House Tour: Lisa & Alex's Craftsman Loft

House Tour: Lisa & Alex's Craftsman Loft

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Regina Yunghans
Dec 4, 2008

Names: Lisa & Alex, owners
Location: Old Port, Montreal
Size: 1400 s.f. (for four people and a big dog)
Years lived in: Alex 6 years, Lisa 4 years

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Lisa and Alex moved to Montreal after years of living in small New York City apartments. Their Montreal home is still relatively small by family-of-four standards, but the once-industrial space feels spacious and inviting. With a combination of textures and styles, this family home nestled in Montreal's historic port reconciles loft living with the warmth and comforts of domesticity...

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Lisa and Alex are both writers with a passion for theater. This shows up throughout the loft, including in the couple's art collection (largely photography, but also paintings and prints). The artwork is either in simple frames or on frameless stretched canvases, setting the work off in a clean, crisp manner against a backdrop of rich texture and color. Combine the lifestyles of four family members with Lisa's penchant for antique textiles, Alex's Japanese prints, the loft's age-old rhythm of windows and structure and the result is an engrossing tale set within a real-life, well-loved home.

AT Survey:

Our style: Mission modern

Inspiration: Old Hollywood (NOT Hollywood Regency): Spanish-style houses in the Hollywood Hills circa 1920, The Maltese Falcoln.

Favorite Elements: Square footage! We're both from New York City, so we consider 350 sq. feet per person palatial.

Biggest Challenge: maintaining a sparse style with kids. We didn't realize Mission was the precursor of spare, nothing-out-of-place modernism, until it was too late.

What Friends Say: "Your elevator opens directly into the apartment!"

Biggest Embarrassment: Lisa: The stupidly huge TV.

Alex: Aw, the TV's not that big. Besides, nobody notices things like that.

Proudest DIY: designing a room for our daughter (partitioned off of the living room).

Biggest Indulgence: Living in the Old Port. We could get more space elsewhere, but we love being surrounded by historical buildings.

Best advice: If your taste is out of fashion, you save money.

Dream source: Brimfield, a lost will of William Morris inexplicably naming us his sole heirs... (You said it was a DREAM source.)

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Resources:

Appliances:
Sears. Honestly, who needs a $20,000 stove?

Hardware:
Home Depot; kitchen is Ikea.

Furniture:
Mostly antique stores and flea markets. Aeron chair is from Herman Miller, Montreal.
Mosaic coffee table was made by Alex's grandfather.
Couches are from Structube and Seven by Seven, Montreal.
Beds and kids' furniture are Ikea.

Accessories:
Cushions were hand-sewn by Lisa from scraps of antique Caucasian rugs. Pottery comes from craft fairs.

Lighting:
Arroyo Craftsman for wall lighting.
DWR for shell-shaped lamp.
Paris flea market for small desk lamp.
Montreal Crafts Fair for the large wooden candelabra in the window.

Rugs and Carpets: We keep our floors mostly bare -- it keeps the rooms from being too old-fashioned. Plus, our daughter likes to tricycle in here.

Tiles and Stone: They were in place when we moved here. It's not what we would have picked, but it's okay.

Window Treatments: Indian saris from eBay. Lisa hand-sewed them into curtains.

Beds: Beds are Ikea. Coverings are vintage textiles Lisa collected over the years (BEFORE suzanis were absolutely everywhere).

Artwork: Paul Kopeikin Gallery, Carolyn Staley Gallery (Japanese prints), Jen Bekman's 20x200, LightWorks, Humble Arts Foundation, purchases direct from artists, eBay and flea markets for vintage Hollywood photos.

Paint: We haven't painted over the faux finish that was here when we moved in, because we're terrified that if it gets wet the whole surface will peel off. So greige it is.

Flooring: Canadian maple, naturally.

(Thanks, Lisa and Alex!)

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