ANYONE FACED with decorating a little apartment wrestles with the truisms associated with small-space design: Keep it simple; uncluttered rooms look bigger; too much personality quickly becomes a mess. But Richard Ouellette and Maxime Vandal—partners in life and in their Montreal-based design firm, Les Ensembliers—are well-versed in beautifully layered interiors, so Mr. Ouellette had no intention of letting the size restrictions of their 700-square-foot New York flat dictate an impersonal aesthetic.
After convincing Mr. Vandal to go with an “eclectic, collected look rather than a sparse one,” Mr. Ouellette said the challenge was creating something more akin to an airy but compact antique shop than a hoarder’s storage unit.
“Our objective was to create areas so we could move around and have different experiences in a day,” he explained. “I wanted there to be separate moments, a rhythm and a flow.”
That thoughtful approach and a “gallery feeling,” achieved through