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The Lovely Home of Émilie Desjarlais

Why, hello there! How's your week panning out? Mine seems to be disappearing at a rapid rate, but I did find myself stopping for a very long breather when I stumbled across this beautiful home (take a look below and I'm sure you'll totally understand why!). I also couldn't resist getting in touch with the French Canadian owner Émilie Desjarlais of Brook & Peony to a find out a little more about her wabi-sabi home, which she shares with her adorable little girl. Enjoy the tour!

Where do you live?
In a 700 feet square studio in Saint-Lambert, Canada.

What do you do for a living?
I'm actually trying to figure out what would be the ideal career to have and a healthy balance with my young daughter. I'm currently doing visual content creation and interior styling.

Can you tell us a little more about your home?
I'm renting an apartment in a building from 1900. The owners kept most of the original structure including the claw foot tub, windows and floors. I'm very lucky to live in such a beautiful house and neighborhood. 

How would you describe your style?
My style is very bipolar. I can't stick with one particular style! It's influenced by inspiration, trends and my travels. I would say it's Minimalist/Scandinavian/ Beach shack/ Antique.

Has living in Montreal influenced your style?
Yes because our rents aren't as expensive as the rest of Canada so we can live in a place with a lot of space without going bankrupt! Since I've only lived in old apartments, I have learned how to make the most of what I have. Old apartments don't necessarily mean they're clean and in a good condition. This is actually the first place I haven't had to fix anything. I only need to paint it and change the light fixtures. 

What is important to you when creating a family home?
Since my daughter is very young, making it accessible and safe was my top priority. To keep my sanity I also made our living space very minimalistic. To make it feel like a home, I believe you need to surround yourself with objects and furniture you love and put your heart into it.

Your home has a lovely, organic feel to it. Do you have any tips for anyone looking to create a similar look and feel?
My best advice is to take your time. In August, it will be one year since we moved in and it's only just starting to feel like home. To create an organic feel you have to live somewhere for a while and observe the way you use the space. 

I understand you have a background as an artist, can you tell us a little more about your work?
I haven't created for two years. This is why I have turned my creative energy to content creation. I hope to be able to create again soon. For now Instagram is the best place to follow me.

Which are your go-to instagram accounts for inspiration? 
I'm very lucky to call @kara_bino, @audreyrivet and @oohdearjade my friends. And my favourite Instagram feeds for Scandinavian inspiration are @hej.mia, @mamoesjka_nl and @tintaluhrman

And finally, do you have any shopping tips for anyone visiting Montreal? 
I work at @cheznouschezvous a brick and mortage boutique in my town . The owner has a lot to do with my passion for scandinavian interiors! If you're in downtown Montreal you have to stop at @maison_pepin (, @prunellefurniture and @commedesenfants.

Thank you so much for welcoming us into your beautiful home Émelie! 

If you don't already follow Brook & Peony on instagram - it's an absolute must!!

And for more Canadian inspiration today I absolutely love this studio apartment in Montreal and an idyllic Scandinavian-style cottage overlooking Lake Huron. Guh! I'd so love to visit Canada , it's a dream of mine (and now we've got a whole load of shopping tips for Montreal too!). Have you been?

I'm heading off for a photo shoot on a beach this evening. The sun doesn't set until 10.00pm and it never really gets completely dark right now - as a result the light is absolutely magical! I only hope I can capture it (I've never done a beach shoot before - eeeek - wish me luck!). I'm looking forward to sharing the results with you in few weeks time, in the meantime, feel free to follow along on stories (all tips welcome!).

Have a beautiful evening!


All photography  © Émilie Desjarlais / Brook & Peony

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The Relaxed Beige-Tinted Apartment of Audrey Rivet

Not one, but two talented people I've interviewed in the past ten days (Ezz and Émilie) have cited Audrey Rivet as one of their favourite Instagram accounts. A coincidence? I headed off to take a peek and came to the conclusion it definitely was not! Audrey is a Montreal based content creator and graphic designer who loves "looking at life through beige-tinted, vintage glasses". Her posts cover latest fashion finds, hip Montreal hangouts and snapshots of her relaxed, apartment - all of which follow under the same beige-tinted umbrella! I thought I'd share some lovely snapshots of her Hochelaga-Maisonneuve home which she shares with boyfriend Francoise and two cats Barb (yes, she has an instagram account all of her own - she's a kitty cat star in the making!) and Victor (a little more shy). Enjoy the tour!

