Name: Vanessa Sicotte, Jonathan Plourde and three kids
Location: Montreal West — Quebec, Canada
Size: 2,800 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years, owned
Vanessa and Jonathan were able to see the vast potential beyond the yellow walls (in every room!) of their home when they purchased it in 2014. As an interior design writer, blogger and TV personality, Vanessa put her expertise to use in designing a home that reflects the personalities of her family both as a unit and individually. Inspiration was drawn from her love of California, eclectic patterns, color, and classic mid-century modern design.
The home was constructed in 1926 by an architect who built the place as his personal residence. Most of the original structure and details are intact today because the couple wanted to preserve the heritage of the home. One big transformation came from painting and wallpapering the walls to give the space new life. In the darker rooms they made the bold move of painting the floors a light color (white in the dining and dressing rooms; light green in the kitchen) in order to make them appear brighter. As the seasons change so does some of the decor. Vanessa finds this to be a fun and easy way to bring a little variety and spirit into the home.
Vanessa recently launched her second book, titled Déco Thérapie, which outlines her approach to interior design. Built on the ethos that spaces are personal and should embody elements of their inhabitants, the book provides simple principles and decor tips to “make your home feel like a home.”Taking things one step further Vanessa created The Apartment/L’appartement, an in-situ concept boutique where she has sourced a variety of home and decor items. The boutique is home to the creations of many local Quebec designers and has a rotating roster of talented artists.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Eclectic with a strong “penchant” for California casual.
Inspiration: Our home, a brownstone in the Shaker style, was VERY severe and serious. It needed some lightening up for sure. Comfortable furniture (to suit our family of five), loads of color and vintage items were just the ticket to add a little bit of humor and casualness to our forever house.
Favorite Element: I love the living room. It is where we gather and pile up, where our little plant jungle grows and where the light is just the best.
Biggest Challenge: The home’s rooms are generally small and very chopped up; we are far from a modern open plan layout. We had to deal with that since our budget was limited (every wall I would have taken down was structural!) and also because I wanted to respect the character and period of the home. It was a nice challenge to integrate the past into the present.
What Friends Say: “It looks like you guys” which is the BEST compliment they could give us.
Biggest Embarrassment: Our main bathroom that was stuck in the 1950s (not the cool part of the ’50s mind you) for the longest time. This is now behind us as we have recently completed the said bathroom’s reno and we love it!
Proudest DIY: Our kitchen. It was a labor of love for sure. The cabinets were solid maple through and through and therefore it broke my heart to rip them out, but the look of the room was a little too “fiesta” for me: red walls, yellow maple cabinets, and green Formica counter. We stained the cabinets black, one after the other, added a backsplash in cement tiles, had the counter replaced by a beautiful white Corian and applied a shiny black decal to our appliances to mask them and make them blend in. It’s a DIY that we’re most proud of and that was definitely worth it! All in all, we reinvented our kitchen for less than $5,000 (including the counter, which was almost $3,800)
Biggest Indulgence: Our master bedroom bed and mattress were somewhat of an indulgence. Until this house, we had never had an actual bed and slept either directly with our mattress on the floor or slightly raised on wood pallets (it was the early 2000s). This bed is everything though and worth every penny.
Best Advice: Respect your home and follow your own trends. Who cares what the market dictates is “trendy,” buy what truly makes you vibrate and smile.
PAINT & COLORS
Behr paint throughout the home (except floors)
Living Room — Moonlit beach
Kitchen — Frost surf
Common Areas — Bleached linen
Bathroom — Whisper white
Master Bedroom — Lichen
Dressing Room — Whisper white
Teddy’s Room — Bakery box
Madie’s Room — whisper white + Iced cherry
Entry wallpaper — Hygge & West
Vintage fisherman boat planks bench — Artemano
Vintage teak secretary
Ceramic buoys — Atelier Trema
Montauk sofa — Montauk
Tobacco (colour) METRO leather sofa — Calligaris (Italy)
Vintage mud cloth pillows — Vintage Love by Damask & Dentelle
Vintage teak coffee table
Bar cart — West Elm
Full length mirror — Winners
Antique Québec armoire
Planters (on the fireplace) — Farmhouse Pottery
Sika hanging chair — Jardin de Ville
Vintage Danish dining table
Vintage teak church bench
Hans Wegner wishbone chairs
Hygge & West wallpaper — Buk & Nola
Barn rafters as shelves
Cement backsplash tiles — Ramacieri Soligo
Alessandra bed — Ethan Allen
Vintage teak side tables
Lotus flower lamp — Vintage
Vintage farmhouse metal top table (makeup table)
End of bed bench — west elm
Clay subway tile — Céragrès
Nordic “faux wood” tile — Céragrès
Vintage dresser transformed into a vanity
Sink — Catalano at Céragrès-les-Bains
Faucet — Baril at Céragrès-les-bains
Shower column in brass — Rubinet at Céragrès
Vintage rug — Indiport
Cello storage bed (covered in oatmeal linen) — EQ3
Earl rug — EQ3
Lyla arm chair — EQ3
Cat storage basket —Pottery Barn Kids
Vintage Expo ’67 Danemark pavillon poster — L’affichiste Gallery
Pink Eruption wall print — Society 6
Blue and white duvet cover — Restoration Hardware
Pink striped Moroccan blanket — 101 Artisans
Bed — EQ3 in khaki green
Bedding — Maison Simons
Round mirror — HomeSense
Vintage dresser in aqua and white. Paint — Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan
Feature wall paint — Behr
Vintage chinoiserie chair
Vintage office desk painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
Herman Miller Eames plastic molded chair — EQ3
White metal shelf — HomeSense
Desk lamp —HomeSense
Hanging prisms — Umbra
Thanks, Vanessa, Jonathan and family!
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