Julien’s Small Studio Apartment Bursting With Art, DIY Projects & Quirky Objects

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

Name: Julien
Location: Hochelaga-Maisonneuve — Montréal, Canada
Size: 466 square feet
Years lived in: 4 months; Owned

Newly-single Julien had to find a place that would meet his love for lofts and small spaces while integrating elements that appealed to him; he found this studio for sale and fell in love with it. He then had to make sure his vintage finds and every piece of furniture he owns would fit in 466 square feet—it was a challenge!

(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

His place is filled with art and quirky objects found over the years that animate the space. As an artist, Julien loves to create. From paintings and drawings to easy and complex DIYs, Julien knows how to personalize his small living space—and he makes the most of it.

Vintage finds displayed here and there are great surprises for the eye: the metal cowboy statue, the mouse skull under the glass bell, the gnome pillow, the Davy Jones pinball board on the bathroom wall, and the vintage metal jars, just to name a few. Pairing these decorative accents with the coolest pieces of furniture—the chairs that used to belong to a church and were given to him by his grandpa, the leather and chrome producer chairs, the industrial suspension lamp, etc.—is a great way to add character to a small studio, and it makes the space one-of-a-kind.

(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Masculine vintage with a touch of Scandinavian.

Inspiration: Scandinavian blogs and the Small Space section of Apartment Therapy.

Favorite Element: The concrete pillars/ceiling and the open concept.

Biggest Challenge: Be able to fit everything in a tiny space.

What Friends Say: Great use of space considering the size.

Biggest Embarrassment: The bed nook is a bit tight. We could also say that it’s cozy!

Proudest DIY: The coffee table that my dad and I made.

Biggest Indulgence: Not done yet, but it will probably be the backsplash in the kitchen.

Best Advice: Don’t be afraid to use big pieces of furniture in a small space. Avoid clutter.

Dream Sources: Style Labo, Kijiji, Ste-Catherine St.’s antique stores, Showroom, the Brooklyn Flea market.


(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)


  • Sico by COLOR in Eggshell
(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)


  • Chinese chest: Asiatica
  • Striped stick: DIY by Julien
  • Desk lamp: RavishingRetro on Etsy
  • Art: vintage drawings from Julien’s mom
  • Painting: by Julien

  • (Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)


  • Sofa: IKEA Kivik sofa in Tenö light gray
  • Throw on the sofa: EQ3
  • Skull cushion: made with love by Julien’s mom
  • Coffee table: made with love with by Julien and his dad
  • Rug: IKEA
  • Leather and chrome producer chairs: Kijiji
  • Vintage suitcases: Kijiji
  • Faux cowhide rug : Simons
  • Painting near the bedroom: by friend and tattoo artist Ayako Fujita

  • (Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)


  • Industrial suspension lamp : OLAM Interior
  • Table: IKEA, secondhand on Kijiji
  • Tablecloth: IKEA
  • Chairs: from Julien’s grandpa
  • Artwork: Julian (
  • Metal ampersand: Brooklyn Flea Market

  • (Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)


  • Rug: IKEA
  • Lips painting: by Sandra Chevrier

  • (Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)


  • Bed platform: made by Julien’s dad out of wood pallets and plywood
  • Mattress: IKEA
  • Metal shelves: IKEA, no longer available
  • Lamp: West Elm
  • Painting: by Julien

  • (Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)


  • Suspension cage lamps: Etsy
  • Davy Jones pinball piece: Palpitation
  • Paddles: ARTÉ
  • Artwork: souvenirs from Bali
  • Surfer: Brooklyn Flea Market
  • Metal pharmacy cabinet: IKEA

  • (Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)


  • Replica of Eames armchair: mtlmodern
  • Table system: IKEA top and legs
  • Desk lamp: ARTÉ
  • Rolling cart: IKEA
  • Mirror: DIY by Julien—old frame repainted white, with new mirror

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    Thanks, Julien!