Ranarp pendant light*, Knoll woven armchair* (shop for vintage versions here*).

"I really love every interior design that has modern and old/vintage elements mixed up. I think that way we can have the best of both worlds and add a warm touch to a modern house. My favourite vintage style is Art Déco." 
Print by Studio Kim, Notepad (on desk) and print frame by Micush.

The transcribe on the right was given to Audrey by a friend. It was a print draft for a screen print event which was never intended to be used. I think it looks lovely on her office wall and am so curious to know what it says - can anyone translate it?!

"I am inspired by everything related to art, design and fashion. I find happiness in discovering new artists, new inspiring people, new creative spaces… and also in finding beauty within ugliness and obsolete things." 

Sinnerlig pendant light*, print by Kristina Krogh

Kimono by Madewell x no.6 (sadly sold out).

What a lovely space! The brown and white palette is so simple, yet so warm and inviting feel.

And just how pretty are her curious cats?!

Is there anything you love in particular about Audrey's home?

You can keep up to date with Audrey's latest projects here and discover more inspiration here.

Oh, and it would be rude not to share a few other Canadian homes to enjoy over the weekend, after all - there are so many fabulous ones! Don't miss Émilie Desjarlais' lovely home, Canadian Little Nicki's relaxed, bohemian home and a small, but very inspiring studio in Montreal.

Right, I think that's it from me this week! I'll be stopping in on Sunday to share some pictures of the one thing I miss from home right now (we're currently travelling around the West coast - which I'm covering on stories) - can you guess what it is?!!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


PS I have to say I'm slightly nervous about the England vs Sweden world cup match tomorrow, it's going to be a little intense in our house - eeeek! I'm feeling quite outnumbered over here must say! I loved the UK metro's headline today: 'send them flat-packing' - brilliant! May the best men win!

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Lauren Maclean's Beautiful, New, Montreal Home

Do you remember Lauren MacLean's beautiful studio in Montreal? I was sneaking around instagram last night and realised I hadn't visited Lauren's feed for a while - and lo and behold her home had completely transformed. I fired off a quick mail to Lauren to get the low down. "So, the recent photos are actually of my new apartment!" she explained. "I moved right across the hall - which is why it looks so similar! It has much of the same character but it's a little bit larger." The space was in major need of renovation when Lauren first got her hands on it, but with a little grit and a huge amount of determination, Lauren has slowly made it her own and transformed it into a stunning living space. Oh and it's hiding another secret too.

//affiliated links marked with *//

 "I had my eye on this place because I knew I'd want a little more room eventually. I would catch glimpses of it in passing. It was in a terrible shape but I saw the potential to turn it into something special. With a lot of work and just one pair of hands, I cleaned it up, painted it and gave myself a fresh, blank canvas to work with."

"The apartment is an odd layout. It's basically two symmetrical (mirrored) rooms that aren't fully closed off and a small bathroom and kitchen off the back room (I'm still working on those!). I use one room as a living room / dining room and the other as my bedroom / office."

Curvilinear wall lamp*,  art from Citizen Atelier.

 "I changed most of my decor and design. I treat each space as its own and I wanted this apartment to connect with the feeling you get from it when you walk in the door."

"I had more room to work with compared to my last apartment and was therefore able to introduce bolder colours and furniture. I wanted to channel the 'Paris apartment' vibe because the space has so much character, but I also added more relaxed pieces so it still felt like home (soft textures, linens, rattan and other natural materials)." 

And the other surprise?

"I also have an outdoor space that I just completed! It was in terrible shape, but with a little paint and lots of flowers I was able to turn it into a really nice outdoor space for myself!"

"It was so hard to move, I loved my first studio and the chance to take this place came a lot sooner than I had planned, but it felt like now or never so I took the chance and I'm so happy I did! It was quite a nightmare getting through all the work, but I'm so proud I did it all myself and the space really feels like mine."

Is anyone else feeling incredibly inspired by this?! It just does go to show that you should follow your gut instinct, and with a little vision and hard work you can get the home of your dreams! With fireplaces like these too with any luck - how beautiful are they?! 

