Name: Oliviero Fontana
Location: NDG, Montreal
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, renting
Oliviero is a former professional skateboarder and current stylist who has a passion for design and an appreciation for handmade craftsmanship. And he loves refurbishing vintage pieces he finds on the streets. Creativity is a huge part of his life, and the one thing that he learned from skateboarding is that finesse is more important than power — style matters and it’s all in the details.
He was raised by skate boarding and skate culture. A few years ago, he decided to trades his skates for bikes. Every year he leaves the city to bike his way up to diverse countrysides, bringing with him only the necessities that serve as a home-on-the-road for him and his four-legged friend, Emile.
As much as he loves nature and vast green spaces, he also enjoys city life, so is grateful to live in an industrial building where a lot of artists and creative people reside (like Spencer Edwards, who Oliviero collaborates with on a daily basis on various creative projects).
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Mid-century
Inspiration: Strong aesthetics composed of longevity and deep appreciation for handmade craftsmanship.
Favorite Element: The open space with various windows feeding light, providing a softly lit environment.
Biggest Challenge: Combining all the lifestyles that I live. For example, fashion, photography, biking, camping, refurbishing and collecting design elements.
What Friends Say: Where did you get this?
Biggest Embarrassment: The fake wood flooring and knowing that there is concrete underneath it.
Proudest DIY: Everything I own is/has been used, bought second hand and brought back to life, and I feel that’s what I’m most proud of. But if I had to pick one piece it would probably be the iPad holder that I had designed from a wooden bowl. I take a great deal of pride out of bringing life back to old pieces of furniture.
Biggest Indulgence: Pants, I love indulging in pants. It’s pretty much the key to the perfect outfit. I found a great way to integrate them in my bedroom decor!
Best Advice: Don’t rush it; don’t fill every blank space you have just because it’s blank. Appreciate every piece that you put in to your space.
Dream Sources: My dream source would have to be the sustainable barn house I visited while doing a bike trip in Vermont last summer. First off, it’s green and dressed as if it’s filled with cows and chickens. But it’s self-sufficiently built with taste, it has solar panels and recycled rain water that is used to feed the flowers in the garden, and the water used to shower is transferred to toilet use. Everything is sustainable and so well thought out in that space, nothing is wasted.
My DIY Coat Rack — It’s perfect for layering coat textures.
Mid-century Telephone Table — Found on the side of the streets
Tinker Toys — Thrifting (I love how they gather people around the table; it’s great entertainment )
Tim Barnard Holy From Heaven Illustration— I won it in a sweepstakes and it’s been following me for 10 years. I almost got killed biking it back home.
Mid-century Couch — SHWRM MTL
Yellow Lamp— I had found this lamp 100km outside of Montreal on a bike trip. I had bought this from a sale in a basement of an old church and brought it back with me to Montreal on my bike!
All of my plants — I buy a new plant every year on my birthday, some live, some die. It’s really a learning curve for me. I have a huge respect for those who keep their plants strong and healthy.
The island is the most attractive piece of my dining room — It was installed in the apartment when I got here.
The kitchen is adjacent to the living room and the only thing attractive about it is the bar. Don’t get me wrong I have a fridge and a stove. But the bar definitely takes the cake.
My one-of-a-kind mom-made quilt. That says it all.
Jaber ¨Farwest¨ illustration — That guy is the number one freehand graffiti artist, he’s just too good.
My Pants Rack — It was designed by my father. It was in my family’s house forever. The rack was originally designed to hang towels and I have reinvented its use. Seeing as I am obsessed with pants it’s a great way to keep my pants fresh!
Nothing is appealing about the bathroom. Just keeping it clean is enough work.