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July 15, 2015
Warm, repurposed building materials are favored in this savvy renovation by MARK + VIVI.
Montreal renovated row house entryway and stairs

Light from a new skylight pours into the home's entryway and living room. Steel columns and beams were added for structural reinforcement, and the couple left all beams, old and new, exposed. 

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Montreal renovated row house with  yellow stairs

"I always wanted to have my very own yellow brick road," says Viviana de Loera, whose favorite part of the home is the playful staircase. The original stairs and handrail were preserved in the renovation.

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Montreal renovated row house with Canadian plywood flooring

Locally sourced Canadian plywood was used for the flooring throughout the home, and all doors and windows were replaced with low-energy upgrades. The couple shares their space with guide dogs they foster through a local organization. 

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Living space in a Montreal renovated row house

In the living room, and throughout the home, recessed "book nooks" are used to provide space-saving storage. The only seating in the room is a sleek black faux leather and steel daybed, fabricated by Montreal-based Surface Jalouse. Walls were removed to cohesively unite the living space and kitchen.

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Montreal renovated row house kitchen with a chalkboard wall

The couple's kitchen is an exercise in both sustainability and creativity. The island is wrapped with reclaimed scrap wood uncovered from the house during demolition. Chalkboard walls provide a whimsical canvas for graphic images and notes. 

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Montreal renovated row house kitchen

Stainless steel was selected for the kitchen countertops, and the pair relied on a local industrial sheet metal fabricator to help them prepare the material for residential application. The mix of warm and cool adds depth and dimension to the space. 

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Chalkboard sliding door in a renovated Montreal row house

The chalkboard wall also acts as a sliding pocket door to the first floor bathroom. To maximize usable space, there are no hinged doors in the home's interior. 

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Salvaged vanity in the master bath in a renovated Montreal row house

The bathroom vanities were crafted from salvaged partition wall framing and original floorboards. Sustainability is a guiding principle of Fekete and de Loera's design, and materials were repurposed and upcycled wherever possible to honor the history and character of the 135-year-old row house.

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Master bedroom in a renovated Montreal row house

Boasting 11-foot ceilings, the master bedroom showcases and celebrates numerous antiques unearthed from the home during demolition. Midcentury enamel Coke signs, found under layers of rotting wood, became graphic accent pieces. A stately trunk, also uncovered from the renovation, is a centerpiece of the room and home, which is coincidentally located on Grand Trunk Street in the Pointe-Saint-Charles neighborhood of Montreal

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Clawfoot tub in the master bathroom in a Montreal renovated row house

A new clawfoot tub sits next to an old wooden ladder that serves as a towel and magazine rack. 

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Exterior facade of a renovated Montreal row house

The outside of the home is illuminated at night. The crumbling slate roof was replaced with new composite tiles made from recycled rubber. The couple says their goal is to "help revitalize transitioning neighborhoods, one building at a time." 

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Montreal renovated row house entryway and stairs

Light from a new skylight pours into the home's entryway and living room. Steel columns and beams were added for structural reinforcement, and the couple left all beams, old and new, exposed. 

Architect 

Mark Fekete and Viviana de Loera, co-founders of interdisciplinary design firm MARK + VIVI, happily took on the challenge of building their dream home in a transitioning Montreal neighborhood. Working with a relatively small footprint that gave them just 1,100 total square feet of finished living space, the couple used simple and minimal materials to embrace and celebrate the original character of the 1880 home. Space was thoughtfully maximized by opening up the ceiling to expose both the original and new beams, removing partition walls to create an open floor plan, and converting the crawlspace beneath the home into usable storage. The result is a bright, quirky, and imaginative blend of old and new.

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