I’m Louise. I'm a francophone (so excuse my poor English) and I live in Montreal with my boyfriend of almost 25 years and our two daughters (8 and 6) and our son (3). I'm a "homemaker" (love that English expression more proactive than "stay at home mom"). I have a boutique on Etsy where I offer vintage and upcycle for children and now I have a bilingual blog about Bricolage Brocante et Brouhaha familial.
PN: What's your favorite project you've ever done/ had the most fun with?
PT: The full kitchen renovation and my daughters bedroom. In the kitchen, when I saw walls coming down I felt I had power over things. I could change a house (the only change I had made before was painting walls). Also the kitchen was so dark, unfunctional, old, etc the results were such a big improvement and I still enjoy them everyday. For my daughters bedroom, it was the fun of doing it with their personality in mind (more fun than baby's room). Including them in the decisions and making a big reveal for them (like in the tv shows).
PN: What is your favorite DIY project?
PT: Painting furniture. I love to reinvent a piece, give it a new personality and life and also I looooove to prove my boyfriend wrong when he tells me « You can’t save this one!».
PN: Do you have any DIY horror stories?
PT: I couldn’t find the color paint for the living room. I repainted so many times that I one point I hope it was at least helping to insulate the house. I also have a reno regret : I wasn’t able to fit a laundry chute during the big reno. This could have improve my life so much.
PN: Are you organized with lists, crossing one item off at a time or sporadic with lots of projects going on at once?
PT: I do lists and lose them or forget about them. Recently I’ve tried a new trick instead of doing the first thing I should be doing, but don’t have the heart to, I attack a project that really motived me. It gets me going and than I get to the other less exciting ones. If I try to do it order, I just don’t start (I can’t hang pictures when I should be cleaning).
PN: Is there anything you are dying to learn how to do?
PT: I would love to learn to print on fabric (silkscreening???) and I feel I should learn technically how to take digital pictures (I’m from the film generation).
PN: How long have you had your Etsy shop and is there anywhere else your stuff can be found?
PT: I have had my store for over one year and for now my furniture can be found in my basement. I’m trying to find a store who could offer my big items (so my kids could have their playroom back).
PN: Is there anything you’ve purchased for your Etsy shop that you decided to keep for yourself?
PT: So many things, since I only buy things I love and wouldn’t mind keeping for myself. Also sometimes, my daughters are my first clients.
PN: How long have you lived in your current house?
PT: We’ve been living here for about 10 years. We search for it for more than four years (people around us thought we would never buy). We wanted a fixer-upper because we didn’t have big budget and I hated the idea of tearing down a brand new kitchen just because it wasn’t my style.
PN: What was your first project upon moving in?
PT: We striped and revarnish all the wood work with the help of family and friends. Now I would love to paint it all white but I couldn’t invite my family again in my house, they would have a heart attack.
PN: What's next?
PT: The attic, one day it will be nice bedroom (my oldest has already put an option on it) are a quiet office/craft room.
PN: Do you enjoy redecorating/rearranging your home or do you find an arrangement you like and stick with it?
PT: The rooms are so small, I can’t really play with the furniture so when the seasons change (and they really do change here) I play with the bedding, the carpets and the pillows.
PN: Where do you look for inspiration?
PT: Magazines, magazines and magazines. I don’t even want to think how much I spent on them. I try to rationalist it, I think of the money I save because I never hired a designer. But for my kids room, I went on internet (ohdeedoh, Flickr, blogs). There isn’t much interesting magazines about children’s bedroom.
PN: Are you a thrifter, scavenger or collector?
PT: I bit of all, but I’m also a receiver. People give me things knowing I will give them a nice make-over and find a good home for them.
PN: Is there anything you're on a constant hunt to find?
PT: Anything related to childhood (but I do get carried away sometimes)
PN: Do your kids get involved in your upcycle projects?
PT: They would like to paint with me, but I use them more as color consultants.
PN: What kinds of projects/crafts do they do along with you or on their own?
PT: My daughters are very crafty. Lately we joined a knitting club and the average age has drop drastically. I think that seeing my boyfriend and I doing a sort of projects, shows them you don’t always have to pay someone to do it and it can be fun to do it your way.
PN: Have you passed your love of vintage on to them?
PT: They love the books and toys I bring in the house but I don’t think they know (or care) it’s vintage.
PN: What is currently on your night stand?
PT: Decorating books from Les éditions de Paumes, a French novel and The Handmade Marketplace.
PN: What's your design moto?
PT: I don't like perfection. It's cold, intimidating and static (is that a moto?)
PN: What do you listen to while crafting and scouring the web for new treasures?
PT: The radio, just because it helps me keep in mind what time it is. So I don’t forget to go get the kids after school. (Got to go!)
I absolutely adore Louise. Don't you? Thanks Louise for a peek into your life and home. You are truly a delight. Readers, I hope you've enjoyed our little trip to Montreal today. Stay tuned for some really fun stuff this week. It's Monday, but we can all muddle through together right? How do you get through your Monday blues? xo