Modern Classic Design: Golden Mile

Today’s design inspiration comes from a brilliantly renovated 4,000 square-foot historical apartment in Montreal reconfigured for modern luxury living. The residence is within one of the rare remaining structures erected during the cities gilded age in its glittering Golden Square Mile. The modern classic design created here perfectly recaptures the glorious past through restoration and renders it for today through innovation.

The stunning Neoclassical architectural details that defined many of the palatial homes in this once noble area live on here. The old is new again, architecturally speaking at least. The splendor of the Golden Square Mile, whose mansions were built from the mid-nineteenth century until the ending of the 1930’s will never be the same. In those days, the Gentry, business titans, bankers, and both the old and newer fortunes resided here. All these holders of significantly concentrated wealth competed to outshine one another which produced grand aesthetic achievements. Some of the greatest moments in design history occurred at such times, think Versailles. The residents dazzled with their audacious ornate residences and decadent living.

In time, changing attitudes swept away the glory. New business models, the war, and the introduction of the income tax broke the hold. The biggest call for the end of the golden mile excesses was the widening social and income inequality gap which reached its natural tipping point as it always has through history, again- think Versailles. By the 1980s, less than 30% of the magnificent mansions remained, and only a small fraction was held by private owners. The neighborhood around is predominantly commercial now with only the occasional reminder. Our residence today happens to be one such reminder.

modern classic design living room B

Completed by Interior Designers Jay Britto and David Charette of Britto Charette, with offices in Miami and New York.  The designers created a luxury home that embraces the best from the old while infusing the best of contemporary design for a home suitable for its sophisticated and worldly new owner.  Careful preservation closely guided every decision.  From this exacting labor of love, a beautiful Golden Mile restoration emerged.  The completed re-design includes the addition of a formal master suite, a rebuilt foyer, sweeping staircase, and a sleek new kitchen, to complement the beautiful living spaces. Britto Charette also infused practicality by adding heated walls and floors throughout to ward off the frigid Canadian winter temperatures.

modern classic design living room C

In the living room, luxurious Macassar ebony with carved silver detailing forms the bar, humidor, and sleek coffee table.  These special pieces were handcrafted in Paris by designer Patrick Baguech.  The fabulous graphic rug is by Kyle Bunting.   Great lengths were taken to select the perfect marble to go over the fireplace which serves as art itself.  The handsome herringbone floors are original to the apartment, as is the molding.  When the originals couldn’t be saved, the design duo enlisted a plaster specialist to carefully recast the originals ensuring authenticity.

modern classic design chess game area

Julian Opie’s Maria 2 presides over the chess game area located at the rear of the living room.  Very elegant indeed!   Many of the elegant pieces throughout display a strong Art Deco design inspiration.

Modern Classic design dining room

The dining room features a brilliant work by Paul Beliveau.  A custom dining table from Europe pairs with chairs accented with Missoni upholstery by Reagan Hayes on a custom silk rug.  The elaborate plasterwork features stunningly throughout the home.

This is one of my favorite articles to date.  Not only do I love the bright white, the articulated architecture, the beautiful floors, and the french doors which I envision in mirror as inspiration – I can’t get enough.  In addition to that, there is a story that we can learn that is so relevant today.  Plus, I am thrilled that the designers preserved the stunning Neoclassical architectural details.  The modern classic renovation didn’t sacrifice any of the home’s grand proportions and maintained the hierarchy of the rooms.

modern classic design kitchen

The sleek new eat-in kitchen features glossy black and white cabinets and a lacquered Poggenpohl system.  The stainless steel and marble counter-tops have stone slab backsplash.  Stainless steel designer appliances including a glass front wine refrigerator add sophistication.  Carrara select marble floors and a mirrored ceiling complete the kitchen with ultimate style.

modern classic design breakfast area

Christopher Hyland fabric upholsters the bespoke designed curved banquette that defines the breakfast area.  The designers raised the banquette so that the radiant heat could flow with ease.   As with most homes, this area receives the most activity.

modern classic design family room

The comfortable enclosed family room also serves as a library with silk upholstered walls, built-in shelves, and bespoke designed furnishings.

