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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