See more of Lauren's home here, a tour of her previous apartment here and other Montreal beauties here!  

I can't wait to see what Lauren does with a kitchen and bathroom, how about you?

Speaking of hard work... I'm kind of buckling under the pressure of working at the same time as having the kids and husband (he's a teacher) at home for the school holidays.  I love them all dearly but.... err.... when does school start again?! 

I really, really hope you don't mind, but for my own sanity I'm going to have to go back to blogging three days a week until mid August when the school gates open once more! 

So on that note, I'm going to leave you to dream over Lauren's lovely home over the weekend. Have a wonderful, sparkly few days and see you Monday!


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A Cosy Little Oasis To Call Your Own

A one room bedsit conjures up all kinds of images - not always positive. For example, I spent my first year in London after uni in a dismal bedsit where the windows would rattle every time a double decker bus thundered passed! If only I'd seen this cosy oasis - I could have actually made something of it! This teeny Manhattan apartment belongs to Chloé Crane-Leroux, a food, interiors and lifestyle photographer from Montreal, Canada. In the photography world, Chloé's is known for her minimalist touch and carefully curated eye, and this transcends into her bedsit. Opting for an off-white tone throughout, Chloé has artfully balanced clean and minimalist with a cosy touch - no easy feat in such a small space! The result is a calm escape and a place to call her own in the heart of the buzzing metropolis! 

So cosy, don't you think?

I can just imagine how wonderful it would be to walk through the door and feel the hustle and bustle of the city fall away.

For a tiny space, this sure does work. I took a closer look to see why. Chloé has used three key styling tricks:

1. She's stuck to one colour theme throughout: a warm off-white
2. An array of different textures add interest and depth
3. A large mirror over the mantel piece helps to make the room feel larger and bounce the light around 

Somethings to think about if you live in a small space or looking to decorate a small room in your home. 

Fancy seeing a little more? Chloe's inspiring feed features snapshots of her life which she divides between Paris, Montreal and New York City (when the current situation allows!). 

Oh, and if you like the filters she's used on her photography, you'll be happy to hear Chloé also sells Lightroom presets

Other small spaces to feel inspired by today: 

Happy Tuesday friends!


Photographer: Chloé Crane-Leroux, shared with kind permission

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A beautiful Montreal oasis

I once stayed in a finca in Mallorca which had a beautiful green swimming pool. The side of the pool was lined with lavender which danced with white butterflies and beyond was a spectacular view of the Tramuntana mountains. With every stroke down the pool I became more and more relaxed. To this day I vowed if I ever get a pool it will be green or midnight blue with plants and flowers as poolside entertainment. This has inspired today's post from the garden of Mario Lafrenais in Montreal styled by Nicola Marc and photographed by Angus Mcritchie.

Style by Nicola Marc, Photography: Angus Mcritchie with kind permission. Decormag, (French edition)

Beautiful! I think my facvourite thing about this garden is despite the surrounding buildings, Mario has managed to create a wall of greenery. A real city oasis. And of course there's that pool, those moroccan lamps, the waterfall feature, the yellow doors.....what do you like about this courtyard?

PS What's your view on pools? Do you have one? Would you like one?

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The stunning malibu home of a creative couple

Take a cottage in Malibu and combine with a creative couple. The result is going to be fabulous right? The Californian home of LA stylist Becks Welch and film and music cinematographer Darek Wolski (best known for films such as Alice in Wonderland and Pirates of the Caribbean) is just the right blend of modern and contemporary, industrial and cosy, dark and light. Thank you My Paradissi for leading me to this home and to Swedish photographer Martin Löf for the kind permission to share this home. You've made my Tuesday!

Photography Martin Löf for Elle Decoration via My Paradissi

Could you live here?!

I love how we start to see outdoor spaces creep into the home tours, it's a sign that spring is finally here! I've been pinning images of beautiful swimming pools onto my 'Alfresco' board on Pinterest (a girl can but dream right?!).

In case you're mind is also turning to the great outdoors here are some of my favourite outdoor spaces of all time: an oh so stunning montreal oasis (take me there now!), rustic outdoor dining inspiration for those balmy evenings (bring them on!) and the very alternative garden shed.

Have a lovely day!

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