Name: Julien Marit, husband Mike, daughters Kibale, Glacier and Salem. And pup Madden
Location: Milton — Ontario Canada
Size: 2,100 square feet
Years Lived In: 12 years, owned
“I believe that a home is not just a playground for living but also a composition of all who live there. I love walking into a space that has a story in the design; preferably a personal story,” wrote landscape designer and artist Julien Marit. It’s not hyperbole to say that Julien and her family have “authored” every square inch of their home, a (formerly) cookie-cutter house in Ontario. “People tell us how much you can feel the family love in our house, which I believe is due to its sense of playfulness. It’s a world of exploration that says a lot about who we are, where we have been and what’s important to us.”
Julien is one half of the family-run business The Garden Wizard, an Ontario-based landscaping company started in 1999. Yes — their backyard is a stylish and playful wonderland. But the fun isn’t contained only in the outdoors; from the very moment you walk in the door your hit with one-of-a-kind finds, quirky design details, lots of bold color and a constantly revolving show of art, furniture and family treasures.
“I love impressing our kids with unique design (like a swing in our living room) more then necessarily following any specific design model. But if a design model was to describe me I suppose fusion would have to be it. My only constant is the constant of flux.”
And though the standard builder’s-grade kitchen doesn’t fit the needs or personality of the family (and therefore why you won’t see it photographed in the gallery), other rooms — like the girls’ bedroom — are absolutely exploding with originality.
“We encourage our three little girls to use the house as a tool for building experiences and my design helps bring that element of experience to life. They share a room in our five-bedroom house because the late night whispers in their floating loft beds are where the fibers are weaved in their relationship making this home’s design priceless.”
And tomorrow…well…it might just all be different.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Fusion….an uncharted experience
Inspiration: The people/pets who live in my house and our experiences
Favorite Element: The feeling my house gives people who come here. People generally react the same way when they come …very giddy and surged with an unexpected excitement to explore and hear about all the different elements.
What Friends Say: People tell us how much you can feel the family love in our house. There is a playfulness, a world of exploration and a lot to say about who we are, where we have been and what’s important to us. They find it refreshing, free and welcoming.
Biggest Embarrassment: Kitchen…my cookie-cutter builder’s kitchen is 12 years old and falling apart.
Proudest DIY: Three doors in my foyer…two that look like steel (cladded with aluminum). One with a vintage spool handle and a lavatory lock from an aircraft (yes! the occupied and vacant sign works when you lock the bathroom door) and the matching closet door with a six-foot long door handle made from shoe lasts from a cobbler. Both eight feet high. Then we cladded the garage access door with a mirror to really open up the space.
Biggest Indulgence: My 28-foot U-shaped outdoor couch that we built and had custom cushions made for it. Yes it’s a DIY but still cost a penny.
Best Advice: Creating a home isn’t a destination…it’s an ever-changing experience; a constant flux. I think so often in life we are afraid to put ourselves out there…your home should reflect you. It’s the safest place to have full expression cause it’s YOUR home…yet people are still afraid. Be free. Be okay with making mistakes…they are changeable.
Don’t design for your friends or for trends, not your ego or your insecurities. Tap into a design that is authentically you and the people/pets that live there. Tell the story of you.
Every part of your life is your greatest resource of design inspiration and true meaning.
With all the design platforms available with social media alone, you can definitely explore the creativity of how your life can be visually materialized into your home. It’s endless with possibilities. Have fun with exposing the details of who you authentically are. Be courageous.
Every stage of your life can be artfully displayed; in fact, even every fantasy. Pour moi, this is the design life. This is nesting.
Dream Sources: Novogratz, Apartment Therapy, HGTV, other countries, and literally everywhere I go…I am always creating whether I’m driving, or in hardware stores, in vintage markets, toy stores, restaurants, villages, arborist’s yards, nature, historical sites and on and on. My husband jokes that I’m the only women he knows that thinks strolling through hardware stores and getting tree logs as gifts is a perfectly good gesture of romance.
