A 100-Year-Old Montreal Triplex Maintains Its Original Architecture, Including an Incredible Archway

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An archway leading to the living room
Credit: Aude Tessier
Arch and living room view

Name: Aude Tessier and Charlot the cat
Location: Montreal, Canada
Type of home: Triplex
Size: 825 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My home is a 100-year-old triplex, classic of Montreal’s architecture. Long and narrow, the home used to welcome quarry workers and their big families. Now, those apartment-style homes are all the rage in the city, thanks to their affordable-ish prices and good location. You can see them on every Montreal landscape, with their stairs outside and individual doors.

I purchased the house a year ago, right after it went through some major renovations. The main architecture elements were salvaged (the living room arch and exterior, mostly), which sold me on the place.

Credit: Aude Tessier

Its size and the room disposition make it a perfect place for one person (or a couple, one can hope), and their cat (or dog, but whatever). We could technically call it an open-floor concept, but every room still has its own space and personality.

When I moved, I wanted the place to be minimalist and cozy. This is why I went with white walls and mostly mid-century furniture. However, I soon realized that I was not a minimalist at heart. A year later, every wall has been decorated, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I try to create moments and vignettes with pops of color and vintage accents, still maintaining an overall balance.

Credit: Aude Tessier
Overall view

Lastly, my favorite parts of the home are my locally handmade living room lights, my West Elm coffee table, and my DIY bookshelves.

Thanks for listening to my TED Talk.

Credit: Aude Tessier

I think I’m a mix of a lot of things, which makes this question very difficult.

I wish I was a minimalist, but I might be more of a maximalist — 2023 is all about accepting who you truly are and embracing it.

I’m also a colormilist (is that a thing?). Color makes me happy, but I know I get bored quickly, so I try and put color in my smaller decor objects, and chose a neutral base (except for you, green velvet couch).

Credit: Aude Tessier

Finally, the introvert in me created different spaces where she felt comfortable. Although I love reading and watching TV, I want to be comfortable inviting my friends at my place (and asking them to leave before my bedtime).

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or fewer: Cozy, colorful, lively, bright.

Credit: Aude Tessier
Living room

What is your favorite room and why? That’s very easy for me to answer: the living room. Apart from the fact that I spend most of my awake-and-not-working time there, it is filled with memories of friend and family gatherings, cat cuddling, and movie-crying.

Besides that, the arch that separates the room is, in my opinion, the main focus. It’s original to the 1923 building. The arch also separates the room in two: the TV-and-couch space, and the library. I recently got the Frame TV, which is obviously a game changer. I love changing the art with my mood, and the wall now feels complete.

The library is my favorite place. I just love sitting in my round sofa and reading a good book with a very hot matcha. I also get a view of my rainbow bookshelves. What else can you ask for?

Credit: Aude Tessier

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I splurged on some hanging lights for my living room. As much as I love my $40 IKEA dining room pendant, it was important to me to invest is a statement for the living room. I then found a Quebec-based company that has made-to-order lighting with a HUGE color selection. The specific light I chose is inspired by poppy flowers. I chose a cream color in a glossy finish, which makes me think of a seashell. I find it also complements the white walls perfectly, with a subtle difference.

Credit: Aude Tessier
Dining room

Any advice for creating a home you love? To make a house your home, every detail matters. If you need to bring something new in the space, make sure you truly love it. Take the time to shop for every little thing, whether it’s a garbage can or a sofa. Also, create little fun moments, don’t take yourself too seriously. If looking at your kitchen sponge makes you happy (hello, Scrub Daddy), then you did a good decorating job.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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