It's common for most clients seeking to renovate century-old homes to request that their architects find a way to bring in more natural light. But it isn't so common for a client to also be a general contractor. That's what principal Maria Di Lioa of EM Architecture found when she agreed to work with a more knowledgeable homeowner on how exactly to upgrade a longstanding Montreal duplex. For starters, the property had been split into four small apartments, so Di Lioa's initial task was to remove a maze of walls and outline a two-story extension. And while the plan for an open layout would undoubtedly illuminate the structure, Di Lioa decided to go a step further. She installed a skylight that spans the entire width of the house, and outfitted its spaces with white walls and natural wood. Now the contractor with plenty of experience also has plenty of natural light.