Like many Montreal‑based designers, Byron and Dexter Peart take a lot of inspiration from the place where they live. The creative spirit of Quebec’s largest city energizes the twin brothers, who co‑founded luxe accessories label WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie in 2000 and have now elevated their mission statement to build a kinder, smarter, more beautiful world, with their latest endeavour: Goodee, a curated home essentials marketplace where good design meets good purpose. Curious to know how the city has informed their approach to design, we caught up with them at their homes in the Habitat 67 apartment block to share what they love most about Montreal and what we all have to look forward to when we can travel there again.
Byron Peart The creative energy and spirit, it’s a wonderful place to live. The quality of living is superb. I think the diversity of language, the diversity of culture and creativity, it’s probably the best city in the world to be right now.
Dexter Peart I’m Dexter.
BP And I’m Byron. And we’re the cofounders of Goodee. Five things that we would say make Montreal super unique and special: The first one I would say is the festivals. It’s the best place to be in the summer.
DP Bilingual culture. I think it really makes the city truly special.
BP Proximity to being out in nature. It’s a pretty special city that within 45 minutes, you could get away, escape from the city and the hustle, be literally in lakes, canoeing, hiking, mountain biking.
DP Food for sure. I don’t think you’re going to find better food in North America as well. We have so many friends that come up from New York to Montreal just to eat. And so we’re privileged to have so many amazing restaurants and so much great food. So that’s definitely one of the things that makes Montreal special.
BP Our favourite building is Habitat 67, where we are right now. And we both happen to live here. Dexter’s been living here for 15 years, and I’ve been here for 10. Moshe Safdie, in the ‘60s for Expo, designed the future of what communal living would be like, away from standard high‑rise buildings, and created this kind of idea of how we could live together in homes in a communal space as well too.
DP It’s just the ability to feel like you’re inside and outside at the exact same time. This idea of this connection between nature, but also living, which I think feels very modern today.