La Maison Noire Montreal, Canada Index-Design

19 Oct 2023

A house like a showroom

La Maison Noire is a project undertaken by Index-Design, in collaboration with La Firme and Bolitomino Studio. This private residence invites people to discover Quebec and international products, brands, and distributors in a conscientious staging showcasing today’s and tomorrow’s trends in residential and commercial design, exclusively created to present the 16th edition of the Guide 300 Design Listings to Design and Renovate from Index Design, Quebec's community of architects and designers.

Furniture, lighting fixtures, objects, and artworks, including an in-situ piece by Quebec artist François Morelli, all revolve around the master colour of black.

The choice of black amplifies the theatrical effect, bringing together strong pieces of design from yesterday and today in a rich, soothing visual signature rarely used in residential interiors. Both furniture and artworks blend into a neutral palette, at times enhanced by white and black walnut.

Project partners:

Lambert & Fils: An ode to light 

Custom creations are at the heart of the brand’s identity. Lambert & Fils offers its team’s expertise to all its clients. Designers, makers, experts, and technicians create unique projects. Hundreds of custom lights are created and handmade every month in the company’s studio, from design to installation. Here, Lambert & Fils’ custom projects team imagined the Parc collection to create a unique and suspended light.

François Morelli: The art of home wall drawing 

In addition to being a major figure of visual art in Quebec, François Morelli is considered one of the pioneers of relational art. He uses a multidisciplinary technique —including drawing, painting, installation, sculpture, and painting— influenced by a constant reflection on the status of an object within the creating process and the perception of the work. He is interested in the ideas of passing, circulation, and transformation.

Here, the fireplace is the canvas for a piece created on-site by Morelli in the tradition of home wall drawing. François Morelli started to work with stamping in the 1970s before adding the use of stencils, which allows a superposition of images to create a larger image. Following his first residency at the Chambre Blanche gallery in Quebec City, where he used approximately 10 stamps, he began working in houses in 1995, exchanging a meal for a wall drawing connecting architecture, living spaces, and artistic creation.

In 2022, he went back to this tradition of the travelling designer for La Maison Noire. For this work, called La nuit, tous les chats sont gris, five images were produced and translated using stamps to complete images already existing in Morelli’s work. The mural, the first to be printed on black support, inspired a series on canvas called Les grandes eaux nocturnes, which is available at the Chiguer Art Contemporain gallery.

Stûv America: Functional aesthetic

Stûv America distinguishes itself by offering a contemporary vision of auxiliary heating in the form of innovative wood-burning appliances that combine aesthetics and performance. All Stûv products are high quality, and durable and offer an incomparable fire experience in terms of both heat and view of the flames.

Founded in 2007, Stûv America has adapted the Belgian genius of minimalist design, without compromising on quality and efficiency, to the realities of America. Many of the company's 35 models of wood stoves and fireplaces are now manufactured at the Bromont plant.


Simon Johns: A bar imagined as jewellery 

Simon Johns is a designer who lives and works in Bolton-Est, in Southern Quebec. His artistic process is centred around unique and sculptural furniture and lighting made in limited series. These pieces are strongly inspired by the geology of the environment. Here, the Ledge Dry Bar is a floating wall bar. Its sculpted solid ash surface represents the textures of cliffs collapsing around the studio. The interior has two surfaces in solid wood to house a bottle collection and an adjustable shelf in smoked glass for glassware.

Will Choui: Between the shadows and light 

Will Choui is a Montreal-based furniture designer who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2020 with a degree in furniture design. From beds to consoles, shelves, and lights, his creativity is both surprising and pleasing. Here, the rug is made of natural wool and recycled cotton. Its checkered middle section creates a visual continuity with the extrusion of the fireplace, which reinforces the unity of the space. The interlocking of a part of the rug in the stone of the fireplace adds a touch of delicacy to the whole composition, which exhibits the attention to detail used to create this space.

