When Gatline Artis, the co-founder of design studio Entre Quatre Murs, stumbled upon this home, she had an inkling it would soon be hers — even though it wasn’t exactly her style. Perched on Dobie Avenue in Montreal’s hilly Mont-Royal neighbourhood, the 3,500-square-foot, circa-1959 home had a typical mid-century-style layout: cloistered, small rooms and narrow hallways that never saw sunlight.
Thankfully, Gatline wasn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty. She and her husband wanted a home they could revamp to fit their young family’s lifestyle. They quickly got to work, gutting the interiors and reinventing the layout to create an airy, updated home that’s flooded with natural light.
We chatted with Gatline to learn more about her family’s wish list and how their mid-century house went from drab and dark to expansive and bright, with lots of extra storage to boot.
Scroll down to see how she did it!
House & Home: Can you tell us about your storage solutions?
Gatline Artis: Each room was designed with integrated storage to either hide or proudly display our personal belongings. One of the most complex and practical built-in pieces is the one separating the kitchen and living room: on the kitchen side, it shows off our everyday dishes and cutlery while concealing a bar area. On the living room side, a television is hidden behind a sliding panel, and we display our books and souvenirs in the built-in bookshelf.
H&H: Tell us about that gorgeous kitchen!
GA: Our kitchen is deeply rooted in family life. The counters are made of quartz because it’s low-maintenance and resistant to stains. The cabinets are in white oak to harmonize with the floors (also in white oak from Stone Tile), creating an integrated and soft effect in the space.
H&H: Why did you choose to hide part of the kitchen behind a wall?
GA: The idea was to keep the front-facing portion of the kitchen inviting and bright. Just behind the partial wall, the all-black pantry stands out. We decided not to include a door to the pantry to make it a true extension of the kitchen. The space features an integrated fridge and freezer, coffee corner and microwave. These appliances are tucked away but still within easy reach!
H&H: The glass railings on the stairs are a bold choice. Why did you choose this material?
GA: Many of our clients are wary of glass staircases, especially when they have young children, but it was important to us — and children grow up! We chose glass because we wanted the interiors to feel more open. It allows us to diffuse light as far as possible within the heart of the house.
H&H: How did you change the floor plan?
GA: The house had five bedrooms upstairs, but the spaces were dark and narrow . We reconfigured the second floor to have three bedrooms and opened up the centre to create an office.
H&H: What’s your favorite design detail?
GA: In the morning, when the light comes through the glazing on the back façade and the glass on the staircase, the walls, floors and furniture are beautifully illuminated! This creates a soft, warm and enveloping atmosphere — and a feeling of happiness that we take the time to enjoy.
H&H: What are the highlights of the principal bedroom?
GA: The integrated nightstands are designed with wood-look laminate, and the headboard is made of padded felt, which brings comfort and warmth to the whole. The lighting above the bed is from Sonneman. We love our walk-in closet with its custom built-ins!
H&H: The principal bathroom works so well with the rest of the interiors. Did material selection factor in to the design?
GA: The bathroom is composed of three main materials. A Ramacieri Soligo ceramic tile that resembles natural stone covers the floor, three walls and the shower bench. White oak on the vanity, one wall and the alcoves nod to the flooring throughout the rest of the home. Finally, we chose a low-maintenance white Fenix counter for its matte finish and the brightness it brings to the space.
H&H: What spaces did you create in the basement?
GA: Three zones coexist harmoniously. B uilt-in cabinets offer dividers between the gym, the games area and the family room. We also brought in bins for the kids’ toys, with closed storage above for board games.
Author: Elena Sénéchal-Becker