A Sleek and Small Minimal Modern Montreal Apartment
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Name: Edmund Lam
Location: Montreal, Canada
Size: 850 square feet
Years lived in: 3 months, owned
Edmund Lam, creative director of fashion retailer Frank and Oak, lived in a mid-century house for five years in Montreal-West. Missing city life, he moved back into a smaller apartment a few months ago in Le Plateau Mont-Royal. “My previous home was much larger—while downsizing has its advantages, it’s been a challenge retrofitting my existing pieces into a new space and incorporating the right new additions to reflect my more recent sensibilities while making it an exciting space for me to live in,” he reveals. Storage was key in the process of decluttering. “Otherwise, I like to be very selective about the things I buy and keep. Anything I don’t use or appreciate on a regular basis, I try to get rid of.”
Located on the top floor, the main advantage of his apartment is the sunlight it gets throughout the day as it can really lift up one’s mood, Edmund says. The layout looks like a square box and makes the living area open, practical, and flexible.
For someone who works on branding and campaigns all day, Edmund puts a lot of thought into the meaning behind every decision, and this had an influence in decorating his apartment. “I have a certain affinity to modern design, but I also want it to be meaningful and to represent who I am and how my son and I use our space. While it’s tempting to fit everything within a certain style, I make sure to not over-curate and intuitively incorporate things I’ve collected over the years.” The result is unexpected: eclectic, minimalist with a mix of Scandinavian, and mid-century vibes.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Eclectic, mid-century.
Inspiration: I’ve always loved mid-century but with this new place I’ve been subtly moving towards a more minimalist Scandinavian vibe—lighter wood finishes and a limited color palette.
Favorite Element: Love my dining room table by Kastella. It took some time to find the exact one I had in mind. Something sleek but with enough detailing to make it feel classic.
Biggest Challenge: My previous home was much larger—while downsizing has its advantages, it’s been a challenge retro-fitting my existing pieces into a new space and incorporating the right new additions to reflect my more recent sensibilities while making it an exciting space for me to live in.
What Friends Say: My girlfriend says it’s minimalist and industrial while others have said it’s unexpected and eclectic. I guess it’s indeed a bit of both, depending on where you’re looking. I feel it’s an honest reflection of my tastes, which can be contradictory at times.
Biggest Embarrassment: My bed is actually a hand-me-down from my brother. It was the bed he used as a teenager in our family home, bought sometime in the early ’90s.
Proudest DIY: The brass chandelier in my bedroom was my first attempt at building a light from scratch, I made it for my old house five years ago. It still holds a special place in my heart as I’ve since developed a deep love for lighting fixtures.
Biggest Indulgence: I paid way too much for the dining room table. It was surprisingly hard to find a white oak table that I liked and so when I finally did, I didn’t hesitate. No regrets though, because look at it.
Best Advice: Don’t over curate. Surround yourself with objects that you love and it’ll naturally fall into place.
Dream Sources: I work for a retail fashion brand, so I tend to look at store design a lot. Otherwise I’m still an avid Pinterest user and have bought many recent pieces from EQ3. They’re Canadian, have classic modern design, and their pieces are well-made.
Dining room table — Kastella
Black chairs — EQ3
White chairs — IKEA
Chandelier — EQ3
Chandelier — EQ3
Fridge — Fisher Paykel
Dishwasher — Fisher Paykel
Chandelier — “You make it chandelier” by Lindsey Adelman
Desk — EQ3
Chair — Eames replica
Floor lamp — DIY’ed IKEA
Rug — Vintage
Pendant light — Unknown
Bed, cabinets, and locker — IKEA
Rug — rugsusa.com
Wall sconce — Lambert & Fils
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