Best Decor Stores in Montreal

Going to Montreal and wondering where to shop?  Let me help you.  Typically, Montreal is very well known for trendy clothing boutiques and amazing restaurants but it is also chock-full of fabulous home decor destinations that are both inspiring and unique.  On a recent trip I scoured the city for the best-of-the-best in order to bring you this mini shopping guide to use on your next visit.  There is lots here so get ready to have a bit of fun, grab a bagel along the way and pick up a few words en francais.

Zone Maison

4246 rue St Denis  http://www.zonemaison.com/

Absolutely brimming with modern decor finds this store is the mothership of Montreal style. The accessories are fantastic, the furniture pieces affordable and the store itself is bright, airy and full of possibilities.  You will find a million things that you want to take home so for that reason, it’s a must see.

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Style Labo

5765 Boulevard Saint-Laurent  http://www.stylelabo.com

This store is a more of a concept-space than a livable environment BUT you will find cool pieces that add personality to your home.  It’s part antique market, part junk-shop, part  trendy downtown workshop.  I imagine adding any number of these things to a modern space to jack up the creative content and provoke conversation starters for dinner parties. LOVE the illuminated letters!

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SL3SL5Maison Corbeil

1215 Boulevard Cremazie Ouest http://www.maisoncorbeil.com

This is the biggest and most furniture-oriented store that I visited.  Maison Corbeil carries the big lines like Ligne Roset and Cattelan but also offers a variety of less-expensive choices that are fantastic.  It has a warm yet minimal feel and covers all the bases.

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V de V

5042 Boulevard Saint-Laurent http://www.vdevmaison.com/

This store is a cosy little boutique full of warm and friendly Quebecois things.  Or maybe that’s just because I visited in mid-November and they were all decorated for the holidays.  Either way, it’s a fun treat to visit and you’ll find lots to see.  Cabin-chic at it’s best.

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Lambert et Fils Luminaires

156 Rue Beaubien Est. http://www.lambertetfils.com/

I don’t know about you, but I can get very bored of seeing the same lighting fixtures over and over again.  Which is why I am soooooo excited about finding this amazing small custom shop that makes everything on-site.  The lights are modern, elegant, simple and (best of all) unique.  They aren’t cheap, but they aren’t break-the-bank crazy either.   Love, love, love this place.

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That’s all for my adventures and I’m sure there are many, many more.  Please write to me with other ideas and I will check them out on my next go-round.  What a fantastic, fantastic city.  Au revoir mes amis!

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Ding, Dong Decorating with Bell Jars

Sorry Sylvia, I’m decorating ….

I’ve been slightly obsessed with bell jars (also known as “cloche”) this week after searching high and low for the perfect ones for an upcoming project.  At this point, I can call myself an expert on where to find them in Toronto, where to get the best deals and what sizes are available.  While not new (glass cloches were first popular in Victorian decorating), bell jars are right at the cusp of being a major decorating trend and I predict that we will see them a lot more in the months to come.  I know a trend is coming when I see something being used as propping in a major high-end furniture store (Roche Bobois in Paris, par example), styled in the better decor magazines and turning up in the trendier stores with limited release.  They are a simple, cute decorating item that has unlimited potential for creating mini vignettes on bookshelves, mantles, consoles, dining tables etc etc etc.  So, in the spirit of DIY I decided to style two of my favorite finds in as many ways as I could think of to give you some ideas on incorporating bells into your home.  Of course with the holiday season on it’s way like a freight train, I couldn’t resist doing a few with a festive feel. The real goal here is to get creative and use bells to showcase some of your favourite things.

See below for sources and tips.

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DSC_7487Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Make sure you have at least one tall thing in each vignette because you want to fill the vertical space.  To add height, try layering something on the bottom like a small cake plate or a nice looking box.

2. Have a good variety of sizes and shapes in each vignette but stick to a theme to keep it all tied together.

3. Group bells of different sizes together for big impact.

4. Don’t be afraid to let the bell’s contents “spill” out on to the surface outside.  It’s nice to see one ornament on the table as an accessory.

