This Montreal Home is a Wild Mix of ’70s & ’80s Decor (and It Totally All Works)

updated Apr 30, 2019

This Montreal Home is a Wild Mix of ’70s & ’80s Decor (and It Totally All Works)

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Roxanne Arsenault and Pascal Desjardins and Colette, 7 years old
Location: Rosemont, Montreal
Size: 2,500 square feet
Years lived in: Owned, Roxanne: 13 years / Pascal: 2 years

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Roxanne and Pascal are both art lovers with very unique taste in home decor, and they live in an eccentric and colorful home in Montreal. Their space is a mix of rich patterns, textures, and comfy elements of the ’70s, along with vivid colors, styles and shapes of the ’80s.

Roxanne bought the house thirteen years ago, and when Pascal came to live with her two years ago, they decided to completely renovate the house from top to bottom. With the help of architects Olivier Krieger and Marie-Laure Blaise and contractors Simon De L’Étoile and Gabriel Lalande, they opened up the space in the dining and living areas, added the library section (adjacent to the living room), built the fake stone wall, installed the stucco on the ceiling, and redid the flooring on the first floor. They renovated the kitchen using vinyl tiles from the ’70s, and the entire bathroom using all black tiles and a four-piece bath from the ’80s happily found on Kijiji. The couple redecorated everything using authentic decor elements and furniture pieces from the ’60s, ’70, and ’80s. The crazy wallpapers, the purple carpet, and the ceramic and vinyl tiles were all found on the internet or at the back, back, back of various stores!

Roxanne is a talented artist and musician who is currently the general and artistic co-coordinator of Centre CLARK, an artist-run center dedicated to the promotion and production of contemporary art. She’s also been involved in many facets of the cultural milieu in the city for over 15 years. She holds a MA in Art History and almost a PhD that focuses on representation, exoticism and restaurants in Montreal. She’s also a dedicated kitsch artifact collector.

Pascal is an art collector who has completed various studies including visual arts, philosophy and sound recording, and currently works as a sound mixer at Apollo Studios, a music production studio that has operations throughout North America and Europe. Together, this creative couple founded La petite commission, which showcases the work of contemporary artists and offers professional advice.

The home is a true image of their quirky interests and an accurate representation of their eccentric and bold personalities. It’s a “very personal and unique museum.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Many styles! From rich and comfy elements of the ’70s to vivid colors and styles of the ’80s. All of this enhanced by the presence of many contemporary artworks.

Inspiration: A blend of contemporary art with rich patterns, colours, textures and natural light. A very welcoming and warm place, that defies the white cube of art galleries, where challenging artworks interact with kitsch artifacts. A very personal and unique museum.

Favorite Element: There’s a lot we love. The fake stone wall, the floor-to-ceiling library section, the crazy wallpapers, the vintage Roche Bobois sofa, the purple carpet around our bedroom, the glass in the diagonal flooring…

Biggest Challenge: Having contemporary artwork cohabitate with vintage aesthetics. Trying to make everything work together was not an easy task since we were buying used materials that couldn’t be exchanged or that were ordered online. We really had to try and imagine what so many motifs and colors would look like once put together in one open space, for instance. And….having a automatic musak player when you close the bathroom door for an extra ambiance. Oh, also: get our renovation team to learn how to install stucco back on our ceiling.

What Friends Say: WHAAAAATTT !?? “It’s the perfect blend between both of our worlds.” “Can we rent it for our vacation?”

Biggest Embarrassment: No real embarrassment, but if we had to mention something, I guess the finish on our wooden floors didn’t turn out great everywhere. Not a big deal. We now think it gives it more character.

Proudest DIY: Install of ceramic and vinyl tiles, carpet, wallpaper + overall artistic direction.

Biggest Indulgence: The pool and the Roche Bobois “Patate” modular sofa.

Best Advice: Have fun while renovating! Build, renovate and decorate to your own personal taste, go wild, don’t start thinking of whether it’s gonna be a good move if you decide to sell the house when you haven’t even moved in.

Dream Sources: Decoration books of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.


Architects — Olivier Krieger and Marie-Laure Blaise
Contractors — Simon De L’Étoile and Gabriel Lalande
Interior design and decoration — Roxanne Arsenault and Pascal Desjardins

Golden panels and lamp — found on Kijiji 🙂
Wallpaper — Retrowalls on Etsy

Bed — Ikea
Wallpaper — Empire Wallpapers
All Curtains — Homemade from personal long time fabric collection
Decoration — Everything has been found in thrift stores or bazars.

