Spring has finally sprung! In the spirit of spring cleaning, everyone is getting ready to clean out and revitalize old spaces.
If you need inspiration, turn to firms like Montreal-based L.McComber, who seem to be masters of the makeover. For example, In 2013, they renovated a vintage attic space located on the third floor of an 1880s single family dwelling in Plateau Mont-Royal; utilizing a wealth of experience, a keen eye, and creative flare, the firm transformed the attice into a bright, modern and open master suite and artist studio.
During demolition, it was noticed that a flat roof had been erected over a sloping roof, both of which lacked proper insulation. Even before tackling space plans and aesthetics, often potentially dangerous structural issues like this must be dealt with. After ensuring the attic was safe and to code, in part by removing both roofs, L.McComber then began creating a space suitable for living. For starters, taking full advantage of the brand new generous 13 foot ceiling, they installed a lengthy window on a wall that had previously been hidden by the sloped roof. Let there be light!
The original staircase and vintage brick wall were both restored and painted in stark white. As you enter, the attic not only feels more open, but also much brighter.
I love the unique ribbon-like shelving! It was built using the reclaimed hemlock beams salvaged from the roof demolition. The shelves wind down gradually into a wider plank, creating a suitable workspace.
The original flooring was re-levelled then repainted to match the homogenous white walls, which not only makes the attic feel more bright and fresh, but also serves to emphasize the hemlock shelving as a focal point.
Custom millwork wraps around three of the four wall surfaces that house the bathing and storage cube. The cube accommodates a marble mosaic shower, a sink, and two wardrobes. The bathroom and wardrobes are directly connected to the master space by a hall with no door, ensuring easy access and a heightened sense of flow.
Seeing as one of the home owners is named Juliette, the project is suitably named Juliette aux Combles, or Juliette in the Attic. From an unusable, cold, and dark space, L.McComber created an inviting and contemporary loft, which I feel is a renovation ‘de fond en comble’, meaning from top to bottom!
Visit L.McComber to view their impressive body of work.
Photos courtesy of Steve Montpetit
Researched and Written by Crystal Yung, Architectural Studies, University of Waterloo