Baby (You Wish) It’s Cold Outside: A Modern Chalet in Quebec

Queue the James Bond music …

Perched 1,600 feet above the St. Lawrence River, any James Bond villain would be at home plotting the fate of the world in this modern luxe pad.  Just looking at the exterior, it’s no wonder it was the winner of a 2014 Nobilis prize awarded by Provincial Association of Quebec Homebuilders. It’s doubly no wonder it was seen in the pages of Wallpaper and Architectural Digest.

This aerie is located about 90 minutes northeast of Quebec City. By the numbers, it has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms within a generous 4,059 square feet of genius architecture.  It’s listed with local Christie’s rep Profusion Realty LLC agents Guillaume L’Ecuyer and Stéphane Caron for C$1.988 million.  Thanks to a strong US dollar, that’s more like US $1.57 million to you and me.

If you thought the front was spectacular, the back of the home, facing outwards to the river is equally thrilling. While its proximity to Le Massif de Charlevoix ski area brings out the snow bunnies, there’s a lot of outdoor decking to have some memorable summer parties.

And who wouldn’t love walking a gangplank to get to their front door?  Granted the double garage is located under the main house, but why should guests have all the fun.  Park the car and dash around to enter through the front door I say. You’d almost want to put a chair on the bridge until you realize there are even better views ahead.

Entering the home you get choices.  You can go in, up, or down.  The wood paneling adds warmth to this very modern structure.  Even the artfully stacked wood brings a residential dimension to the entry.

This is what great architecture does with a site like this. The building is a lens to focus the views and bring them into everyday living.  There’s no bad seat on the sofa here as the living room juts over the landscape.  The crossbeams you see are structural.  You can’t build the cantilevers this home enjoys on a windy bluff over a river without some serious support.  What’s interesting about the porthole views is that they pull the eye towards them, sharpening your vision on the outdoors.

Given its four-season climate and winter sport focus, you need at least one fire roaring.  This minimalist version keeps the fire burning without a floor-to-ceiling intrusion into the view. Again, the wood is used to bridge the modernism with the natural surroundings.  All white would just be out of place.

Speaking of modernism, the kitchen is the real deal with white lacquer cabinets and stainless steel appliances.  I don’t know about you, but I’m loving that vent hood over the cooking island.  I’ve never seen anything like it and I’m sure for whatever reason, it’s not available in the USA.  For those with astute eyes, you’ll notice the railing on the left.  Yes, this is at the top of the home.  Finally, someone realizes that the best views should be reserved for rooms you use primarily during the day.

The master bedroom is a study in minimalism juxtaposed against the views. Yes, I noticed the bed linens and also wondered if there was a large shedding dog nearby.  I also wonder where you put a clock.  But I suppose if this is your vacation home, you’re off the clock.  You’ll notice that the window at the end of the room is a doorway leading to its own patio.

The master bathroom is the stuff of your ablution dreams. You almost feel guilty having to look away to use the sink.  While the length of mirrors soothes, you really just want to turn around every second you’re brushing your teeth, right?  The glass shower cube understands views.  Even the bench faces out the windows.

Oh, did I forget to mention the bedroom and bath are joined?  One reason is for the sweeping views.  You can sleep facing the view, get up, side-step your way into the bathroom, fill the tub and get in, all without taking your eyes off the view.  In fact, the only time you have to turn around is teeth-brushing and hair-combing … even the tucked-away toilet faces the windows.  And you’ll notice that with nothing in front of you for miles, no one is looking back at you.

Whether you’re an accomplished powder monster, schussing down the slopes, or a yard sale* skier like me, how could you not enjoy this home all year round?

*Yard Sale: A crash in which a skier’s gear – skis, poles, hats, gloves, etc. – end up scattered around the slope.

Remember: When I’m not stirring up trouble in Dallas, Texas, or Honolulu, Hawaii, for and, I’m off scouting interesting locations for a second home.  In 2016 and 2017, the National Association of Real Estate Editors has recognized my writing with two Bronze (2016, 2017) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards. If you’re a Realtor with second home clients who’d like me to feature their journey, shoot me an email