We are happy to welcome Sarah Brown to A Beautiful Mess today to share her lovely home with us!
"My boyfriend Chad and I (and our two cats) live in a 1950s attached cottage in Montreal. So far we've spent all our free time renovating it. We were drawn to this house after looking at so many houses that had already been flipped without much care and were not to our taste. As soon as I saw this place I was drawn to its unique features—the brick wall in the living room (which turned out to actually be wallpaper, but is now painted black), the open living room/dining room, and the open second floor hallway that overlooks the main room. It had been lovingly taken care of by the same owner for many years and reminded me a lot of my grandparents' house and their attention to detail—also my grandma's love of pink. The whole house was painted various shades of dusty rose.
"I think our space now feels open, modern, bright, and colorful and is a place we love to relax and entertain in. We've tackled smaller reno projects in the past, but seeing our vision for the space come to life and knowing that we put in the work to make it happen is really satisfying. While we had to work with a pretty tight budget, I think I actually work best that way. There is nothing I love more than the thrill of the hunt and digging through things in flea markets—now I can showcase all my vintage finds and family hand-me-downs in one space.
"My favorite piece in the space is the metal starburst above the buffet. It was my grandmother's and had always been in the hallway of our family cottage. I love that I can now display it in my house.
"We've lived here for almost a year now. The space has really been completely transformed—you can see our befores and afters here. The original space had the pink walls I mentioned, wall to wall carpeting, two layers of wallpaper in the living room, and a closed-in kitchen that was so small and awkwardly laid out that only one person could maneuver in it at a time. We refinished the wood floors and replaced all the old linoleum in the hallway and the bathroom. We basically wanted a modern space that still respected its past, so we tried to keep some of the more functional retro things—like all the original black and blue tile in the bathroom.
"The most unusual decor item in our space is probably the bingo sign. I made Chad drive to the Brimfield Antique Show and then haul back this gigantic working bingo sign. This was when we still had a small apartment, and it sat in the middle of our hallway until we moved into the house. The plan was to find a way to mount it on the wall, but its temporary home is on the floor beside the couch—which I'm kind of liking now. It's a great light source and always a conversation piece when people come over. Hopefully we can have a real bingo night soon.
"We spend most of our time on the main floor, except for watching movies in bed—our guilty pleasure. I love that I have a brand new kitchen for the first time ever. It's so easy to use and easy to clean. Having it open the rest of the main floor is great, so we spend a lot of time in there. While we still have some projects left (the basement is a shrine to fake wood paneling), we're taking a break now and simply enjoying not sitting in a construction zone but instead relaxing in the living room, listening to records, and enjoying a drink after all our hard work."
Credits // Author and Photography: Sarah Brown.