Name: Mona Hamilton
Location: Plateau Mont-Royal
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting
Mona is a 24-year-old retail florist by day and an aspiring web comic artist by night. And she had always lived with her parents in Toronto...until she decided to "kick-start her adult life" by moving to Montreal after visiting in the summer. For her, this apartment allows her to create and curate a space where she can foster her own growth.
"It was a place where I could finally be financially independent and take my aspirations of being an artist seriously. After that epiphany, I packed up and moved to Montreal and I never looked back," Mona says. The space is filled with natural sunlight and is in a good location: right in front of Baldwin Park, and one minute away from the outdoor public pool.
"Rent is unbelievably affordable compared to Toronto. I managed to save up before moving to Montreal, and I work part time in retail, so that's already plenty enough. I also save money on groceries by prepping and cooking my own meals. It helps that I'm vegan and don't have to spend money on meat."
Since this is a first apartment, her family gave her many of the big important pieces of furniture. And recipe books and records were shared by close friends. "You're never really alone when you have symbols of companionship around you," Mona says.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Charming old architecture mixed with a contemporary decor. I try to blend the building's original early twentieth century details with modern furniture from different eras.
Inspiration: Scandinavian real estate listings, design stores in the city, Apartment Therapy and Pinterest. Land and nature.
Favorite Element: I love the natural sunlight. The best part of waking up is having sunlight streaming through your windows and lighting up your whole apartment and making every morning an ethereal experience. Always a good time drinking a coffee or beer on the balcony and getting inspired by the nature and people outside. I also love the location; I am so close to everything! I can have sushi for lunch and Kouign Amann for dessert. And maybe again for breakfast the next day, ha ha.
Biggest Challenge: Rent is unbelievably affordable compared to other major cities! Still I was a bit afraid to move on my own and have to pay rent. But I managed to save up before moving to Montreal, and I work part time in retail, so I'm okay. I also save money on groceries by prepping and cooking my own meals. It helps that I'm vegan and don't have to spend money on meat.
What Friends Say: So grown up! Your house could totally be in a design magazine : )
Biggest Embarrassment: The open living and bedroom area. I would love to have a closed bedroom. So that every time I have friends over I don't need to clean it!
Proudest DIY: The kitchen counter with the mini refrigerator near the window. It's a quick IKEA hack. I took two of IKEA's Sniglar baby changing tables, painted them white, added shelves and put a Linnmon table top on it. I found it half priced in the sale section. Everything was the perfect size to fit a mini fridge underneath! Oh and I also made the dreamcatcher in the bedroom.
Biggest Indulgence: The mid-century buffet that is now in my bedroom. I found it in a second-hand store and since the owner is a good friend of a friend I got a great deal for it. Still, it was quite a bit of money. I tell myself that this piece will follow me for life!
Best Advice: Explore! Enjoy mixing and matching and discovering the neighborhood you live in. You will want to show your visitors your home and, to me, that includes the places around you. Try as many different restaurants, cafés, patisseries, bookstores and boutiques as you can; find your favorites; take your friends. Share laughs, life and love.
Sofa - Structube
Chair - Gift from my parents
Coffee table - Gift from a friend
Marble Floor Lamp - CB2 (Gift from my parents)
Mirror - Gift from my parents
Cube shelving system - EQ3 (Gift from my parents)
Artwork Running Horses by Kevin Russ - Society 6
Horse - National Portrait Gallery vintage print found in a Portland's flea market
Artwork - Seripop
Cushion cover - hands by Namaki - Society 6
Twin peak's Laura Palmer portrait - gift from a friend
Buffet - Bought second hand on Kijiji
Crates - Home depot
Red table lamp - Second hand at St-Michel Flea market
Lamp - Spoutnik
Console Table - Ikea
Rattan banana fibre ALSADA stools - Ikea
Rug - Simons
Table and chairs - Ikea (Gift from my parents)
Lamp - Spoutnik
Magazine rack - garage sale
Artwork - Seripop
Drawings - Véronique LP
Countertop and structure fridge area - IKEA hack
Print - Kid Icarus
Hanging plant pot holder - Urban Outfitters
Bed - Ikea
Nightstand - Ikea
Buffet - Showroom
Dresser - Vintage, from my grandmother's childhood home
Rattan laundry basket - Home Sense
Globe - Toronto antique store on Queen West
Table lamp - Second hand
Dream catcher - DIY
Typewriter - Toronto antique store on Queen West
Print - Benjamin Deshaies Femme accident