Name: Jasmine Waheed and cat Barney
Location: Garment District — Montreal
Size: 1,500 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, 8 months, owned
After traveling across—and falling in love with—Canada, Jasmine Waheed decided to move from London to Montreal 15 years ago. Her background is in graphic design, but upon arriving in Montreal, she decided to make the switch to photography. "When I moved to Montreal I discovered that the way design agencies work here was very different to how it worked in London," she reveals. "The design circuit here is much smaller and not as specialized as it is in London. I was fortunate enough not to have had to work for the first few years that I moved here, so I decided to diversify my photography, maintaining the music event photography that I enjoy, but moving into photographing food more than portraiture in recent years. I still do some design work but really only for the underground electronic music scene that I am involved in."
One of the best things about her home is the 17-foot ceiling that allows plenty of daylight, which is perfect for her photography. Although she really enjoys older houses with character like those found in London, Jasmine has always been drawn towards the NYC loft living concept. And this spacious work and living space—that used to actually be a commercial loading dock—fits the bill. "When I saw the opportunity to own an industrial space like this, I decided I would like to experience loft living at least once in my life. But I do miss having a house with rooms and definitely miss having a garden. Loft living is cool but it has its challenges; my cat is not that keen on loft living. He definitely preferred the house with a garden."
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Monochrome, simple but eclectic.
Inspiration: I have always loved that NYC/Brooklyn loft living concept but I never actually thought I would find a place like the one I have now; they are quite rare to own in Montreal. Even mine was developed for commercial use but has residential zoning too. So the minute I saw it, I had the opportunity to try and recreate a little of that New York loft look that inspires me.
Favorite Element: 17-foot high ceilings, because this is a work-live space for me. The way the light bounces from my huge windows, it's perfect for my photography. The minute I saw the ceiling height my realtor told me to buy the place.
Biggest Challenge: Living in one huge open space. Previously I always owned period houses and I always said that open-plan living is hugely overrated. People always underestimate the difficulty in furnishing and living in spaces where there are no walls to anchor furniture elements. It's also a challenge to define each individual area as its own space.
What Friends Say: Everyone who comes to my loft is surprised the minute they walk in, with the ceiling height and the light.
Proudest DIY: I love to find furniture on the street. I have several chairs and tables that I have rescued and had reupholstered, some of the less complicated items I restore myself.
Biggest Indulgence: Buying the actual loft. It's more common to rent these sorts of spaces but I have been a homeowner all my adult life and renting was not an option.
Best Advice: I always think that larger home items should be neutral and have fun with fabrics and home elements that are easy to change. I change throw cushions and throws for my sofa all the time. I source fabrics that I like and make the cushion covers myself. IKEA does excellent feather cushion inserts for the best price.
PAINT & COLORS
Decorator's White — from Benjamin Moore
Belize sofa — Structube
Grey felt chairs — MUST Maison
Union Jack cushion — Winners, all other cushions custom made
Bookcase — IKEA
Footstool — HomeSense
Vintage furniture — Imported from England
Dining table and chairs — Montréal Moderne
Wooden countertops — IKEA
Kitchen cabinetry — Professionally sprayed with Obsidian Glass by Benjamin Moore
Bed — IKEA
Other furniture — Brought from England
Vintage chair — From the street and reupholstered