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home of the week

Trevor Parker

5 Place de Chelsea, Montreal

Asking price: $2,995,000

Taxes: $15,039 (municipal) $2,011 (school) (2022)

Lot size: 39- by 49-feet

Agents: Andrew Hops, Kaufman Group, Sotheby’s International Realty

Trevor Parker

The backstory

Chelsea Place had always been a dream for Garrow Kedigian. The Montreal-born, now New York-based, architect and interior designer would walk past the townhouses every day when he attended McGill University’s School of Architecture in the 1990s. He would admire the buildings’ architecture and would tell himself that one day he would live there.

Then about eight years ago, he was back in Montreal looking for a holiday home that was closer to his family. He was meant to look at one of Linton Apartments when his real estate broker parked his car across the street, in front of Chelsea Place.

“I was like, ‘is there a house for sale here?’ and lo and behold, I ended up with a house there,” Mr. Kedigian said.

Located in the historic Golden Square Mile, the collection of 18 townhouses is nestled just off Sherbrooke Street, behind the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, near the base of Mont Royal.

“Montreal has such beautiful architecture, like beautiful old houses that have survived thankfully, the wrecking ball,” Mr. Kedigian said.

For Mr. Kedigian, Chelsea Place has everything to offer someone who wants the closeness of being in downtown Montreal while still luxuriating in a sense of peace within their home.

“It’s just so quiet. It’s like being in your own little oasis. It’s unbelievable,” Mr. Kedigian said.

The house today

Trevor Parker

Trevor Parker

The Georgian-style townhouse was built in 1923, modelled after terrace houses in London, England. Remnants of that history remain throughout the house, from the mouldings to the butler’s pantry.

The five-bedroom, three-bathroom home comes with a two-car garage, three fire places and a rooftop terrace, which compliments the communal courtyard out front that connects all the units.

The biggest standout of Mr. Kedigian’s home is his use of colour throughout to add warmth and coziness. He painted the rooms’ rich colours such as emerald green and blue, while painting the doors and trims black.

“I’ve always embraced and enjoyed using lots of colour in my work,” Mr. Kedigian said, adding that many people are afraid to use colour and therefore stick with white and grey interiors.

“The minute you have colour on the walls, your design work is so much easier because a room that has wall colour is easier to furnish and takes less furniture to furnish it to make it feel like it’s designed,” he said.

One of the unique uses of paint is the hidden chalk panel room. The walls are painted in black chalkboard paint while white chalk creates the design of panels. It was done by Mr. Kedigian’s friend and Toronto chalk artist Rajiv Surendra, who is also known for playing the character “Kevin G.” in the 2004 film Mean Girls.

Mr. Kedigian loves the ever-changing design of the room; how fun and interactive the space is for guests and the looks they give when they realize the chalk rubs off in their hands.

The design of the home has been to accentuate it’s classic flavour and celebrate its architecture and history.

“A lot of people buy these old homes and then they try to modernize them. But I’m the type of designer that likes to celebrate the old architecture. I love classicism and I love classic architecture,” Mr. Kedigian said.

Mr. Kedigian wanted to augment the original design, such as adding mouldings or wall panels throughout the home. The trimming in the living room is painted black to accentuate the now rare Portoro black and gold marble on the mantelpiece.

The best feature

Trevor Parker

Guests enter Mr. Kedigian’s home via a grand entrance with a stairwell he says is “breathtaking.” The home straddles a corner of the building, creating an L-shaped layout that features large rooms and windows facing in each direction. The grandness of the home is a reflection of the historic neighbourhood it is nestled in.

The area’s renowned Georgian architecture stems from the turn of the 20th century, when Montreal was the economic engine of Canada and a huge portion of the country’s wealth was concentrated in the Golden Square Mile. It was, and remains, a showcase Montreal’s glittering era of wealth, culture and art.

“[It] is so inspiring to live in that neighbourhood and feel these beautiful mansions that date back to Canada’s beginning history,” Mr. Kedigian said.

“There’s a grandeur about it that is really lovely.”

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