palette for its unique look. “To me, all-white feels washed out,” he says. “And the blue makes the whites and pale greys of the tiles and bathtub more interesting.” Ceramic flooring has the look of marble without the upkeep. Elongated subway-style wall tiles give the illusion of a larger room.
Photography: Augus McRitchie | GREEN BEDDING, STRIPED LINEN THROW, Qui Dort Dîne; BUTTERFLY PILLOW, Wills & Prior; TURQUOISE LAMP, Celadon; WALL PAINT, Balboa OC-27, Benjamin Moore.
For a warm welcome, Jean Stéphane washed the master bedroom in soft pinks set off by citrusy chartreuse linens and a graceful pillar lamp repainted in an eye-popping turquoise that subtly ties into the blue-green theme in the home. “The walls are a little warmer than the rest of the house, and a little cooler than the headboard so they don’t bleed into one another,” Jean Stéphane says. “The linen throw was just a perfect find.”