When decorators Nicola Marc and Beth Gold of Marc Gold Interiors came across this one-bedroom suite in a reovated 1920s building they knew they were in for a challenge. They agreed that the 800-square-foot condo in Montreal's trendy Le Plateau neighbourhood offered the right bones, needing just a few modifications.
"This was the first time that we had worked on a project where the client didn't want any colour," says Nicola. "As a result, we had to look closely at texture, scale, shape and form." The client's only other request was tied to the desire for a soft palette in grey and pebble. She wanted her new home to be a calming, serene retreat - a place she could return to after a busy workday and sigh contentedly.
Before: Living room
The wall dividing the living room and dining room was knocked down, the one separating the kitchen (shown above) was left intact.
After: Living room
The hardwood flooring was stripped and finished in a soft white-washed grey, custom wood radiator coverings were built, the wall between the dining room and living room was removed to open up the main living space for entertaining.
The oversized custom rug connects and ground the living and dining areas. Its diamond pattern lends a subtle yet distinctive design element, explains decorator Nicola Marc.
The rough-hewn mirror in the living area acts as a focal point but doesn't overwhelm. Petite sconces enhance the mirror's large scale and keep the look au courant.
The ornate vintage coffee table, painted in a neutral hue, offsets the modern boxy sofas. "The coffee table can be easily moved around to accommodate traffic during a party," says Nicola. Indigo blue was chosen as the only accent colour because it embodies calmness.
The original kitchen had lime green galley-style walls with outdated melamine cabinetry.
The sightline into the kitchen from the dining room was designed to appear un-kitchen-like. The wall in view was covered in a seagrass wallpaper, which provides warmth and texture and balances the kitchen's custom finishes (like the Carrara marble mosaic floor) and sleek stainless steel appliances.
"For kitchen renos, even ones on a budget, we encourage homeowners to consider custom components because it allows you to make the most of your space," says Nicola. A small work area in the corner is a better use of space than cabinetry.
Stainless steel appliances
The galley-style kitchen features a pleasant mix of modern (stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops) and classic (marble mosaic flooring and recessed-panelled cabinetry) elements. Opting for seagrass wallpaper instead of a tiled backsplash lends the narrow space depth, warmth and texture.
Here, open shelving takes the place of upper cabinetry, creating a sense of openness while still providing storage.
The elegant smoky grey settee in the dining area converts seamlessly into extra living room seating post-meal. The pair of white porcelain pendant lights offers a lovely soft touch, while the client's existing rustic wooden dining table adds a warm textural element to the space.
The neutral palette condo offers an equal devotion to balancing sharp lines with delicate curves, softening glints of shiny metal with milky porcelain and enhancing natural textures with subtle patterns.
"The effect is an intimate tone-on-tone space that feels very harmonious," says Nicola.