10 Best Montreal Decor Shops: Laurier West and Mile-End

Looking for a where-to-shop guide for Montreal?  Look no further because I am here to help.

There are many, many inspiring decor shops in Montreal and as a decor stylist who moved here a year ago (already??) I've had fun exploring them one by one.  This shopping guide is for visitors and residents alike, and will help to narrow your choices and bring you the best finds in the city.  I'll also throw-in a few eating and drinking suggestions in case you want to take your time. The best way to travel is on foot and you can easily see everything on this list in about half a day, depending on how much browsing or lunching you do.

If you only have time for one Montreal neighbourhood, I recommend the very chic and trendy Laurier West and Mile-End.  So far, it is one of my favorite places for both home decor AND fashion AND food.  Laurier West is upscale and caters to the stylishly influential crowd, while Mile-End is it's hipper, artsy little sister who loves shop vintage. The good news for us is that they are nestled right beside each other making the transition seamless.   As a decor stylist, my focus is on design but please feel free to explore the gorgeous clothing boutiques in this area as they are some of the best in the city.  

Before getting started, get a detailed Google map of all locations here: MAP

I always start my days with coffee and snacks and for this day, I suggest starting at the Au Pain Dorée cafe at Laurier West and Avenue de L'Épée.  It is a cute little boulangerie with and outdoor terrace overlooking a soaring cathedral.  You will feel like you've died and gone to Europe- which is so true of Montreal in many ways.  

Next, head-over to Boutique 1101 at 1101 Laurier Ave Ouest.  This kitchen boutique is filled to the brim with great stuff.  My top pics in the store are the modern items from Alessi and other high-end European brands.

Walk a few blocks East (and stop at a few fashion boutiques along the way!) to find a florist shop called Raymond Thérien at 257 Laurier Ouest.  I love the flowers, plants, pots and vases at this store and always leave with a new idea or two up my sleeve.

Our next stop is Les Touilleurs at 152 Laurier Ouest.  This is truly one of my favorite places in Montreal and it must be seen.  This store has beautiful things, runs a cooking school and has a best-selling cookbook.  You will love it.

Keep your eyes open for fashion boutiques in this area.  There are many, many, many great spots!

Walk east and turn right to find V de V Maison at 5042 Boulevard Saint-Laurent.  This is easily one for the best decor stores in Montreal and my go-to when sourcing.  It has a french-vintage vibe and carries everything from lighting to linens.

Now walk north to Jamais Assez at 5155 Boulevard Saint-Laurent.  This place is for lovers of modern-design but will delight just about everyone.

Right next door you will find Vestibule, a beautiful gem of a shop that blends clothing with decor to create a lifestyle one-stop-shop.  You must, must, must check it out. Things to notice: throw pillows, pottery, wall hangings, rugs.

Boucle et Papier is an adorable stationary store at 5183 boulevard Saint-Laurent that carries cards, art and lots of other tidbits.  Check it out for cute Montreal-themed prints and postcards.

At this point you might be feeling a bit hungry for lunch.  If so, I would recommend Lawrence which is very close by at 5201 Saint-Laurent.  It's a hugely popular brunch spot on weekends, is unpretentious and delicious. Check out a review here.  

Now I'm going to send you for a walk that will feel like you are heading into no-man's land but I swear to God that it will pay off.  Style Labo is at 5595 Boulevard Saint-Laurent and it is a haven for vintage curiosities.  Next to it you will find PEI Mobilier which is it's mid-century modern compliment. Don't give up when it feels long -and be happy that I fed you first to keep up your strength!

Okay, now I'm sending you across the street to wander in the other direction to find Philz 20th Century at 5298 Saint-Laurent.  This is another great vintage store that my Toronto friends will recognize from it's sister store in the Junction.  (take note: prices are probably lower in Montreal so take advantage while you're here).

 

I have only one more decor stop for you but I have THREE possible food/culture suggestions.  First, I want you to walk a bit and then turn right to find Au Papier Japonais, a beautiful little treasure box of Japonese papers and art supplies at 24 Ave Fairmount.

Everyone I know that comes to Montreal always asks me where to get the best bagels and I always say Fairmount Bagels at 74 Fairmount West.  Just try NOT to eat one straight out of the bag.  I dare you.

We are done for the day and depending on your mood, I recommend celebrating the end of your tour of Laurier West and Mile-End with either ice cream or a beer -both excellent in this neck of the woods. For ice cream, try Kemcoba where you might find a big line up but it will be worth the wait.  For beer, head back to Laurier west and hang out at Dieu du Ciel.  Beer lovers pack this place at almost every time of day, every day of the week.  It's a Montreal landmark and has something for every taste.

That's it for our tour of Laurier West and Mile-End.  I would LOVE to hear your comments and suggestions!  Feedback is much appreciated. 

 

Capturing the perfect Montreal Style

As many of you know, I recently moved from the bustling (and hustling) city of Toronto to Montreal, everybody's favourite French city outside of France.  While Toronto is a fabulous place to live and work (and I still return for work very often), I chose to make my home in Montreal and am loving every minute of it.  This city is different- in ways that I am still trying to put my finger on and will still be exploring for years to come.  For most people, the differences are obvious: Montreal is known for its food culture, its language, its european feel, its longer bar hours, its younger drinking age, its cultural debates, its fashion sense and its beautiful architecture.  Those are the givens.  I am interested in is finding out what makes this city tick from a design perspective, since decor and design are two of my major passions in life.  Many of Canada's best artists are living in Quebec, including those who work in lighting design, photography, fashion, furniture and accessories.  Here are a few things that I think give an instant hit of Montreal style.

Cabin-chic

Yes, it's still going strong and can be done in so many fabulous ways.  This is the house of photographer Jean Longpré, who I have had the privilege of working with many times.  His house is just outside of Montreal and it is amazing!  It's rustic and modern at the same time.  Keys to this look: bright white, clean lines, antiques, stone floor and natural light.  Oh and the odd antler just for fun.

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Great Lighting

One of Canada's best lighting companies, Lambert et Fils, has their showroom in Montreal and it is a treasure-chest of Montreal style.  The pendants shown below and stunning, especially when used in repetition.  I also love their brass fixtures, floor lamps and sconces.  Why are they so "Montreal"?  I would have to say that simple modernism is key.

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Leather

I don't know why, but leather seems to be a major source of inspiration in Montreal.  For proof, check out the very popular stores M0851 and Rudsak which are spreading across the country.   Modern, chic and practical leather bags and jackets are very popular here and why wouldn't they be?  

Café Culture

Like Toronto, Montreal has a very dynamic café culture that influences the design tastes of the entire city.  Coffee shops aren't just for caffeination anymore, they are also little hubs of cool where one can pick up ideas for how to style things at home.   I worked on this images with photographer Geneviève Charbonneau for a campaign for Reitmans. The rest if the story can be seen here.

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