Text and photos by Genevieve Paiement
With its cozy cafés, classy bistros and schmancy shops, Laurier Avenue exudes that bourgeois-chic Frenchy vibe more than any other street in Montreal. The decorating-obsessed head to Laurier’s furniture stores and design boutiques seeking everything from contemporary Italian couches to locally-made baby bedding. Here are six home-themed gift ideas gleaned from Laurier’s top lifestyle shops.
A rare baby décor store that’s both cuddly and modern, Bounton Jaune has been a pastel presence on Laurier since 2006. The colours may be snuggle-worthy, but there’s a strict no-frills policy in effect, with only the subtlest scalloped ribbon trim and the odd satiny bow popping up here and there. Besides the Bouton Jaune bedding, lamps and bath robes (all made in Montreal) there are diaper bags by Petunia Pickle Bottom and stuffed animals by UK outfit Jellycat.
Picture fabric board, $70; Velvet blanket $48
A fabric board is a soft, pretty way to show off all those cute baby cards, baby pictures and, in the future, the little one’s precious artworks. Blankets are a baby’s best friend. And a pretty, soft, velvet blanket like this just might turn out to be baby’s BFF.
240 av. Laurier Ouest
Potiron (named for a type of French pumpkin) came to Canada just a few months ago, but it’s been in Paris since 2000. This diminutive Laurier outpost keeps all manner of decor affordable, cheerful and shiny – just right for design-loving Francophiles on a micro-budget. There are colourful chairs upholstered in vinyl, lacquered side tables, plastic trays and chrome plated piggy banks shaped like apples or ducks, all at Ikea-ish prices.
Mongolian sheep hair cushion, $79; Heart-shaped foldable stool, $39
A little bit hippie, a little bit pop, these bright and bushy cushions will add personality to a neutral sofa. A loving perch for that extra guest at the table, this stool folds away neatly when not in use. Works well as a side table too.
122 ave Laurier
Occitane en Provence
Founded in 1976, Occitane embodies the look, feel and scent of Provence, from the saffron and navy colour scheme to the signature scents of lavender, lemon verbena, sweet almond and olive oil. Looking right at home on ave Laurier, their wares combine eco-friendliness (lots of organic ingredients, plastic-saving refill bags) with elegant packaging and those yummy southern French smells.
Limited edition holiday home perfume diffuser with red fruits perfume refill, $26, plus $15 for refill; Verbena hands duo, $45
Who doesn’t want their house to smell good? This display-worthy glass bottle with diffusing sticks comes in a festive box and pairs well with a Christmas-y red fruit scent. A powder room treat, guests can pamper their hands with these citrus-fresh lemon verbena-scented hand soap and lotion that sit on a white ceramic tray.
Occitane en Provence
1000 Av. Laurier Ouest