Sofa — Found on Kijiji
Wallpaper — personal vintage collection
Lamps — personal vintage collection
Decoration — Everything has been found in thrift stores or bazars.
Art — Luke Painter, Gardens of the Red House, 2012

Sofa is a 1973 Roche Bobois ‘patate’ — Montréal Showroom
Wallpaper — Retrowalls on Etsy
Shag Carpet — Kijiji
Stone wall – AS-801 Fieldstone — Artek Stone
Gold spot ceiling fixtures — eBay
Golden diamond-shaped shelving — found in garbage
Lamps — personal long time collection
Vintage Stereo Cabinet — Found in garbage
Yellow see-through vintage curtains — personal vintage collection
Mustard-color opaque curtains — IKEA

Nicolas Baier — Schèmes, 2013,
Natascha Niederstrass — In absentia luci, tenebrae vincunt, 2015
Dominique Sirois and Grégory Chatonsky — Perfect Skin IV, 2016
All wood toys — Les Jouets Lafrance

Yellow ceiling lamp — Marché aux puces St-Michel
Table and chairs — personal long time collection
Cylinder-shaped furniture (white and wood paneled) — found at Eco Depôt

Valérie Blass — Séparé à la naissance, 2013
Valérie Blass — La partie pour la chose, ⅖, 2013
Trevor Gould — Golden Gorilla, 2006
Maria Hupfield— Victory in Defeat, 2015

Ceramic tiles for back-splash — Ciot
Fake stone 1980s vinyl tiles (floor) — Million de tapis et tuiles
Cabinets — Ikea + custom made details by our contractors
Handles — Éco-Réno
Sink + tap — Home Depot
Coffee Machine – Pasquini Livia 90 — kijiji
Second-hand stove and fridge — Second-hand appliance neighborhood store.
Marigold Santos — Crystal Monster, 2009

Ceramic Tiles — La Tuilerie, Dali black tiles 2×2
Sea foam color hot tub, toilet, sink and shower, vintage 1987 — Kijiji
Cabinet, vintage — Kijiji
Make-up theatre mirror with lights — Kijiji
White artificial flower vase — Kijiji

Carpet — Wild Grape Color, in the Strike Back style by Mohawk
Wallpaper — 1980s leftovers found at Empire Wallpapers
Bed — custom made by our contractors and carpeted by ourselves
1980s bedroom pyramid dressers + bedside tables — kijiji
Blue bedside table lamp — Marché aux puces St-Michel
Vintage bar —found by Roxanne’s grandmother in a bazaar
Panton chair Herman Miller — found for $2 in a yard sale

Max Wyse — La cuisine ambulante, 2008
David Lafrance — Souvenirs de voyage, 2016
Nicolas Grenier — Border Crossings (study #1), 2016
Guillaume-Adjutor Provost — Sans Titre (Générations), 2015
Chris Kline — Untitled, 2011
Allison Schulnik — King Helmet Shell, 2012
Annie Hémond-Hotte — Cry Baby, 2014
Kim Dorland— Untitled Small Portrait, 2009
Mark Clintberg — Our Arrangement (3 scissors), 2015
Aude Moreau — Less is more or…, 2015
Tricia Middleton — Little Baby Dummy, 2015
Alex McLeod — Sapphire, 2015

Bookcase — Custom designed by our architects, hand made by our contractors
Cats and Dogs — found in thrift stores or bazaars
Lamps — personal vintage collection

Michelle Lacombe — The bloody gash, 2016
Karen Tam — Prince Arthur’s Vase, 2016
Julie Tremble — Travelling, 2014 ( in the small video screen )

Black and white wildlife wallpaper — personal vintage collection
Wooden table + artificial flowers — personal vintage collection
Telephone table and orange chair — personal vintage collection

Shannon Bool — The wooden analyst, 2014
Nicolas Grenier — Going for it (II), 2016
Kim Dorland — Lori (Emerald), 2014
Kim Dorland — Untitled (Autoportrait), 2015
Small art pieces installation contains works from — Karen Trask, Jean-Michel Leclerc, Nicolas Flemming, Descôteaux & Gagnone and Anne-Renée Hotte.
The wooden flowers and vase — Les Jouets Lafrance.

Everything in this room has been found or bought in thrift stores.
Skawennati— Dakotas raise weapons, 2010

Everything — personal tiki collection.
Toilet — Éco-Réno

Thanks, Roxanne and Pascal!

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