Antique furniture collectors are very familiar with the wealth of goodies available on Montreal’s famed Antique Row (a.k.a. rue Notre Dame). If the word “antique” to you denotes dainty porcelain teacups or Baroque Louis XIV legs, there’s a whole other side to furniture shopping that may surprise you…
Mid-century modern styles (or “inspired styles” thereof) have become synonymous with contemporary living. Here’s a beginner’s checklist of shops in Montreal (each one in a different neighbourhood) where homeowners can peruse such finds – some original, some not-so-original, but maybe just the thing your urban pad is lacking.
(TIP- all of these addresses ship to the U.S. Ask owners for details.)
Shop: Phil’z 20th Century
Owner: Phil Markowitch
This choice find a little north of the downtown core (in what many consider the hippest corner of the land) has been around for 30 years. The space is a hodgepodge of décor gems starting from the 1930s. Markowitch also restores vintage pieces and refurbishes avant-garde industrial pieces “for the comforts of the home.”
Designer Name-dropping: There always seems to be a good selection of Eames chairs, but shoppers will also be pleased to find rare, eclectic finds from several different decades, especially the 1970s.
Nearby Nibble: Markowitch says “Go to Restaurant L’Atelier (5308 St-Laurent) for a classy lunch; their specialty is foie gras.” Or Burger de Ville (5282 St-Laurent) “for a relaxed lunch and the best burger in Mile End.”
Shop: Cité Déco Meubles
Owner: André Demondo
There’s a varied selection ranging from art deco to modern styles from the 30s to 80s, with lots of hip Italian pieces. Demondo receives new stock every day and has been sourcing for 19 years from estate sales, friends, customers and “anything I can get my hands on.” He also specialized in armchairs and reupholstering.
Designer Name-dropping: Stock is always changing but you’ll find things like an original teak armchair from 1959 by Vodder with original fabric, the classic Eames lounge chair and ottoman and a Paulin love seat.
Nearby Nibble: “Just up the block is Uchi Sushi (1799 Amherst). They have really good sushi.”
Shop: Leo Victor
2480 Notre-Dame ouest
Owner: Guyleine Bureau
Bureau opened this bright and cheery boutique three years ago. The loft-like space contrasts with the more traditional antique shops on this main thoroughfare with her selection of modern and contemporary furniture – all of it new. A good bet for first-time buyers thanks to the affordable prices, which is, according to Bureau, about one-third the price of what you’re likely pay elsewhere.
Designer Name-dropping: You’ll find reproductions (read: copies) of iconic chairs such as the Egg and Swan chairs by Jacobsen, Barcelona by Mies van der Rohe, and Corona by Volther.
Nearby Nibble: Bureau goes to Café Lily & Oli (2515 Notre Dame ouest) for the “best lattés”.