City Homes

March 31, 2023

Step Inside A Moody Century Home In Westmount, Que.

When you live in a house that looks like a castle, you get used to people pausing on the sidewalk to admire its turrets, columns, corbels and architectural bling. But designer Michael Godmer’s first look inside this 127-year-old townhouse in Westmount, Que., a famously tranquil, affluent city just a stone’s throw from Montreal, wasn’t what he expected.

The clients — a couple who had recently purchased their first property together — had hired Michael Godmer Studio to transform the interiors, and they warned Michael that the ghost of the previous owners’ taste and furniture still lingered. “Just before I entered the house, my clients said, ‘Everything you’ll see inside is the opposite of us,'” says Michael. “It was all very white and clean and glossy and futuristic — not quite their style.” That said, the couple loved the 2,400-square-foot home’s generously proportioned rooms, high ceilings, time-burnished hardwood floors, abundant natural light and original architectural details. “The house itself was beautiful, but we felt that it lacked warmth and distinctiveness,” says one owner. For Michael (left), designer Catherine C. Lavallée and design assistant Flaydencia Jeanty (right), the design direction was clear. “Our goal was to furnish and finish the space in a way that would better reflect their personalities,” says Michael.

Fixing wonky century-old walls, refurbishing old floors and rejuvenating the soul of a heritage house proved to be painstaking; work began in June of 2021 and took eight months to complete. “It’s often more challenging to improve something that already exists — like crown molding — because it requires skilled artisans,” says Michael.

Scroll down to see inside this moody Montreal home!