Savannah & Mike’s Colorful, Slightly Edgy Montreal Rental
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Name: Savannah Sher and Mike Wynands, Finn the cat, and Nori the dog
Location: Verdun — Montreal, Canada
Size: Approximately 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 8 months; Rented
Mike and Savannah, co-founders of The Quick Green Fox, are Montreal natives who grew up in the island’s west end. When they were searching for a new place earlier this year, an apartment close to downtown was on their wish list, as was a neighborhood with charm and a sense of community. Finding a home that allowed dogs was a surprising challenge! They found a spacious ground-level space that met all their conditions in Verdun, a neighborhood situated along the St. Lawrence River to its south, with downtown to the east and their families to the west. Since moving in, the couple has been working hard—framing travel photos, building furniture, organizing bookshelves—to make the place feel like home.
Finding an apartment with ample space was also important to Savannah and Mike, since they run their business, The Quick Green Fox, from home. They wanted a space that would allow them to distinctly separate work and play. The layout is rectangular in shape with a long hallway splitting the apartment in half, ending with an open kitchen at the rear. Two double rooms—living room on one side and office and bedroom on the other—run the length of the apartment. The dining room is in a small room off the kitchen. The couple explained that the separate toilet and bathroom (a reality of old rentals) has taken some getting used to, though they are working on making this more functional.
Since moving in, Savannah and Mike have experimented with a couple of spatial arrangements. They originally set up their home office in the current dining room as a way to have work physically separate from home. However, this setup didn’t feel productive or right, and they moved it to the front room where there was an abundance of natural light. Savannah said that so far, it has worked out well—the flow is much better and the bedroom actually feels as though it’s set apart from their workspace. As for the decorating, they are extremely resourceful and enjoy doing things themselves. Mike built a lot of the main furniture pieces, and many of Savannah’s photographs line the walls.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Vintage, industrial, handmade (Mike) and clean, colorful, cozy (Savannah)
Inspiration: Our inspiration comes from trying to cultivate a space that is filled with things we love while balancing our two different aesthetics. I’m most drawn to pared-down Scandinavian interiors, while Mike prefers more rustic spaces.
Favorite Element: Our living room features three areas that display the things we’re most passionate about: our floor-to-ceiling library which houses our combined collection of books; our gallery wall, which is made up of photos of family and pets, pictures from our travels, and a few favorite prints; and finally, our record shelves. Sitting on the couch relaxing at the end of the day, it always makes me happy to be surrounded by walls covered in our collections.
Biggest Challenge: Some of our rooms (namely the living room and dining room) really don’t get a lot of natural light. When we first moved, in we painted them with light colors to try to keep them as bright and airy as possible, but over the last few months we’ve decided to embrace the dark coziness and updated both rooms with charcoal accent walls.
What Friends Say: That the place is constantly changing (guilty)
Biggest Embarrassment: Our bathroom is split into two different rooms in separate parts of the apartment. One room houses the bath, shower, linen closet, and sink. The other room is just a toilet, so guests have to cross the apartment to wash their hands!
Proudest DIY: We’re most proud of the furniture that we’ve built ourselves (like the dining table and coffee table), but my favorite has to be the bookshelves that Mike built for our ever-growing library—I’m impressed every time I look at them.
Biggest Indulgence: I would say our biggest indulgences are plants (which I have a hard time keeping alive) as well as books and records (which I hope will stay with us forever). We’ve been pretty resourceful in furnishing the place and really haven’t spent a lot on on any item in particular.
Best Advice: “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” I have to remind myself of this every day and realize that it’s better to finish a project then get caught up in the tiny details of it.
Dream Sources: Last year Mike and I went on a two month road trip in the U.S. and saw so many things we would have loved to bring home with us but couldn’t due to limited space. I still dream about Uncommon Objects in Austin and all the road-side antique stores that we visited.
PAINT & COLORS
- Living room: Benjamin Moore Classic Grey
- Living room accent wall: Benjamin Moore Deep Space
- Dining room: Benjamin Moore Classic Grey
- Dining room accent wall: Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black
- Kitchen: Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White
- Kitchen cabinets: Benjamin Moore Oxford White
- Bedroom/office: Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White
- Bathroom: Benjamin Moore Deep Space
- Couch: IKEA via Craigslist, legs replaced with a tapered style from Home Depot
- Accent pillows: mostly from Society6
- Blue throw: bought in New Mexico as a souvenir of our two-month US road trip
- Bookshelves: made by Mike
- TV stand: IKEA
- Rocking chair: recently inherited—has been in Savannah’s family for close to 100 years
- Daybed: kids’ bed, mattress from IKEA
- Coffee table: our first building project together
- Bench with hairpin legs: DIY
- Chest: garage sale
- Oversized floor lamp: Target
- Rug: Urban Outfitters
- Swivel chair: found on the curb by Mike
- Wooden crates: found on the curb by Mike
- Bottle lamp: made by Mike
- Eames-style chair: Structube
- Butcher’s block island: Finnegan’s Flea Market
- Wooden crates: found on the curb by Mike
- Two-headed bird print: Esprit Vintage in Verdun
- Bed frame: IKEA
- Nightstands: DIY (if you can call stacking cinder blocks “DIY”)
- Clothing rack: IKEA
- Lamps: IKEA
- Mirror: Homesense
- Desk: IKEA
- Chairs: IKEA
- Stool: vintage
- Stendig Calendar: Boutique Unicorn
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