Vanessa from Damask & Dentelle is one of my newer blog sponsors so I thought it would be fun to get her take on my “10 Quick Questions.” She is an interior decorator, blogger, mom to three young children and host of a new TV show in Quebec! One busy lady! I have had the pleasure of meeting her on a couple of occasions and she is formidable! (hope that’s the correct use of the word Vanessa!)
1) Tell us a bit about your background and education. When did you begin your career in design?
Oh boy, are you sure? It might take a while… I have a bachelor degree in industrial psychology, one in marketing, a master in international business, a diploma in real estate… and finally I did a decorator’s course 3 years ago!
(Note: all interior shots are of Vanessa’s belle maison in Montreal.)
2) What is Damask & Dentelle?
Damask & Dentelle’s website was launched in October 2009 and is now recognized as one of Québec’s leading design blogs & web directory with a devoted following. As the curator of the site I am also a design blogger and trends observer. I created Damask & Dentelle as a way to reach out and share finds of Québec’s design boutiques, artisans and professionals to the consumers as well as people from the design industry.
3) Tell us a bit about your latest venture – Sauvez Les Meubles.
Sauvez les Meubles is a new TV show that will air on Québec’s Canal Vie as of September. It’s concept is adorable (hey I am a little biased)! My mandate is to decorate a room in a couple’s home using their existing vintage furniture, hand-me-downs from family members and thrift finds… all for less than $500. I try to propose as many cool DIY ideas as I can find to give people the most bang for their buck and so far we’ve had some awesome reveals.
Myself, Nancy, Gabby, Vanessa and Barbara at Aberfoyle Antique Market back in May where Vanessa sourced some great finds for the show.
4) Who inspires you?
My children are a huge source of inspiration for their mere no hold back use of color. In the design world I admire the work of Albert Hadley & David Hicks as the forefathers of pattern and the timelessness of their designs. Kelly Wearstler for her interpretations of Hollywood Regency, Canada’s Tommy Smythe for his use of black, Thom Filicia for his business sense, Darryl Carter for embracing all things white, Amy Lau for her Mid Century revival decors and India Hicks for her beach je ne sais quoi!
5) Name something about yourself that readers may be surprised to learn?
I have 3 children under 7 years of age, 8 tattoos, 0 pet, and way too many pairs of shoes!
6) How would you describe your decorating style?
With a lot of qualifiers! I would say my style is somewhere on the median between bohemian, eclectic and Hollywood Regency with a massive vintage twist.
7) What is the most common mistake people make when decorating?
Not trusting their instincts and buying everything at once, from the same place. It is better to have a void in the room than to pack it up with things that are just fillers. The perfect piece of furniture will eventually find its way and fill that void as if it belonged there. Also, I often recommend to people to be mindful of the craftsmanship and provenance of the products they buy. Cheap (and I don’t mean inexpensive here) will always be just that… cheap.
Love the floral fabric on her 400 year old chair.
8) What does every room need?
A touch of black! (Navy counts too)
9) What are three simple changes someone can make to their home right now for maximum impact?
Look up! Add interest to a room by using the ceiling as a fifth wall and paint it, add mouldings, or wallpaper to make it come alive.
Use your china and crystal glasses everyday! These are life’s small luxuries that I love to indulge in. Not only do they look so pretty at the breakfast table but they also have mood uplifting capacities.
Go green! I find people have less and less plants in their homes for some reason. Let’s change that shall we? Right now I am infatuated with ficus trees for their large leaves and their architectural features that add oomph to any room.
10) What’s next for you?
Some time off maybe?? I have not had a day off in what seems to be forever. So my family and I will be taking 3 weeks off this summer and I am already counting the days until then. Woopidoo!
On the Damask & Dentelle front, I am very excited to see the Toronto directory come out this fall. It’s been a long process but it is now ready.
Otherwise, I am entertaining the wild dream of one day writing a book and having a a signature bedding line. Hey a girl can dream right?
Thanks Vanessa! Enjoy your well deserved vacation! I have no doubt that your dreams will become a reality soon!