Vanessa Sicotte recently published Damask & Dentelle, a book of home decor based off her acclaimed blog, and we were thrilled to have several artworks from Station 16 Gallery featured on the cover (psst...you can buy your copy here). A few years back, Station 16 Director, Emily Robertson, interviewed Vanessa. Check out their conversation below for the scoop on Vanessa, her blog, as well as some home design tips and tricks.
Damask & Dentelle by Vanessa Sicotte
I met Vanessa Sicotte a few months after becoming addicted to Damask & Dentelle, one of Québec's leading design blogs, which she launched in 2009. When Vanessa entered the gallery where I work, she whipped out her iPhone and said “Let me tweet that I’m here!” It was love at first tweet.
Once in a while, I have the pleasure of meeting people like Vanessa, who are passionate, driven and extremely generous with their time and knowledge. I am pleased to say that since our first encounter, she has become host of Canal Vie’s Sauvez les Meubles, a television show which encourages viewers to reuse and recycle when renovating or decorating their home. Read my interview with the interior designer to find out her tips of the trade and which colour she predicts you won’t want to live without.
What inspired you to create Damask & Dentelle?
I got inspired to create D&D back in 2008 when I was only a blogger writing about my décor boutiques “Coups de Coeur”. The company came later after I saw a need for information in the industry. Damask & Dentelle's website was launched in October 2009 and is now recognized as one of Québec’s leading design blogs and web directory with a devoted following. As the curator of the site I am also a design blogger and trend 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.
You recently started hosting Sauvez les meubles at Canal Vie. Tell us more about this project:
Sauvez les Meubles is a new TV show airing since September, on Québec’s Canal Vie. Its 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 suggest as many cool DIY ideas as I can to give people the most bang for their buck and so far we’ve had some awesome reveals.
Reduce, reuse, recycle! Check out some ideas by clicking HERE.
Many new homeowners feel overwhelmed when purchasing a house. What is the first thing they should focus on?
With square footage at its peak rate in the city, one must find creative ways to maximize storage and function without neglecting style.
Think vertical. A great example of that is to extend your kitchen cabinets to the ceiling to store pots and pans that you seldom use.
Mirror effect. Mirrors have a way to refract light and make a room appear larger. I use them a lot in small places as a way to give rooms sparkle and glamour.
Go ghost or go big. Visual clutter can really hinder a room’s proportions. In order to counter that effect I either make great use of translucent surfaces like Lucite and glass, or I simply use fewer but larger pieces to furnish the room. There is nothing worse than seeing a tiny living room with a slew of tiny spindly chair legs everywhere.
Make a statement. I am a firm believer that small rooms are the perfect place for statements such as bold wall coverings or moody paint colours. Since the area to cover is small, the print will not be overbearing and yet it will give the tiny mudroom or powder room a lot of flair & personality.
Are there any new trends that you are excited to tell us about?
I am very much into neon right now. Maybe I was too young to really enjoy it the first time around, but I seem to be binging on highlighter colours. Another trend in which I am heading head first, is Kelly Green (I actually would go as far as to say that it will be THE colour of the year in 2013). It is a vibrant, fresh and crisp shade of green. It can be made to nautical, preppy, eclectic or classic, and best of all… all greens go well together. No trouble here trying to match shades of green.
Check out how Vanessa suggests you decorate with green by clicking HERE.
What are some of the common mistakes made by homeowners?
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.
What is a typical day like?
It starts early and often ends very late. My son calls me before 6am every morning and then the hustle bustle begins. I usually get to work around 8:30 and check all of my social media accounts as I rely a lot on social media for my business. On most days I will visit a store or two and squeeze some appointments with clients in the middle. The early evenings are spent with the kids and then work starts again after they go to sleep. I started my own business for the liberty it would give me, but I have to admit, I have never worked so much in my life. Luckily, I absolutely LOVE what I do so it makes it all better.
Name your top three songs:
And Anything Ben Harper