Pierce’s Vibrant & Playful Montréal Pad

published Oct 29, 2015
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Name: Pierce Atkinson
Location: St. Henri; Montréal, Canada
Size: Approximately 900 square feet
Years lived in: Almost 2 years; Rented

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Pierce is someone who is not afraid to take risks in life, especially when it comes to style and design. Following the best design advice he’s ever received—decorate for “You Do You”—Pierce has filled his apartment with what he is attracted to the most: color, patterns, and quirk. His personality is outgoing and welcoming and so is his home. The space is bursting with thrift shop finds, DIY projects, and hints of pop culture that make it fun and vibrant. A lot of Pierce’s furniture was inherited from family or friends and upcycled with his personal touch.

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Pierce is extremely passionate about creating interesting spaces, and he moved to Montréal nearly a decade ago to pursue a degree in interior design. After a few years of working with local interior designers and architects, he slowly transitioned into his current job as a prop and set stylist. Sourcing props and designing sets for commercial campaigns has been a dream come true for Pierce, allowing him to combine his eye for design with his love of collaborating with others.

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: It’s hard to describe your own style. I guess if I really analyzed it, I would describe it as eclectic, welcoming, and colorful.

Inspiration: Oof, how much room do I have? I am inspired by so much. As a prop stylist, I am surrounded by photographers, stylist, graphic designers, and models who all have such eclectic and interesting tastes. I also follow some amazing bloggers that I can’t get enough of: Oh Joy!, Emily Henderson, Orlando Soria, Mr. Jason Grant, StyldBlk, Absolutely Beautiful Things. Even just the people and spaces of Montréal will often times get my creative juices just a’burstin’!

Favorite Element: I love the layout of my apartment for many reasons. Mostly because of lighting. My dining room at the front of the apartment gets so much sunlight. It’s perfect—I host a lot of brunches and our Instagram pictures look extra crisp! But my bedroom gets only some sunlight so it’s great for sleeping. And I like the look of a bare window without curtains so I have nothing to block in the bedroom and can use my sill for knickknacks.

Biggest Challenge: So far, my kitchen. I assume all kitchens are a challenge for renters because we have no say in the cupboards or countertops that are installed. I love the layout of my kitchen but there’s just something that doesn’t jive. There’s also a chalkboard wall in the kitchen, which I don’t mind but I associate chalkboard walls with cafés and restaurants, they’re a little overdone. I need to change that…

What Friends Say: The number one compliment I get on my apartment is that it is very cozy and welcoming and also very me. For some reason I find that be such an amazing compliment. That’s an ultimate compliment for me because that’s exactly what I wanted to achieve. I want everyone and anyone to feel at home in my space. I’ve been in spaces before where it just doesn’t suit the person. I find myself asking them over and over if they’re sure this is their apartment, maybe we took a wrong turn in the hallway?!

Biggest Embarrassment: My chalkboard wall!!! In the above question I made it seem like the chalkboard wall was already there when I moved in! (Sorry I catfished you.) It was my idea! Yes, I walked to the store, bought chalkboard paint, walked back to my apartment, and proceeded to ruin my kitchen wall. It’s on me. That, and I also recently touched up some holes in my hallway and accidentally bought the wrong finish of paint. Now I have patches of high-gloss paint on parts of my wall that was originally painted in eggshell. Now it looks like I used nail polish to touch up the holes. Yikes!

Proudest DIY: Without getting a big head, I have several. I’m all about a good DIY. I made a few plant hangers out of rope and jute that I love! I also refinished an awesome dresser where I keep all my linens. I feel like my apartment itself is just one big DIY. When I moved in the walls were all white. I also turned my storage room at the back of my apartment into a sitting room with a desk and couch.

Biggest Indulgence: This is embarrassingly funny but I think it would have to be my garbage can in my kitchen! It’s a beautiful West Elm garbage can but the lid doubles as a dust pan and there is a sleek brush that is magnetized to the front. It’s multifunctional and a real beauty!

Best Advice: “You Do You.” It’s so simple but it’s honestly the best advice I’ve ever been given, and the best advice I can pass on to anyone. It made me realize that if I want to paint my hallway dusty pink, I will. Own it, try not to follow trends, just make your space 100%, unapologetically yours. I repeat this to myself daily.

Dream Sources: Any beautifully photographed and curated coffee table book. Blogs like Oh Joy!, Color Collective, and I love Instagram!


(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Paint & Colors

  • Hallway: C-I-L Delicious
  • Dining room (above): BEHR Manhattan Mist
  • Kitchen: C-I-L Universal Grey
  • Kitchen backsplash: Sherwin-Williams x West Elm Bosporous
  • Bedroom: C-I-L Zepplin
  • Bathroom: BEHR Durango Blue
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Dresser: bought it off a friend in high school
  • Frames: local thrift store
  • Print: Farine Five Roses by Jane Heller
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Burlap wall: DIY
  • Dining table: beige
  • Dining chairs: Umbra
  • Mink coat: a gift to my Mom from my Dad
  • Bar cart: Home Depot
  • Candle wall sconces: Anthropologie
  • Frames: thrift store
  • Crayon art: personal piece
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Bookshelf: IKEA
  • Table: my own DIY
  • Backsplash decal: The Lovely Wall
  • Stools: Target
  • Garbage can: West Elm
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Sofa: IKEA
  • Wall prints: local print/poster shops, thrift stores
  • Pendant lights: Zone
  • Pegboard and hooks: Home Depot
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Blanket rack: West Elm
  • Dresser: left by previous tenant
  • Bedding: Target, Simons
  • Shelves: DIY, wood and brackets from Home Depot—I painted the edges pink for a pop of color.
  • Light: DIY made from a tree branch, light pendants, and lampshades found at a thrift store
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Shelving: old sewing machine drawers found at Finnegan’s Market, the most amazing local flea market
  • Mirror: left here by previous tenant
  • Waffle shower curtain: Target
  • NY map: wrapping paper from DeSerres

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Thanks, Pierce!