This Rustic-Chic Studio Apartment Is A Creative Refuge
Ever since Lysanne Pepin moved into her 936-square-foot loft in Old Montreal 15 years ago, she’s been adapting the space to her somewhat quirky needs. The space functions as a studio, where she works on her large-scale paintings that hang on an expansive exposed brick wall. It also acts as the office, meeting room and photography studio for her popular design shop, Maison Pepin, which Lysanne opened in 2014 on the main floor of the same building, a former dry goods warehouse from the 1850s.
Since Lysanne and her DJ husband, Zo, are renters, she’s kept her updates low-cost and has mindfully maintained the loft’s rustic charm. The original sandblasted wood beams, pine flooring, and stone and brick walls have an authentic ruggedness that references the building’s industrial roots. “For us, this isn’t a small space,” she says. “When I walk in and see the huge windows and high ceilings, it brings me peace.”
Scroll down to tour this hardworking small space.
The dining table is surrounded by ’60s-era Kangaroo chairs by Ernst Moeckl, which were a gift to Lysanne from her mother. In the cooler months, custom quilted chair covers make the fibreglass seats cozy.
Lysanne designed this Belgian linen wingback love seat, which has become a signature piece at her shop, Maison Pepin.
Deep sofas and a Moroccan kilim soften the industrial elements in the living room. A leather saddlebag from Europe, formerly used by Swiss army couriers, now hangs on the charcoal love seat to store remotes. Lysanne used salvaged sheer fabric for the drapery. “When you’re an artist and you don’t have a lot of money, you need to be creative and extend the life of everything,” she says.
MDF panels painted pale blue-grey are an easy alternative to backsplash tile. In concert with Lysanne’s preference for open shelving over cabinets, she chose a commercial refrigerator with a glass door.
A trio of framed photographs taken by Lysanne’s brother, Patrick, hang on the wall above the Murphy bed. When the bed is tucked away, this space is used as a photography studio.
In Lysanne’s recently renovated bathroom, the Moroccan cement tiles are a bold choice that make a memorable statement.
The lush courtyard of Lysanne’s shop is famous in Old Montreal. During the winter, the plants find shelter in her loft. “Even if you have the nicest decor, a room doesn’t look finished until you add plants,” she says.