A Quiet, Quirky Gem of an Apartment in Montréal’s Mile End

updated Feb 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Shereen Zangana)

Name: Mercedes La Rosa
Location: Mile End — Montréal, Québec
Size: 850 square feet
Years lived in: Rented 4 years

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Just steps away from the bustle of cafés and bookstores along rue Bernard, Mercedes’ 850 square foot apartment is a quiet gem in the heart of the Mile End. Standing at the threshold to her ground floor apartment, surrounded by green leafy plants, the New Yorker Radio Hour’s “Cat vs. Dog” podcast can be heard through her living room window. Mercedes’ cats Frankie and Stella use this open window to hop in and out of the apartment at their leisure.

(Image credit: Shereen Zangana)

A graphic designer, photographer and jeweler, Mercedes is a lover of modernism, cats and Japanese designer Issey Miyake. Her home is filled with an array of colourful and unique possessions. Many of the furniture pieces she has were acquired over time through happenstance, friends, and diligent Craigslist hunting. It seems that with patience and an eye like Mercedes’, it’s only a matter of time before you can find yourself the most incredible pieces.

Walking into her living room, the eye is drawn across the space’s geometric features: a mirror-plated coffee table reflecting the colourful carpet set below it, the many books and magazines carefully placed upon shelves and tabletops, the orange paint chip samples on the wall. Her love of geometric accents extends to her long, plant-filled kitchen, which is complemented by a beautiful round accent dining table set.

(Image credit: Shereen Zangana)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Warm modernism with a dash of mess and quirk.

Inspiration: Josef Albers and Peter Doig paintings as well as all the warm feelings the colour orange emits.

Favorite Element: The mid-century-like rocking chair, the dining seats and table.

Biggest Challenge: Trying to keep my plants alive.

What Friends Say: It’s warm and welcoming, thoughtful. Feels big, not overrun with stuff, “very you.”

(Image credit: Shereen Zangana)

Biggest Embarrassment: Not being able to keep everything in its place / orderly. There are still pockets of mess I just can’t obscure!

Proudest DIY: My linoprints and terrarium

Biggest Indulgence: Listening to nice records on my crummy vinyl / 8-track playing sound system, my brother tells me that I’m ruining my records when I use it, but I just love the sound.

My two cats, Frankie and Stella.

Oh, having a guest room. I love having friends from out of town visit and feel at home, definitely worth it.

Best Advice:
-Best way to haggle for great pieces is to offer cash upfront.
-Sidewalks are great sources for unique pieces.
-A little Kondo’s cool, but not so much.

Dream Sources: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West

(Image credit: Shereen Zangana)
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The entrance to Mercedes’ apartment is lined with leafy green plants, which provides privacy as well as a lovely view from her living room. (Image credit: Shereen Zangana)

Thanks, Mercedes!

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