A Photographer Learns to Let Go, Downsizing to This 650-Square-Foot Montreal Rental

published May 11, 2023

A Photographer Learns to Let Go, Downsizing to This 650-Square-Foot Montreal Rental

published May 11, 2023
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Lauren Kolyn is a professional photographer and has actually been a contributor at AT for almost eight years (she’s photographed over 50 home tour features). About 10 months ago, Lauren and her cat, Yoyo, moved into this 650-square-foot apartment in Montreal’s Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood. “When I moved back to Montreal to attend graduate school I was shocked to learn how much the rental market had changed since I last lived there in 2016. On average, rents had doubled and the demand for rental units was (and still is!) SO high,” Lauren begins. “In the past, Montreal was known to be an affordable and renter-friendly city in Canada. Although rent increases are expected, the market here exploded, making it very hard for people to find an apartment to rent, let alone an affordable one. For months I obsessively refreshed websites with apartment listings and finally came across this little gem. Although it has quirks, I feel very grateful and lucky to have found an apartment in a great location — a bonus being it is on the same street as some close friends!”

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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

A couple of years ago, Lauren went back to school to do a master’s in social work and now works as a clinical social worker as well as a photographer. She describes her style as being a little big mid-century modern, minimal, and organic/nature-inspired — a style that complements the rental apartment’s architecture. “I have come to learn and accept that I am very sensitive to space, and cultivating a space that feels comfortable and like ‘home’ has always been important to me,” Lauren admits.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

“Although this space feels somewhat temporary, it has felt like a little nest that has supported me throughout a recent life transition. It is on the top floor of a small, heritage type apartment building with 10 units. It’s filled with natural light and charming details, and also gets a view of some spectacular skies.”


Credit: Lauren Kolyn


  • Sofa — Vintage from friends I met doing this AT home tour; similar here and here 
  • Pillows — Sömn
  • Floor rug — St. Michel flea market
  • MCM sideboard/dresser — Vintage
  • Linen table runner — Sömn 
  • Shelving system — Home Depot (via Rubbermaid)
  • Table lamp — IKEA
  • What is the Speed of a Shadow? artwork — Tania Love
  • Oregon Coast photography print — Lauren Kolyn
Credit: Lauren Kolyn


  • Chairs — From my grandparents’ basement, reupholstered
  • Ink Test (top art) — Toronto Ink Company 
  • Framed postcards — Anne Schwalbe
  • Table lamp — Vintage
  • Floor Lamp — IKEA (discontinued)
  • Table — Structube (purchased secondhand) 
Credit: Lauren Kolyn


Credit: Lauren Kolyn


  • Bed linens — Sömn 
  • Bed frame — Article
  • Otio walnut lounge chair (grey mist) — Article 
  • Side table — From my grandparents 
  • Hanging MCM lamp — Vintage from Gadabout
  • Dresser — Vintage via Kijiji
  • Release Yourself Ink Test — Toronto Ink Company 
  • Table lamp — Vintage
Credit: Lauren Kolyn


  • Emporio Tone photography print — Kimon 

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