Serious Thrifters Renovate an Old Montreal Duplex

updated Apr 30, 2019

Serious Thrifters Renovate an Old Montreal Duplex

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Corine Deshaies and her partner Max
Location: Villeray, Montreal
Size: 950 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned

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Corine found her first McCoy planter under a table in a garage sale at only four years old; she’s always had an eye for spotting great deals and rare original goods. Because of her gift for thrift, nearly every furniture piece in the duplex she owns with her partner Max is vintage. She’s found it all at various garage sales and in second-hand shops.

In addition to the thrifting prowess on display here, Corine and Max’s renovation of this nearly 100-year-old home — with its original architectural details like built-in cabinetry, decorative doors, ceiling arches, and columns — deserves attention, too. Their home is airy, bright and spacious, a contrast to usually narrow and dimly lit Montreal apartments.

Wisely, Corine has also turned her passion for vintage objects into a career; she’s the co-founder of Mama Coco Vintage, a mother-daughter online boutique.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Mid-century Modern

Inspiration: I’m a love-at-first-sight kinda girl. So when I thrift, I need to feel something about a piece. At the moment, I love everything that is mid-century and I would love to have a time machine to be at Montreal Expo67.

Favorite Element: My Pyrex collection. I need more room! Don’t they look amazing?

Biggest Challenge: Renovating the almost one-century duplex. We did a lot ourselves and it was the biggest challenge in our life until now. The entire bathroom, renovating part of the kitchen (with the help of our families), big cleaning and a complete paint job.

What Friends Say: That we were crazy to buy a house looking that bad! But look at the outcome…

Biggest Embarrassment: The entry is kinda small, and my cat Theo would love to go outside, so I’m always squeezed between the two doors when someone comes in.

Proudest DIY: The fixture lighting in the kitchen. My grand-pa taught me how to re-do the electricity and we made it from scratch!

Biggest Indulgence: My Lambert & Fils lighting in the dining room. I was dreaming about it and I got spoiled last year at my birthday by my family.

Best Advice: Decorate to feel good in your house. Follow your intuition for what represents you the best.

Dream Sources: The social media universe: Pinterest and Instagram. Yes, I’m a millennial! Real world: thrift hunting. Buy what you love at first sight and your house is gonna look just amazing!


All the apartment is OC65 – Chantilly Lace from Benjamin More and the Gray on the lower kitchen cabinet is the 2121-20 – Steel Wool

Hanging pendant – Was there when we bought the house
Credenza – Was there when we bought the house
Vintage Pioneer Turntable and vintage Sony Speakers – Thrifted
Harman/Kardon sound system – Kijiji
MCM orange lamp – Thrifted
Macramé planter – Thrifted
Mid-century stretch canvas by Scuda – Thrifted
Vinyl stand – Thrifted in Toronto!
Coat hook – Was there when we bought the house
Arm Chair – Thrifted
South American cushion – Esprit Vintage
Carpet – Walmart (not online)

Mid-Century Sofa bed — Found on the sidewalk
Mexican blanket – Gifted by a friend who came back from a trip to Mexico
Cushions – IKEA, Simons and Kijiji
Carpet – Kijiji
TV unit – Thrifted
Coffee Table — Kijiji
Vintage credenza restored by my friend Oliviero – Kijiji
Small Aztec carpet – Garage sale
Armchair – Thrifted
Valet – Thrifted
Hanging pendant – Was there when we bought the house
Wall macramé – Thrifted

Dining table – Kijiji
Chairs – Thrifted
Hanging pendant – Lambert & Fils
Wall weaving – Boho Montréal
Montreal Expo67 metal plate – Thrifted
Bar cart – Target (RIP in Canada)
Door handles of the DIY sideboard – Amazon

Kitchen island — IKEA
Stools – From a pop-up shop in Le Plateau on sale, but available mostly everywhere like Wayfair
Hanging pendant – DIY with my grand-father Paul
Butcher block countertop – IKEA
Door handles – Richelieu at Reno Depot
Sink and water faucet – BMR (sink)

Bed — From Max’s parent (boyfriend)
Side Table restored by my friend Oliviero – Kijiji
Marimekko Fitted sheet – Crate and Barrel (no more available)
Bicycle pillow case – Stay Home Club
Pier – HomeSense
Marimekko stretched canvas – Garage Sale
Big mirror – Thrifted
Hanging pendant– West Elm
Side table lamp – Thrifted
Round Mirroir – VdeV
Black iron flower appliqué – Urban Outfitters
Dresser restored by my friend Oliviero – Kijiji

Sink — BMR (not online)
Water faucet – IKEA
Pharmacy – Custom made by my father-in-law
Toilet – American Standard at RONA
Bathtub – Reno Depot
Shower Curtain – Walmart (not online)
Carpet – Simons (only in white)
Towel – H&M home
Wall fitting – Thrifted
Ceramic tile – Éco-Dépôt Céramique (Laval)

Hanging pendant – Kijiji
Orange chair – Kijiji
Mid-century Desk restored by my friend Oliviero — Kijiji
Wall waving’s – Thrifted, and the one at the center was made by my aunt when she was young!
Vinyl rack – Garage Sale
Vintage Montreal Expo 67 frame – Garage Sale
Wood bookshelf – From a vintage store which is now closed
Crystal stones poster – VdeV
Metal storage furniture – Was there when we bought the house
Brass-like bookshelf – Belonged to my Mom
Vintage hairpin table – Belonged to my Mom
Floor lamp – IKEA

Thanks, Corine and Max!

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