Chris Gervais and Rachel Cripps-Gervais spent years absent of, analytic for, designing and architecture ‘their aftermost home,’ complete with basement pub.
Chris Gervais and Rachel Cripps-Gervais alleged their home Coombe Lodge, afterwards the Coombe Abbey armpit in England breadth they were married. It’s anchored on Lily Pad Lake, aloof alfresco Magog in the Eastern Townships. Helga Loverseed / Montreal Gazette
Chris Gervais, 66, and his wife, Rachel Cripps-Gervais, 51, appraisal that amid them, they had confused added than 30 times — including the U.K. and South Africa — afore they alternate to his built-in Quebec and absitively it was time to achieve in what they alarm as ‘their aftermost home’.
The brace met and affiliated in Britain, breadth she’s from. It was a additional alliance for both. They chose to alive in Montreal breadth they became self-employed — Gervais as a business adviser (with a accomplishments in telecommunications — he specializes in restructuring ailing firms) and Cripps-Gervais as a bells planner. (She had formed in the auberge business and in animal assets for a aloft biologic company.)
For several years, the brace lived in the West Island, afresh Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, but were absent of what their final home ability attending like. They weren’t accessible to retire (they still run their own companies) but they capital to anatomy a log address in a rural area, finer beside a anatomy of baptize — a custom-built address breadth they could relax and entertain.
Chris Gervais and Rachel Cripps-Gervais accumulated all address of $.25 and pieces afore they congenital the house, like this aged phone, the kitchen scales and the stain bottle window aloft the bifold sink. Helga Loverseed / Montreal Gazette
Gervais and Cripps-Gervais would go for continued drives on their canicule off, analytic for a acceptable armpit and accession accoutrement that they anticipation would accomplish absorbing accessories for their approaching home, including a asperous barn door, cedar potato barrels (that concluded up as the abject for a bar) and beams from old barns. In 2007, they begin a artifice of acreage on the bank of a pond alleged Lily Pad Lake, aloof alfresco Magog in the Eastern Townships.
The address has an open-plan kitchen furnished with replica best appliances. Helga Loverseed / Montreal Gazette
“We didn’t alpha architecture for about seven years,” recalled Cripps-Gervais. “We acclimated to appear bottomward and affected on the acreage to get a feel for the breadth and during that time we were researching and cartoon up plans. As we researched and planned — we did that over and over afresh — our eyes for the address grew.”
A asperous barn door, addition one of their begin treasures, separates the home appointment from the rest. Helga Loverseed / Montreal Gazette
“Some blueprint started to emerge,” added her husband. “To actualize a activity of space, we capital the ceilings to be nine-footers. We capital old copse beams, to accord the address a rustic feel and a minimum of four-foot-wide staircases. If a access is too narrow, it’s a daydream aggravating to manoeuvre furniture.”
Their brand C and R are afraid in assorted places about the address and the stairs activity up to the bedrooms buck the words, “All because two bodies fell in love.” Helga Loverseed / Montreal Gazette
One of the aloft goals was to accord a antithesis to the autogenous and this is breadth the couple’s abilities accepted useful. Afterwards abounding years of planning events, Cripps-Gervais can anticipate what a amplitude ability attending like. Gervais, too, has an aesthetic angled (many of his paintings adhere in their home) but he’s additionally a dab duke with architecture tools.
The active allowance doubles as a home office. Helga Loverseed / Montreal Gazette
The brace assassin contractors for assignment they couldn’t do themselves and because they were alive aural a budget, they were agog to ascendancy costs. They had laid abreast $375,000 for all the materials. They eschewed the casework of an architect, in allotment because of the amount but additionally to ensure that it was their eyes of the home that prevailed, not somebody else’s.
Dotted throughout the address are two bathrooms and two crumb rooms. Helga Loverseed / Montreal Gazette
The three-storey address — 3,500 aboveboard anxiety additional a 600-square bottom basement — concluded up actuality beyond and appropriately added big-ticket than they had envisaged. The basement is a bar they alarm their Shakespearean-style pub. The capital attic is an open-plan kitchen, dining and active room. The active allowance additionally serves as a home appointment and back one or the added is working, it can be bankrupt off from the kitchen/dining breadth by the above repurposed barn door, which runs forth a accumbent track.
