House tour: Classic and contemporary charm
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.
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.
The foyer showcases Nicola’s signature mix of old and new.
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.