222 | Lived Spaces | Habitat Series | Montréal, QC

I've always been fascinated by the homes of others and, in particular, how people design their spaces. One of my favourite things about getting to know someone is being invited into their home, one's personal territory. At first I didn't know where this fascination came from and recently realized that it's in my blood (why is it that we often overlook the answers to our questions that are right under our noses?). How we choose to design our space reflects a little (or a lot) about who we are, the relationship we have with our environment and even our habits. Things are placed, hung and installed with purpose. Walls are painted with intention. Montréal has a ton of "apartment eye candy" within its old duplexes, triplexes and converted loft spaces. Exteriors with unique facades, balconies hovering over the sidewalks and alleys that function as extensions of backyards. Interiors that are charming with old mouldings and detailing, exposed brick walls, fireplaces and creaky wood floors.

It was only a matter of time before I began asking my friends (friends of friends and one day strangers I'm sure) to photograph their homes. For a couple of years now I've wanted to start a small series that documents the intimate spaces of living, work, play and/or retreat of people I know. Our "Habitats" so to speak. And well, the time has come and it seems only appropriate to kick things off with a space that is very near and dear to many peoples hearts, mine included.

Habitat Series #1

City: Montréal
Neighbourhood: Mile End

Who: Alex Beveridge
People who you share(d) this space with: So many! There have been a lot of people who've spent time here, either as inhabitants, partners, regular visitors. In the past four years I think we've had over 20 roommates come and go, so this place has seen a lot of sharing.

In three words how would you describe the design, atmosphere/mood of your space?
Communal, bright, comforting.

What is your favourite room? Why?
The kitchen for sure. It really is the heart of this place. So many great meals, great parties, great conversations, great moments, great dance parties have come out of this kitchen.

What is the best decorating "find"/DIY in your space?
The hanging mugs. I love the eclectic, colourful aesthetic that they bring to the kitchen, and how the collection changes every time someone comes or goes.

Most treasured item(s) in your space?
I found the kitchen table on the street years ago and it has been such a staple here. Also the cookie jar was my grandmothers and I really love it.

What elements are essential to you in creating a space that feels like home?
Having a kitchen that I can cook in and a space where people can gather.

What is your best memory from this space?
Years of Friday night potlucks.

Weekends are for...
Gathering and eating.

Your favourite Montréal coffee spot is...
Arts Café.

The best thing about the neighbourhood you live in is...
Being able to walk two blocks in any direction and arrive at a friend's doorstep. And being steps away from PA.

A perfect day in Montréal goes like...
Wake up slightly hungover, head somewhere close for breakfast & horoscope reading. Lie in the park for hours, run into a mishmash of people, and then invite everyone over for an impromptu dinner party.

If you could travel anywhere next, where would it be...
The Yukon to do a canoe trip.


Lauren Kolyn is a lifestyle photographer based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact: kolyn.lauren@gmail.com