I am (still) in the midst of furnishing my new Montréal apartment. I have spent hours searching for fun and functional furniture and decorations to make this nest feel like home.
After spending a recent morning assembling furniture, I decided to treat myself with a visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Funnily enough, my Ikea-addled brain could only see potential decorations for my bare apartment walls. I decided to go with it. I wandered the Modern Art galleries, deciding which paintings would go in which rooms of an imaginary ideal apartment.
The Living Room: Woman on a Sofa
Kees van Dongen, Before 1920
This painting is so luxurious and glamorous- the perfect backdrop to entertaining in a living room. Yet the subject is reclined, which makes this artwork also appropriate for sunny afternoons spent sprawled on a chaise lounge with a novel and a jazzy album on the record player.
The Office: Bend in a Road in Provence
Paul Cézanne, About 1866 or later
This painitng feels so stately and solid. I would love to hang it up next to my writing desk, so it could look over me as I wrote in a leather journal or caught up on my handwritten correspondence. This is Cézanne's first large landscape; he was still an unknown artist when he painted it. This artwork is thus a good reminder to try new things and to be brave in one's endeavors- the perfect message for a home office.
The Dining Room: Seated Woman, Back Turned to the Open Window
Henri Matisse, About 1922
This painting transports me; it's a feast of textures, colors, and shapes. I would hope for these same transcendental powers for the meals served in my dining room.
The Kitchen: Parakeet
Kees van Dongen, About 1910
I've always dreamed of a kitchen outfitted with blue and white Delft tiles. This painting would go nicely in this dream kitchen, and the parakeet would be a friendly presence during meal preparations.
The Bar: Moonrise at Auvers or Return of the Flock
Charles François Daubigny, 1877
This painting of a moonrise is truly a showstopper, with its intricate textures and surprisingly vibrant colors. Due to the subject matter, I originally thought this would be an ideal candidate for the bedroom. But there is an edge to it. That moon is simply too exiting- I wouldn't be able to sleep! The energy emanating from the landscape would be perfect for a hidden bar room, full of whiskeys and mezcals.
The Bedroom: The By Road at the Roches-Courtaut Woods - Indian Summer
Alfred Sisley, 1881
This painting of a mild day in November is so calming. The colors and the calligraphic lines of the trees would be a welcome way to start the morning and to meditate on the new day.
The Dressing Room: Peonies
Henri Fantin-Latour, 1876
These elegantly adorned flowers would be the perfect accompaniment to a wooden dressing table, covered with silver hairbrushes and glass bottles of perfume. The simplicity and wild colors would be an inspiration for getting dressed in the morning.
Address: 1380 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal ∣ Métro: Station Peel or Station Guy-Concordia (Green Line) ∣ Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm, major exhibition open until 9pm on Wednesday