Modern Classic design theater

No modern classic designed luxury home would be complete without a room for watching television.

Modern Classic design foyer stairs

modern classic design staircase landing

Versace’s New York showroom inspired the brilliant chevron marble design surrounded by the mosaic spray on the flooring in the foyer and upper landing.  The landing features a glimmering sculpture of a Hermes Bag by Jonathan Seliger, along with Russell Young’s Marilyn Crying, which gives the space a very luxe contemporary vibe.

Modern Classic design master bedroom

In the master bedroom suite, Macassar and ebony mill-work form the bespoke designed bed structure, giving the room a refined air.  At the foot of the bed, a chest holds the pop-up television.  A visit to the Tom Ford boutique in Las Vegas served as inspiration for this bedroom.

Modern Classic design master bathroom

The master bathroom features Calacata gold marble on the walls and countertop and includes a free-standing soaking tub.  The designers included lots of hidden luxuries throughout the property such as the television hidden within the mirror here.  It’s so perfect to have classic inspired formal rooms and sleek contemporary kitchen and bathrooms.  Britto Charette is on point!

modern classic design guest bedroom

Modern Classic design guest bedroom detail

One of the bedrooms features silver-leafed walls by de Gournay, painted over in gouache.

Modern classic design home gym

The home now has room for noise and play, for watching television and for entertaining, for conversation and for contemplation.   A Modern Classic designed home lived in with love in the heart of the Golden Mile.

Britto Charette Interior Design reflects the modern tastes and design demands of today’s discerning global clients. Their bilingual and well-traveled team bring the best in global design innovations to their discerning clients. These include luxurious finishes, cutting-edge trends in color and patterns, and trusted building materials. Offices in Miami and New York City allow them to help clients around the world plan and develop luxurious interiors.

For more fabulously luxurious Canadian homes, be sure to see:

Eclectic Luxury Design: Lori Morris

Iconic Luxury Design: Ferris Rafauli

Britto Charette’s Modern Classic Design in the Golden Mile

That concludes today’s design inspiration, my friend.  I hope you enjoyed this wonderful home’s restoration by these talented designers!  Let me hear your thoughts in the comments!

Interior Design:  Britto Charette

Photography by David Giral

Be sure to see the designer’s great award-winning home products on their website, and be sure to check out their inspiring and informative blog.

Thank you so much for reading along with me today, my friend.

If you have enjoyed reading today’s Modern Classic Design: Golden Mile, please be sure to share it on social media.

Have a wonderful day!


Britto Charette is expanding!   The design firm unveiled a new room at Casa Cor in Lima, Peru!  Great festivities accompanied the reveal after months of planning, designing, and building the incredible dining room for Casa Cor.  From October 1st through November 8th, BRITTO CHARETTE celebrated the unveiling of their spectacular dining room.  The new room features an all-Peruvian cast of artists and manufacturers.   For more info: Britto Charette Casa Cor Lima

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Showing 8 comments
  • Ann

    I am not a modern person but I think it was well done except for all the white.

    • johnny knight

      Thanks so much for your comment Ann! Thanks for reading along!

  • Staci

    I am also not a huge fan of the “sterile” look but in this case, I wouldn’t change a thing! There is definitely a strong masculine feel but it all works. Beautiful!

    • Johnny Knight

      Thanks Staci! Yes..I agree..I loved the glistening whites, mirrors, gloss, and reflective surfaces in this home as they are balanced with those rich woods and luxe fabrics, particularly those in the grey/gray shades and the accents in deep purple. Love it!

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  • […] the luxurious interiors of this classic design home interpreted for contemporary living.  The interior architecture details alone provide a wealth of interior design ideas.  Thank you all so much for reading along. […]

  • […] these designers, Jay Britto and David Charette of Britto Charette.  Be sure to check out my post Luxury Interior Design in the Golden Mile to see a completely different style articulated by this team which really demonstrates their talent […]

  • […] Rafauli has built some of the largest and most sophisticated homes in Canada, mastering the perfect blend of the art and the science of building. His clients benefit from his […]

  • […] Luxury Interior Design in the Golden Mile by Britto Charette. […]

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