An Architect’s Narrow Townhouse in Montreal, Design Studio Included

The demand was great: updating the Victorian townhouse; restore certain period details that had been removed during a poorly designed renovation of the 1980s; bring more light into the building, which had only two exhibits (front and rear); carve out a functional and ready-to-use office space for the client who feels separated from the rest of the house And P.S., the building has a footprint of only 10 by 50 feet.

Fortunately, the architect, Michael Godmer, was more than ready to take on the challenge. It was his house, after all. Michael shares the radiance of a house – three stories high but as lean as possible – with his partner Mathieu Turgeon. The two originally planned to overhaul the kitchen only, but then, in Michael’s words, “we started to eliminate everything, including the exterior.”

Fortunately they did, because the results are transformative. Let’s take a tour of Maison Boutique Coloniale, their name for the project, and see how they transformed their small, dreary townhouse in Montreal into a clean, well-lit space for work and House.

Photograph of Maxime Brouillette, courtesy of Michael Godmer.

Michael and Mathieu & # 8
Above: Michael and Mathieu’s house, located in the Plateau Mont-Royal district of Montreal, is sandwiched between two larger buildings.
The front door leads to the ground floor, which Michael has transformed into his dedicated design studio. & # 8
Above: The front door leads to the ground floor, which Michael has transformed into his dedicated design studio. “We didn’t want to feel like we were living in an office, nor did we want the client to feel like we were at home,” he says of his decision to partition the office in this floor. Two Hay black gym hooks are ready to be stored.
The staircase is original from House 85. The couple added a Tretford lambswool floor mat. The main work area is on the left. The String shelf and the office unit on the right provide additional workspace for colleagues who occasionally travel to collaborate.
Above: The staircase is original to the house from 1885. The couple added a Tretford floor rug in lambswool. The main work area is on the left. The String shelf and the office unit on the right provide additional workspace for colleagues who occasionally travel to collaborate.
Michael in front of simple integrated desks and an exhibition of sample tiles. Under the desk are two Alex drawers from Ikea.
Above: Michael in front of simple integrated desks and an exhibition of sample tiles. Under the desk are two Alex drawers from Ikea.
Another Ikea find: the Sinnerlig cork stool designed by Ilse Crawford, now abandoned. Michael decided to turn the windowless central part of the floor to storage and utility cupboards and a powder room.
Above: Another Ikea discovery: the Sinnerlig cork stool designed by Ilse Crawford, now abandoned. Michael decided to turn the windowless central part of the floor to storage and utility cupboards and a powder room.
At the other end of the floor is a conference room for visiting clients. Michael added orange velvet draperies for an & # 8
Above: At the other end of the floor is a conference room for visiting clients. Michael added orange velvet drapery for a “speakeasy atmosphere”.
The terrazzo bathroom, with a Porcelanosa sink.
Above: The terrazzo bathroom, with a Porcelanosa sink.
The kitchen, dining room and living room comprise the second floor. The terracotta tiled floors are new but reproduce the original floor in the kitchen.
Above: The kitchen, dining room and living room include the second floor. The terracotta tiled floors are new but reproduce the original floor in the kitchen.
Right next to the kitchen is the couple & # 8
Above: Right next to the kitchen is the couple’s lush courtyard. Calacatta arabescato marble was chosen for its spectacular dark gray veining. The suspension is from Lambert & Fils; the stools are from Hay.
The custom oak cabinets are from Éco-Ébénisterie Saint-Dominique. A thin shelf rests above the backsplash.
Above: the custom oak cabinets are from Éco-Ébénisterie Saint-Dominique. A thin shelf rests above the backsplash.
The couple furnished their home with a mix of vintage finds, new modern pieces, and family heirlooms, including the dining table and rake, both from Mathieu & # 8
Above: The couple furnished their home with a mix of vintage finds, new modern pieces, and family heirlooms, including the dining table and rake, both on the family side of Mathieu. “Her mother and father lived in Iraq for a while. They used it to scrape the sand, ”explains Michael of the rake.
The long view, from the living room, towards the dining room, in the kitchen.
Above: The long view, from the living room, towards the dining room, in the kitchen.
The simple living room, with a Serif TV from the Bouroullec brothers for Samsung. The couple chose Sherwin Williams & # 8
Above: the simple living room, with a Serif TV from the Bouroullec brothers for Samsung. The couple chose Sherwin Williams’ High Reflective White for the walls of the whole house. The wood floors are original; they were simply sanded and treated with a matt varnish.
The third floor has two bedrooms. Simplicity abounds here. A Nelson bubble lamp hangs above a Floyd platform bed. The mirror is by Ikea.
Above: The third floor has two bedrooms. Simplicity abounds here. A Nelson bubble lamp hangs above a Floyd platform bed. The mirror is by Ikea.
& # 8
Above: “The pink side table is tailor-made for our small collection of furniture that we sell,” says Michael. A Carrie portable LED lamp from Norm Architects is cleverly used as a wall lamp here.

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