In charge of operations for both the Le Germain and ALT Hotels brands nationwide, Christiane Germain has a passion for entertaining. "I love to cook. I love to make people feel at home and cared about," says the Quebecker, whose eighth-floor Old Montreal loft apartment was custom-made for her by LEMAYMICHAUD Architecture Design, the same firm that designed the new Germain Hotel in Calgary. (A second Toronto property, Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square, was also recently opened.) "My kitchen has many moods. It's a place where I create, experiment, make mistakes, laugh with friends and family and linger and unwind," Germain says. "The streamlined functionality, the flow, the view of the city and river - everything about it speaks to me."
1. THE CHERRY WOOD FLOOR AND CABINETRY
"Cherry wood, like all brown woods, gives a feeling of warmth, intimacy and well-being. I used it not only for the floors, but for the kitchen cabinets. I wanted a monochromatic look and a harmonization of materials to soften the industrial design of the apartment's living spaces."
2. THE ALUMINUM ACCENTS
"The aluminum accents are meant to remind you that you are indeed in a kitchen. Functionally, the space is efficient and airy. I feel buoyant whenever I'm in it."
3. THE LIGHTING
"The light fixture over the dining-room table is the Mercury suspension lamp by [British designer]Ross Lovegrove for Artemide. I chose it because it adds both a lightness and a sculptural quality to the space."
4. THE TABLE
"The dining-room table was purchased at Bonaldo in Montreal. It's the TWICE table from the Bonaldo Spa collection. It is made from walnut and the top is an acid-treated black glass."
5. THE VIEW
"Outside my window are historic grain elevators that now belong to the Port of Montreal. I love them. They are especially dramatic in the morning when the sun rises and I can see the coloured light casting through their small square windows. It's absolutely beautiful and different every day. The linearity of the silos and the fact that the condo is on the eighth floor creates the feeling that you are suspended in time. With such a view, there's no need for me to have window coverings."