The dining allowance looks out assimilate Lily Pad Lake. Helga Loverseed / Montreal Gazette
The advanced of the address faces Lily Pad Basin and there is addition ample (screened) breadth for bistro and adequate that the brace uses during the warmer weather. Dotted throughout the address are two bathrooms and two crumb rooms.
The top storey shelters three bedrooms, the adept actuality the best impressive. It has a huge applicant closet (basically addition room) with lots of shelving and storage. A king-size bed looks out over the basin and amid it and a balustrade is a freestanding bathtub comatose on tiles busy with a accurate angel of Coombe Abbey, a centuries-old battleground abreast Coventry, England, breadth the two were married. They alleged their custom-built home Coombe Lodge in anamnesis of their bells day.
Rachel Cripps-Gervais capital the basement bar to attending like a archetypal old English pub and she searched far and advanced to acquisition abstracts that would actualize aloof the appropriate ambience. Helga Loverseed / Montreal Gazette
Romance is an basal affair in the decor. On one bank is a collage of wedding-day photographs. Their brand C and R are afraid in assorted places about the address and the stairs activity up to the bedrooms buck the words, “All because two bodies fell in love.”
However, the architecture was one thing. Sourcing abstracts was absolutely another.
“We had to get copse from British Columbia because you can no best acquisition the logs we had in apperception actuality in Quebec,” said Gervais. “The wide, asperous planks that we came up with are absolutely a affectionate of cladding. There’s a ton of insulation amid the alfresco band of copse and the central layer, so the walls are an 8- to 10-inch-thick sandwich.”
Their ambition was to accomplish the architecture as energy-efficient as accessible (hence the blubbery insulation). One of the aloft challenges was to bend the address in such a way that, year-round, it would booty abounding advantage of the movements of the sun — befitting the architecture balmy in winter and air-conditioned in summer. That too, appropriate a lot of research.
The capital attic assuming the alley and stairs to the basement bar. Helga Loverseed / Montreal Gazette
To assignment out how it was done in years gone by, Gervais and Cripps-Gervais visited the living-history museums Village Québécois d’Antan and Upper Canada Village to appraise architectural appearance such as the joints, rain gutters and windows. They visited a cardinal of times, until they were assured they could absorb some of the techniques from the accomplished into Coombe Lodge.
“One of the things we came up with was to install tiny windows in the two additional bedrooms,” explained Gervais. “As the sun goes down, a axle of ablaze pierces the glass, application the calefaction inside.
On the capital floor, during the winter, back the sun is low, calefaction floods the inside. In the summer, back the sun is high, the apartment and the balconies abide cool.”
It took 18 months to accompany the address to the date breadth they could move in. They were able to do that in December 2013. Abounding things remained to be finished, but at atomic they were able to do them in situ.
The final allotment of the address to be completed was the basement pub, the couple’s pride and joy. Bottle doors at the far end advance to Lily Pad Lake, a ample patio and a basement breadth forth the shoreline. A wood-burning broiler with a agee axle for a mantelpiece takes up about an absolute wall, which is akin with racing-green wainscoting.
An old coin aperture with massive hinges on a abject fabricated from a brace of treadle bed-making machines serves as a ancillary table. The glass-topped coffee table, which stands on the Oriental-style rug the honeymooners bought in Istanbul, is ancient from windows that came from a breastwork in Rajasthan.
As abundant as possible, Cripps-Gervais capital the basement bar to attending like a archetypal old English pub and she searched far and advanced to acquisition abstracts that would actualize aloof the appropriate ambience.
“I capital some of the walls to attending as if they were crumbling. It took some time to acquisition the appropriate abstracts but online, I came beyond a aggregation alleged Art Ciment Décoration, which is in Trois-Rivières.” said Rachel. “They’re experts at creating faux interiors.
“The alone affair I’m not absolutely blessed about is the flooring. I would accept admired flagstones. Typically, they’re fabricated of slate and are asperous and asperous but they do tend to dent and bodies could cut themselves. We acclimatized instead for ample tiles. They attending a little bit too absolute for a acceptable English pub, but I’ve got acclimated to them now.”
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