A Vintage Decor Seller’s Montreal Rental Is Filled With Secondhand Gems

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Wall mounted shelf in green painted apartment  living room.

Kim Hawthorne has rented this one-bedroom apartment for four years, and shares it with two cats, Gouda and Burgee. By day, I’m a developer at Shopify; by night and weekend, I sell vintage decor with my little business No Kill Vintage, cook lots of vegetarian food, and am learning to sew.

I’m from Chicago but have called Montréal — and this apartment in the Plateau neighborhood — home since 2019.

The apartment has slowly evolved over time to become not only my safe and comfy haven, but also my home office and No Kill Vintage headquarters.

I guess I consider myself a pretty laid-back, empathetic person. I’ve always been passionate about reducing my environmental impact, and that shows up in my decor. A lot of the furniture and most of the items in my home are secondhand — a mix of finds from Craigslist/Kijiji, flea markets, thrift stores and various vintage shops.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Eccentric, curated, playful

What is your favorite room and why? My bathroom. I recently redecorated it and love the result. The walls are a beautiful cool yellow (paint color: “Chilled Wine” by Behr), which works beautifully with the heavy burgundy velvet curtains that hide my washing machine and the cats’ litter box. I have a weird attraction to Catholic imagery (maybe my early years in Catholic school?) and have a small collection of vintage Marys, Jesuses, and saints sprinkled throughout. This room also gets the best light (and humidity!) so my plants are thriving.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? A retro, reversible blanket with a pattern of brown, gold and yellow flowers. I found it at a thrift store for No Kill Vintage, but it now lives on the back of my couch. Oops!

Any advice for creating a home you love? Go vintage! Pre-loved items have so much character, and you can find some really weird stuff. Also: the more plants, the better.

Thanks Kim!

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.