Designers Michaël Godmer and Mathieu Turgeon reimagine a narrow, 19th-century townhouse in Montreal’s Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood as a contemporary abode, complete with design studio and details to spare. Terrazzo, marble and terracotta are just some of the imaginative accents you’ll want to check out. Bonus: check out the video of this minimal yet incredibly unique narrow home.
Stairs are a design feature in Michaël and Mathieu’s three-storey townhouse. This one on the main floor has a strong presence thanks to the unpainted wooden banister, which pays homage to the home’s 1883 provenance. It parlays a nice vintage touch that feels dynamic among the space’s more contemporary accents. The raw colour also plays up on the tones of the terracotta floor tiles. The goat wool runner is from Tretford.
Michaël used white paint and light furnishings to make the narrow living room feel more expansive. It’s anything but minimal thanks to the artful layers of textures, from the existing rough-hewn brick wall to the custom-made linen drapes and the supple leather chairs. The effect is welcoming. “We like to sit here with friends so wanted it more convivial than TV-centred,” says Michaël.
The dining area melds disparate styles with aplomb: a sleek Lambert et Fils chandelier shares the space with a vintage wooden table. The design tension feels cool and no further embellishment is needed.
An abstract photograph from Montreal’s Galerie Blouin Division hangs above a sleek credenza topped with an analogue touch: a record player that Michaël’s father gave him. It’s a fun vignette that forms a smart transitional space between the dining and living areas.
Straight and Narrow
“I designed the island to be narrow so there is more space on either side to maximize the functionality of the kitchen,” says Michaël. The sleek pendant light furthers the streamlined effect.
The kitchen’s wooden shelf with hooks has continuity with the home’s original wood features and provides a creative spot to hang dish brushes, along with dried flowers and herbs.
Natural white-oak cabinets are a warm foil to the gorgeous, splurge-worthy Calacatta marble countertops. The dramatic veining parlays an old European look that’s reflected in the striking range and spiffy coffee maker.
Michaël sourced the super cool island stools from Hay (they’re called the Revolver Stools). They can rotate 360 degrees (thus the name) and are a sleek touch against the warm, textured terracotta tiles. The brass faucet ups the sophisticated ante of the marble.
Pretty and Pink
In the main bathroom, Michaël used the home’s original terracotta tiles as a jumping off point for the decor. “I wanted to implement those kinds of tones but in a brighter colour,” he says. The fresh pinky-orange feels even fresher thanks to the vertical tile placement. “It creates the feeling of higher ceilings and a seamless transition between the floor and walls.”
“When I saw this marble, it was love at first sight,” says Michaël. He had it custom made (note the cool towel holder detail) and its rich-honed finish pops against the brass faucet – the odd splashes of pink complement the tiles, too.
Above it All
A floating toilet and vanity maximize the small space by imparting a light, airy feeling. The countertop follows suit with a suspended hand soap and lotion dispenser that keeps the sink area clutter-free. Michaël custom-made it by cutting a piece of brass leftover from a previous renovation.
The white and wood tones of the bedroom conjure a calm, yet dreamy vibe. The pendant light, a George Nelson bubble lamp, layers in a timeless quality.
“We wanted to keep the bedroom minimalist in design, but still warm,” says Michaël. Natural wood tones, soft linen drapes and a pretty potted plant convey the desired warmth.
The custom-made white oak bed incorporates reading lights on either side. Natural linen bedding from Cultiver feels restful, while the colourful artwork by First Nations artist Caroline Monnet parlays a pop of high-impact graphics.
This breezy design proves that a small city deck can be a serene getaway. Painting the surrounds white and choosing furniture in the same pale tones is a cohesive way to create a light, bright alfresco area. A few plants radiate a natural element and we love the simple round lamp against all the vertical lines.
How cool is this mix of humble, painted brick and full-on terrazzo marble tiles? A smart splurge in a small powder room. The brass faucet is on point with the luxurious theme.
This staircase was painted white so it would blend into the area which houses Michaël’s office space, where he welcomes clients. Modular shelving holds reference material and creates space for a desk.
Folded drapery and a dark palette form a dramatic effect at the end of a white hallway. It was a look that Michaël intended for what was originally going to be a conference room but now acts as a dedicated meeting area for clients.
Forget boring white walls and drop ceilings. When clients come to meet Michaël, they’ll be surrounded by something a little more special: exposed brick and stone, rich drapes and a neat contemporary light fixture.
Work From Home
When Michaël isn’t meeting clients, he works in a garden-level home office he kitted out with IKEA shelving and two work stations (he is pictured here with an associate). The shelf above is visually appealing and also practical, as it displays his selection of project materials for easy access while working.