House Tours

Classically elegant and family-friendly Christmas home

Classically elegant & family-friendly Christmas home

An elegant, yet family-friendly Christmas home Author: Monic Richard

House Tours

Classically elegant and family-friendly Christmas home

A semi-detached home in Montreal is decked for the holidays with a designer’s signature British sensibility.


Outside, it’s a typical December day in Montreal: frigid temperatures, leaden skies and snow-covered everything. But inside this family home, these wintry attributes are easily forgotten. Behind vibrant royal blue front doors, the space is calm and bright, and the air is filled with the sweet scent of freshly baked shortbread cookies. Any visitor would think it has always been this welcoming, but they’d be wrong.

Nicola and Matthew Marc – she’s a British-born stylist, designer and co-owner of Marc Gold Interiors; he works in IT – purchased the 1915-built 3,000-square-foot house in 2013 with their growing family in mind (their daughter, Clara, is now 8, and son, Luka, is 19 months). Like any ugly duckling-to-swan transformation, the place had potential – if you looked past its peach walls, dark rooms and poky kitchen and focused on the good stuff. Nicola fell in love with the 10-foot-high ceilings and the original newel posts, crown mouldings and wide baseboards. “I imagined these elements in new surroundings that were elegant yet family friendly,” she says.

 

Photo Gallery

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House tour: Classic and contemporary charm

Character-filled main floor

Homeowner and designer Nicola Marc with her son, Luka. After gutting the entire main floor and much of the upstairs, Nicola added decorative flourishes that pay tribute to the British homes she grew up in and reflect her penchant for mixing classic and contemporary styles.

By: Christy Wright Source: Monic Richard Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Classic and contemporary charm

Stylish entryway

The foyer showcases Nicola’s signature mix of old and new.

By: Christy Wright Source: Monic Richard Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Classic and contemporary charm

Mismatched seating

Nicola used grey paint to unify mismatched new and second-hand dining chairs. The artwork is framed maps of London taken from a book that belonged to her grandfather.

By: Christy Wright Source: Monic Richard Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Classic and contemporary charm

Welcoming dining area

A contemporary chandelier adds panache to the dining room and illuminates the setting for holiday meals. “We gather here for christmas lunch with turkey and all the trimmings, puddings and cakes,” says Nicola.

By: Christy Wright Source: Monic Richard Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Classic and contemporary charm

Classic Christmas tree

The couple’s two kids, Luka and Clara, help decorate the Fraser fir tree set in the living room’s turret. The Christmas tree is adorned with precious heirlooms, vintage decorations and modern baubles.

By: Christy Wright Source: Monic Richard Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Classic and contemporary charm

Bold and bright shelving

Nicola’s husband, Matthew, made the dining room shelves from planks of wood and brackets; Nicola painted them glossy blue. They sit above a bar area, arranged so guests can help themselves.

By: Christy Wright Source: Monic Richard Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Classic and contemporary charm

Colourful and collected kitchen

The bright blue island – equipped with wheels for easy movement when the couple entertains – livens up the kitchen’s neutral tones. The custom oak shelving unit has a modern loft sensibility that plays off the simple grey-painted cabinetry. It holds everyday dishes and cookbooks, as well as Nicola’s collections of vintage china and glassware.

By: Christy Wright Source: Monic Richard Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Classic and contemporary charm

Must-have appliances

Nicola loves to cook and bake – especially around the holidays – so a gas cook­top and a convection oven were non-negotiable. The couple also decided to forgo upper cabinets for a display of artwork.

By: Christy Wright Source: Monic Richard Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Classic and contemporary charm

Bright open-concept layout

The kitchen saw the biggest transformation in the home. “We annexed a bathroom adjacent to the original galley kitchen to double the kitchen’s footprint and create an open-concept layout,” says Nicola. “We didn’t want it to feel like a typical kitchen – more like a room that complements the rest of the house.”

By: Christy Wright Source: Monic Richard Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Classic and contemporary charm

Creative holiday touches

Petite Advent calendar trees are a clever twist on a long-held tradition and serve as stylish holiday decorations that can be placed throughout the house.

By: Christy Wright Source: Monic Richard Credits: Style at Home

 

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House Tours

Classically elegant and family-friendly Christmas home