A Montreal Art Director Says No to Beige

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Montreal Art Director Says No to Beige

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Margherita Terrone
Location: Montreal
Size: 860 square feet
Years lived in: 6.5 years, owned

Maggie is NOT a fan of the “dull modern beige and white interiors that dominate design blogs,” as she describes. As art director for Werkliv, she layers color and texture to create vibrant spaces on a daily basis. Not surprisingly, she applies this design philosophy to her own home. Here, she’s achieved a fresh contrast to dull beige — and without spending a lot of money.

When Maggie purchased her condo six years ago, she had to use a lot of her creativity; furnishing a home on a budget is challenging. Inspired by architects that use color such as Triibe Concept Studio and India Magdavi, she had to figure out how to get a vibrant look without blowing her budget.

“It’s amazing what you can do with a little bit of time, some power tools and paint.”

So, almost every piece of furniture in her home was either bought second hand, found for free, or built by hand. Like the IKEA Malm bed hack, for example. Maggie and her friend completely updated it with a $30 piece of MDF board, a jigsaw and paint, giving a 15-year-old bed new life. Maggie’s home is full of savvy money-saving projects like that.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Eclectic, cozy and serene

Inspiration: When I worked as a display coordinator at Anthropologie there were so many talented people creating these beautifully layered, colourful vibrant spaces. They always seemed to be a fresh contrast to the dull modern beige and white interiors that dominate design blogs. I definitely took a little of that with me when I left (I hope). Currently I’m loving projects and architects that use colour: Fin House in London by RA projects, Triibe Concept Studio, India Magdavi, Masquespacio interior-design studio for example. And I gravitate towards paper sculpture artists — always and forever: Francisca Prieto, Benja Harney and zhu jinshi just blow my mind!

Favorite Element: I love how minimal and serene my bedroom is. It’s the only place I don’t bring any of my work. My bed is comfortable and the space is soothing. The ladders are my dad’s old construction ladders from the late ’70s and they add the perfect height and texture to the space.

Biggest Challenge: Furnishing a home with zero money when I purchased it six years ago. Almost everything is second hand, found, built by us or old furniture that’s been transformed. It’s amazing what you can do with a little bit of time, some power tools and paint.

What Friends Say: They all like different things. Mostly I think they all like how balanced and comfortable the space feels. They always really like the curated areas when things are arranged in a meticulous way. It gives friends things to look at when we’re hanging out.

Biggest Embarrassment: If you look carefully, I only reupholstered three of the six hand-me-down dining chairs. There were so many staples to remove — I got lazy half way through. I’ll finish them one day!

Proudest DIY: IKEA Malm bed hack! My friend and I transformed it with a $30 piece of MDF, a jigsaw and paint and gave a 15-year-old bed a new life. I still love it today.

Biggest Indulgence: Artwork, cookbooks, glassware and ceramics. I love holding, using and looking at beautiful things that other people make. My husband and I cook and entertain a lot, so I love anything that creates a mood when entertaining. I love fresh flowers and plants; they are a total indulgence and an obsession I have adopted from my father. What has more beauty and drama than a flower?! Can’t get enough!

Best Advice: Do whatever you like. You’re living there so there isn’t a trend that can dictate what embodies a home (and I find really high design trends don’t always translate to the best livable spaces). Add colour — there are enough beige homes in this world! Never pay full price for anything unless someone is hand making it. If it comes from a factory or from China — wait for a sale or ask for a deal; you can almost always get one.

Dream Sources: CIELO products in Milan, Mathilda chair by Patricia Urquiola, Fireclay Tile, Hardwood herringbone floor (I’ll have it one day!). Any natural stone product from IL GRANITO, in Belgium. There are too many things I’d love to use in my next home, but I’ll have to pick and choose carefully!


Living room Benjamin Moore — gallery white
Kitchen cabinets Sherwin Williams, top cabinets repose grey and bottom cabinets — graphite
Bathroom — a mix of leftover Sherwin Williams paint- lol

Handmade bench re-upholstered with Martinique fabric

Entrance — Cleon Peterson from Station16 Gallery
Bar print — Maple Sizzurp by Whatisadam (Canada) from Station16 Gallery
Living room art — Painted by me
Bathroom art — by Tim Barnard (Canadian) from Station16 Gallery

Grey Sofa – Craigslist
Pillows – Decor Maria (on Belanger St. in Montreal)
Velvet side chair – Decor Maria
Table lamp — Decor Maria
Mint side chair – Second hand
Roar and Rabbit rug — West Elm
Mid-century side table — Kijiji
Wood slab side table – Second hand
TV stand chest — Craigslist
Plant unit — Handmade
Coffee table — Second hand

Light fixture — West Elm
Dining chairs — ’70s hand-me-down (half re-upholstered)
Dining table — Structube
Buffet – Craigslist
Tabletop pottery — Ceramik-B (Quebec)
Fresh cuts – Bell jar Botanicals (she finds my favorite flowers when they are in season)

Paint — Sherwin Williams
Backsplash — Home Depot

BED — IKEA Hack DIY- Malm double bed, MDF headboard custom addition, bronze pigment with varnish
Curtains — IKEA
Bedding — Anthropologie
Side table — Decor Maria
Round mirror — Anthropologie
Favorite necklaces that double as art — Matthew Addonizio (Philly)
Side chair – Craigslist
Ladders – My dad’s hoarding garage!

Vanity and medicine cabinet — IKEA
Round mirror — Second hand

Desk — Hand made
Chairs — Craigslist and ikea
Storage — IKEA
Wall calendars — hand painted

Thanks, Maggie!

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