5. Little plants and orchids DO thrive in bells and look fantastic.

Sources:

Small bell: Urban Outfitters $44, medium bell: Morba $99, large bell: wholesale (sorry).

I had many of the items around my house but I did buy the christmas decorations from:

Ornaments: Homesense, nutcracker: Hudson’s Bay, white houses: Urban Barn.

As an added treat, here is how West Elm is doing them (and FYI: you could totally do this yourself):

West Elm

A Holiday Preview on Christmas Street

While I know that it’s still early for some people, I have been working on Christmas photo-shoots and gift guides for months now and so I am already super-excited about the coming season.  It’s almost as if I’ve skipped over Halloween entirely and am now ready to put up the tree and start sipping cocoa with Baileys.  I guess I’ll have to put the brakes on gently for now but maybe in the meantime you’ll allow me to share some gorgeous holiday ideas that I saw at yesterday’s HBC Christmas Street sneak-peek.  As always, The Bay does an outstanding job with their holiday decorations and it was such a treat to walk-through the extensive Queen Street department with designer Brian Gluckstein and The Bay’s Creative Director of Home Fashions, Arren Williams.
I’ll start with my favorite look: blue/grey and gold (you’ll notice I took more pictures here than anywhere else).   If I could re-do my entire holiday look to match this I totally would.  I think that the key here is a hit of elegant French aesthetic that I can imagine in a very chic Parisian apartment.  The golds are in every patina from tarnished to sparkling and the blues go from soft grey to baby.  It’s an elegant look for an elegant home with a bit of whimsy to keep it light.
The candles are long and tall to add elegance and a touch of antique-styling.  I love all the vases and vintage bowls filled with ornaments.  This can simply be reproduced on a mantle or buffet.
The fancy flocked wallpaper and antiqued mirror are well-balanced by the modern black lampshade and oversize nutcracker.  This is a great vignette.  Again, bowls of ornaments are a simple way to decorate that takes almost no time at all.
I am a total nut for table-top and I loved this setting. It’s modern yet elegant and goes quite well with the stainless flatware (this is a good example of well-mixed metallics).  Also the trio of crystal stemware is a perfect touch.  The table has been left bare to let the marble show.  Gorge!
If I had to pick one favorite thing that I want to bring home it would be this wreath.  It reminds me of a Napoleonic or Roman crown.  And while maybe Napoleon wasn’t such a great guy, the Napoleonic style was sumptuous and regal.
Anyhoo, the next room is a little more casual (but just a little) and based on a creamy palette with hits of light woods and raw brick to ground it.  The decorations are etherial with lots of sparkle and big creamy poinsettas and ribbon everywhere.  There are pretty antiques in this look as well and I love the vintage luggage stacked in front of the carved mantle.
On the more traditional side, the Bay’s crack design team created a tartan-inspired room with a manor house feel called “Highland”. This one is all about layering plaid on plaid with little scottie dogs and wellies on the tree.  There are lots of bears to play with and hefty tarnished gold candle sticks (sorry for the blur but you get the idea).
This old Underwood fits right in with the theme.  It’s masculine and old-world and you can make the kids guess what the heck it is.
Here is Arren Williams showing off his favorite sparkling bird in the “Regency” room.  This one is all about chic black, white and shiny silver.  It’s a new twist that I think will be very popular with the urban set.
Okay, last one: I would call this one Christmas Lodge.  It has a fantastic Canadian style that is in keeping with The Bay’s heritage.  Lots of antlers, birch candles, furs, and faux-greenery abound.
Here is Brian Gluckstein showing off an antler candle-holder.  He was also pleased with the collection of soft-toy decorations that are perfect for kids.
The layering here gives a wonderful feeling of abundance which is so key to Christmas. Don’t be afraid to over-fill the table on the big day.  Your guess will love it and yes, the food will still fit somewhere….
So what is your favorite look?  Do you change it up every year or are you more inclined towards the hand-made and handed down?