If you are visiting Montreal’s White’s drycleaners for the very first time, it’s very likely that your first thought will be that you’ve stepped into the wrong place: rather than the dour, non-descript setting that we’ve grown accustomed to expect from such establishments, the space both feels and looks like an impeccably renovated luxury Parisian store. Inspired by traditional Haussmannian Parisian apartments and fuelled by a minimalist aesthetic of contemporary sophistication, the brand’s new flagship store in the residential neighbourhood of Boucherville was designed by Montreal-based Ivy Studio as part of a visionary plan for a new kind of drycleaners based on a fully transparent production line, the use of eco-friendly products, and an overall upscale customer experience.
The designers drew from the architectural language of historic Parisian apartments to create a reception space of classic elegance and understated sophistication. A predominantly white colour palette is complemented by handmade terracotta tiles, which are laid in a herringbone pattern alluding to parquet flooring, while the monolithic black marble counter makes for a fascinating focal point. Discrete wall mouldings and brass details, including a minimalist chandelier handmade by local design studio Lambert & Fils, further enhance the sense of Parisian poise, as does a 4-metre high bookcase where eco-friendly products are displayed as if they were luxury beauty merchandise. Despite the austere sensibility of the décor the store doesn’t feel antiseptic or stuffy thanks in part to a frosted glass divider that allows customers to have a glimpse of the commotion of the workspace behind it, and the whimsical seamstress’ counter that has been designed like a cloakroom window.
The store is complemeted by an off-site laundry facility in the centre of the city for easy distribution, which has also been designed by Ivy Studio, mirroring the store’s minimalist aesthetic, attention to detail and monochromatic palette. Visiting either site, one thing is for sure, once you visit White’s, picking up your dry-cleaning will never be the same again.