PAINT & COLORS|
Dulux — Touch of Grey
Dulux — Purple Wish
Dulux — Van Deusen Blue
Copper-lined chandelier — Ikea
Supplies for doors — Metal Superstore
Shoe Lasts/Spool — Aberfoyle Antique Market
Logs — Wildwood tree services
Mirror — All purpose glass mirrors
6’x9′ wall mural of map — National Geographic
Hickory Hardwood — Speers flooring
Paint Dulux — Touch of Grey
Accent wall behind the TV — Rona Bamboo 3D tiles
Art — Leanne Schachow, Kari Lynn Bianchi, Sarah Joncas, @C’est Julien, and my kids
Rail clamp/tree stand -Perth Antiques markets — bookstand by @C’est Julien
Oversized sage chaise and Christmas tree stand — Aberfoyle Antique Market
Ottoman — Ikea
Drum/Spears — Africa
8′ Birch tree — Wildwood tree services
Gas pipe supplies — Home Depot
Poplar trim/shelves — Central Fairbank lumber
Trim stain – Home Depot — Minwax ebony
Lighting — Homesense, Ikea
Rocking Chair — curbside find. Paint: Behr Marquee: off broadway. Fabric: European Textiles
Paint Dulux — Touch of Grey
Throws — Indigo/Homesense
Pillows — Bouclair
Swing — supplies from Ron, DIYed by Julien
Table — Ikea “as is” section… (top painted by my kids then Resin) (legs chalk paint: Annie Sloan:Graphite)
Art — Julien
Chairs — curbside find refurbished
Paint Benjamin Moore — Raspberry Truffle
Loft Beds — Wayfair
Mirrors — Ikea
Custom kids name road signs — EZ Street Signs
Apartment eyelets in kids’ door — Home Depot
Chest custom made by baba (grandad)
Vanity supplies — Ikea, Home Depot
Toronto newspaper rack converted into a bookshelf — DIY by Julien
Steel roofing — Home hardware
Chalk board — DIY
Headboard — DIY, fabric: Bouclair
Log night stands —Wildwood tree services
Curtains — Ikea
Art — @C’est Julien
Lamps — Home Sense
Dresser passed down in family — white washed Annie Sloan chalk paint
Art — Sarah Joncas
Paint — Benjamin Moore Surf Blue
Picture Frames — Ikea
Mirror, pendant light — Ikea
Rope on mirror from marine shop
Bowl — Africa
Soaps — Winners
Shopping cart — DIY
Art/Photography — Julien and the kids
3′ marquee letters — Aberfoyle Antique Market
Desk hand me down— Chalk Painted Annie Sloan Graphite top: base a mix of Provence/Greek Blue
Desk lamp — Smash
Yellow planter — Terra Nurseries
Vintage metal machine shop tins for herb wall — Aberfoyle Antique market
Kota Black Stone counter — Select Stone Supply
Wood Backsplash — Cedar/ebony stain from Home Depot
Built-in BBQ — Barbeque World
Vintage garbage can — Aberfoyle Antique Market
Built-in Deck Umbrella — Canadian Tire
Beeswax candle — Cheeky bee
Glass vessels — Homesense
Oversized candles — Ikea
Oak live edge bar Top — A&M Wood Specialty
Bar barrel seats — Perth Brewery
Y log on deck — Wildwood tree services
Bar Stools — Aberfoyle Antique Market
Landscaping — The Garden Wizard Inc/@c’estjulien
Oversized mirror — reclaimed barn beams/All purpose glass DIY
Water cube photography pool deck — Julien
Towel racks/shelf on pool — Applaro – Ikea
Pool — Pioneer pools
Custom U Couch 28′ — The Garden Wizard Inc.
Custom cushions — European textile/Foamland
Pillows — Bouclair
Log Table — Wildwood Tree services
Vintage newspaper rack — Towel holder – reclaimed from a farm
Lavender Wood engraving — @RoundtripStudios