On the loveseat with Vanessa Sicotte
One-on-one with Vanessa Sicotte, deco enthusiast, businesswoman, blogger, columnist, TV host and author.
Chatting “decor” with the sparkling Vanessa Sicotte, is to take in a real dose of energy and passion. Her love of interior design and for “old things” is contagious and just can’t be ignored. It instantly wakes up the designer in us and draws us into her inspiring world of wellbeing at home.
Her face is immediately recognizable since you can find it on the cover of her two books, published under the banner of Éditions Cardinal, “300 trucs pour une déco parfaitement imparfaite” and “Décothérapie, 50 idées pour se sentir bien chez soi”, in which she reveals some of her planning and layout secrets as well as her ideas and tips for a simply designed and guilt free interior.
In addition to running herDamask & Dentelle Quebecois home design blog and directory since 2009 as well as her online store L’Appartement by Damask & Dentelle since 2017, she also multitasks and hosts the TV shows Sauvez les Meubles! and Marché Conclu on Canal Vie.
- Why this passion for decor?
V: I think I’m like Obelix; I fell in when I was little. As a kid, my mother kept me the IKEA catalogs so I could cut out illustrations and create dreamy rooms. After that, my passion never died. However, it took a lot of studies before I decided to make the leap and achieve my dreams. But I think these diplomas will have served me anyway. Nothing lost! In fact, I literally went through 4 career paths to get to where I am today. After completing college at Cégep Montmorency (Laval), I went to California and did a bachelor’s in industrial psychology, followed by a second bachelor’s in marketing in Montreal and then a master’s in international business… All this before studying interior design a few years later after having come to question my career choices. Despite the fact that I had an intellectually stimulating job, there was no satisfaction or creativity. I followed my father’s advice when he suggested I think about what I liked doing and then to find a way to earn a living doing it.
- And you have something to celebrate after all that!
V: Indeed, this is a pivotal year for me, because my home design blog and catalogue Damask & Dentelle is celebrating its 10th anniversary. And 10 years is something to celebrate in a small company! Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many similar businesses close down before reaching this milestone.
- You are clearly a woman with many talents! What projects does Vanessa Sicotte have today?
V: Right now, I’m taking care of my personal projects, like the blog and boutique, I‘m spending some vacation time with my kids and I’m working on a new TV project, which I can’t talk about yet, but it’s very exciting! I also went back to school in art history last September, which I really like! Going back to school after 20 years is a weird experience, but I’m putting in a lot of energy.
- Let’s talk truths! In your thoughts on home design, how does Quebec furniture rate?
V: Buying local is a priority for me, both for environmental and economic reasons. It’s important to invest our hard earned dollars wisely. We can buy discount furniture, of poor quality and shipped from around the world on large ships, or we can choose furniture made here, with local materials and from the hands of artisans…
- Do you own Quebec-made furniture?
V: Absolutely! Most of the furniture that I own is vintage Quebecois or Canadian, with some small exceptions like my dining room table which is Danish made. For example, the cupboard in my living room is nearly 200 years old and is simply magnificent. And, my sofa was made by the Quebec company Montauk Sofa. It’s completely made from FSC certified wood, organic cotton and ethical upholstery. I like Quebec made furniture because it is solid and timeless. I rocked my 3 children in a Dutailier chair that I got as a present at the shower for my first daughter. I moved it with me 5 times before gifting it to a couple of young parents. I like it when furniture gets passed on, giving it history.
- There’s a huge choice of furniture on the market. Our manufacturers are increasingly distinguishing themselves abroad. Do you have any favourites you would like share?
V: We’re lucky Quebec has so many talented creators. The style that defines us and sets us apart is completely modern, with clean lines and materials that are both modest and noble, like all the beautiful woods from our forests. In fact, you want some favourites, here they are! I just love Kastella beds and shelves, functional and modern De GASPÉ signed furniture, Woodstock & cie and La Fabrique Allwood tables, Us & Coutumes benches, À Hauteur D’Homme kitchens… and I can just keep going!
- You often talk about vintage deco and boho-chic, etc. Do you find Quebec-made furniture that matches your tastes?
V: Despite being identified with a vintage and boho-chic style, I think that my personal tastes are ultimately very versatile. I like what is original and well made. This is what defines my favourites rather than adapting to a cycle of current trends. Trends pass, but quality lasts. We were talking about Montauk Sofa earlier. When I bought my sofa from them, their best seller was chubby and deep and covered with white denim. Today, not only can you still find this staple, but their inventory now also stocks a multitude of sofas with straighter lines and a lighter appearance, using materials such as velour and leather. I like companies that reinvent themselves and evolve according to their tastes, clientèle and market in which they evolve. We learn a lot about a society by looking at its heritage furniture. While Us & Coutumes manufactures furniture that is as ingenious as it is stylish, La Fabrique Allwood designs tables that are completely customizable. We choose the base, the table top and even the type of wood for the top!