Mobilier Avant-Scène: Timeless icons 

Mobilier Avant-Scène is an essential destination for high-end modern furniture in Montreal. From B&B Italia to Knoll, Foscarini, and Maxalto, the biggest names can be seen in a space in the heart of the city. This space welcomes clients and interior designers, where passion, design, elegance, attention to detail, and personalized service lie at the heart of the company’s values. Here is the Knoll table Tulip from Eero Saarinen, an icon of design whose collection was created in 1958. Above the table is the 2097-30 light by Gino Sarfatti from Flos, created in 1958, and, in the kitchen, a Skybell light by Bover can be seen.

Kelli: From Italy to Quebec

Editions Milano is an Italian brand that edits the work of various world-renowned designers, with a unique collection of modern and high-end objects, furniture, and lights. The brand is distributed by Kelli, the destination for lovers of Scandinavian and European design. Born from a love for high-quality furniture and accessories, Kelli offers a collection with timeless charm, with an elegant and bold aesthetic. Here is the Versi carafe.

Moustache: The poetry of objects 

Launched in April 2009, Moustache is a French design house that publishes modern objects and furniture. Under the passionate direction of Stéphane Arriubergé and Massimiliano Iorio, it weaves the close ties of a network made of complicity and expertise in design. The objects created by Moustache are part of the permanent collections of museums such as the New

York’s Museum of Modern Art, Paris’ Musée des Arts décoratifs, and more. Here is the TGV lamp.

Nitsa Meletopoulos: Ceramics 

Nitsa Meletopoulos’ work is at the border between design, pottery, and sculpture. It oscillates between the natural, the artificial, and the supernatural. This series of plates is made in moulded porcelain, from handmade moulds. The imprints of the fingers and the fingerprints make the plates dance as if the clay still retained the malleability that existed before being baked. Each enamel has a name representing poetic worlds, from Rosé pink to Trashcan green, to Gothic Water enamel seen here.

Blouin Division: Works for distinctive architectural projects 

Created in 2008 by a pair of collectors, this gallery presents contemporary Canadian artists whose work can be found in the collections of companies and museums. Since July 2020, the Galerie Division and Galerie René Blouin have merged to become the Blouin Division. Many works from the Blouin Division were chosen for La Maison Noire. Here is Matière Noire I, 2017, by Nicolas Baier, a visual Canadian artist who is presented as one of the 10 most important contemporary artists in Quebec. On the previous pages, you can find Myrias 04, 2021 by Caroline Monnet, a multidisciplinary artist of Algonquin and French origins known for her work in video, sculpture, and installation. You can also find Grande échappée XV, 2020 by François Lacasse, a Quebec painter, as well as Anthropométrie (2005) by Michel de Broin.

Kartell (at Skedio): Star designers and acrylic 

Founded in Italy more than 70 years ago, Kartell has made acrylic its material of choice. This emblematic brand collaborates with distinguished designers to create iconic pieces such as the Kabuki lamp with its famous screen structure, the Louis Ghost clear seat, and the I Shine vase with its unique design. Skedio joined forces with Kartell to allow everyone to see, touch, and try the furniture, lamps, and other accessories. Here is the Bookworm shelf by Israeli designer Ron Arad, and the Colonna stools by Italian designer Ettore Sottsass.

Prune les Fleurs: More than flowers 

Behind Prune les Fleurs there is a team of passionate and dedicated florists, including Nadine Jazouli, owner and artistic director of three stores. Today, Prune les Fleurs is well known for elegant, generous, and deconstructed bouquets, as well as a space where you can find high-quality flowers and a selection of unusual plants. It’s a space where interior designers, architects, and lovers of beautiful things are inspired. Here is the Editions Milano vase, by Kelli, and a bouquet of tulips from Prune les jardins.

Art direction, selection of furniture, and artwork: Bolitomino Studio

Design and conception: La Firme

Photos: Maxime Brouillet

Publication: Index-Design Canada

The 16th edition of the Guide 300 Design Listings to Design and Renovate features several new features:

  • A new section with a selection of companies specializing in building, handmade woodworking, and adaptive design; local custom furniture designers and makers; and local companies that edit furniture.
  • A new selection of local creators. 
  • An inspiring section in which architecture, decor, and visual arts meet and cohabit in a unique and bold “black on black” interior.