Modern WarmthPublished on November 23, 2021

  • Melissa reads off the ingredients while Sacha works at the stove in a kitchen that easily accommodates two cooks
    Photo by: Yoni Sambo

  • The darker wood coffee table adds a contrast to introduce intrigue
    Photo by: Yoni Sambo

  • The light oak dining chairs, with cane back, complement the wood that is repeated in various areas of the home
    Photo by: Yoni Sambo

  • The light fixture above the open shelving creates a soft illumination to enhance mood lighting within the space
    Photo by: Yoni Sambo

  • The darker wood coffee table adds a contrast to introduce intrigue
    Photo by: Yoni Sambo

  • Photo by: Yoni Sambo

  • Satin ribbon add a touch of luxury to the simple brown wrapping paper
    Photo by: Yoni Sambo

Melissa and Sacha Leclair, the design duo behind Leclair Décor and LD Shoppe, started their internationally acclaimed business from a spare bedroom in 2011. Ten years later the business is highly regarded as a go-to resource for furnishings, design, and inspiration through their popular Instagram account, @leclairdecor. Their home is a tribute to their creative gifts and passion for leading a stylish family life.

The pair recognized their combined talents early on when they opted out of a honeymoon and put their time and money into renovating and decorating their first home. “We gathered pieces from antique stores, big box stores, yard sales, and repurposed old pieces wherever we could. After putting the finishing touches on our humble abode, we were so smitten that we decided to build a website where we could share our story,” offers Sacha, who oversees the company’s digital footprint.

Their friends were so impressed with what the pair had been able to do that they began referring the couple to others. “Our first real project ended up being a good friend of Sacha’s who was moving into a new condo and had very little coming with him. We essentially had a blank slate to design a space in keeping with his style and our vision. This first project truly solidified our shared passion for the design world,” reveals Melissa, who functions as managing director.

As the parents of two young children, Hugo and Evelyn, Sacha and Melissa are committed to family life and manage to unplug long enough to appreciate their own home while also taking time to explore Ottawa and the surrounding areas. Both enjoy time outdoors and then relish the chance to unwind at home. They recently finished a large renovation on the interior and exterior of their 2003 Richcraft built home in Orleans. Although they purchased the home in 2016, they didn’t rush to transform it. They started with basic updates and in 2018 began the process of overhauling. “We lived in the house for about three years before our real renovation began with the entryway and powder room two years ago,” explains Melissa. Their plans for renovations evolved and grew over the years leading up to the latest changes.

Over the past year, they went all out with a major renovation that included painting their exterior brick white—a bold, yet highly appealing choice for a suburban home.

Their welcoming front entrance showcases their style with texture woven into a mostly neutral palette. The kitchen, visible from the entry, offers greater drama with a vertical shiplap wall detail carried from the hall. The custom hood fan is the focal point and, while it adds a striking architectural element, its curves break the clean lines to soften the modern edges found throughout. The shiplap is carried through to the living room ceiling in a space that embraces detailing. The fireplace, which they built out and brought up to the ceiling, is a textural showstopper painted in faux concrete.

The entire home is an example of their signature ‘Warm Modern’ aesthetic, which they describe as design with crisp modern lines paired with warmer textures and natural elements, that come through in their colour and finishing choices. “This is illustrated by our use of blacks, whites, brass finishes, warm woods, and clean lines throughout,” shares Sacha. The biggest influence for incorporating this look was their confidence in their personal style, not the house itself. While the open layout gave them a great canvas to work with, they stuck true to their tastes when creating a home that felt comfortable, liveable, and in-keeping with them as professionals. The look is carried through to their Christmas décor, which speaks to the season rather than the holiday itself, so that the home feels warm and cozy, beckoning for family time under the tree or reading by the fire.

Top tips for enhancing space

  • Lighting can make a big impact, particularly in the main bedroom, kitchen and dining room.
  • Personalize space with wall detailing like molding, shiplap or wallpaper.
  • Change the mirrors in a new build from basic to framed.
  • Add drapery for depth, texture and function.
  • Art and wall décor brings personality and warmth. Hang art 6 to 8 inches above the furniture and 1.5 to 2 inches apart if using multi-piece display.

Mary Taggart

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