WITH ONE-OF-A-KIND ARTIFACTS AND BOLD ART, MONTREAL BOUTIQUE OWNER JOHANNE D’ASTOUS CREATED A DRAMATIC, NEOCLASSICAL FAMILY HOME.
Text by CRAILLE MAGUIRE GILLIES | Photography by JEAN LONGPRÉ
You don’t need to flip through her passport or check her Facebook
status to know where Johanne D’Astous has travelled. You need only
look around her home, a century-old stone maison à étages in Montreal’s
tony Outremont neighbourhood. There, you’ll find a kind of living
travelogue: a Louis XVI chest of drawers found in France; an antique
Buddha she came across in China; a statue from a church in Portugal.
Johanne’s travels are not merely recreational. Three or four times a
year, she makes buying trips to France, Italy and beyond for Verte
Campagne Décoration, her upscale Montreal boutique. “When I shop
in Paris or Milan or New York, I’m trying to find pieces that will show
Montrealers what is out there,” she says. For her own home, she’s been
known to ship back some pretty substantial souvenirs, including a velvet
Victorian settee from France — no keychains of the Eiffel Tower for her.
(Knowing the ins and outs of intercontinental shipping is both a perk and
peril of the job.) “Travelling is where I get ideas. And I don’t want to store
things in a box,” says Johanne. “They only mean something if you display