So Canadian eh? : Tanya from Dans Le Townhouse

Another fabulous guest is visiting this week with such an amazing sense of style. Her aesthetic is crisp, modern and simple which she pulls off fabulously in her townhome!

Bienvenue Tanya

She is 

I love Tanya's home which is so fresh and unique - no shabby chic in this home, or should I say townhome!

On her blog, she shares as she felts, DIYs, paints, and welds her way to a fabulous home, along with her amazing vintage finds, artwork and her travels.

Her most recent design adventure was this desk!
I wish I had a family member who could weld for me! Oh, the possibilities!

Love everything about the desk area. The lamps, the chair {gasp!} and those lamps!

You can read about the creation of the desk here.

 You wouldn't know it from looking at the photo, but she did an artful Ikea hack, featured on Design Sponge. 
Can you guess what the canvases are?

A bed frame she designed, and the fabulous grandpa welded!

Her living room with her Kijiji sofa find, along with vintage side tables, lamp and DIY pillows!


Her kitchen, which due to renovations elsewhere in the house has not had much done to it, but Tanya has managed to still create a fabulous space!

Oh that table! Her vintage teak table and chairs which she upholstered in a gorgeous houndstooth fabric, along with a photo from her trip to Portugal makes a fabulous vignette.

Another vintage table in her dining room {where does is she finding all this amazing stuff?}
and artwork by the other talented grandfather!

Her framed vintage Bakelite brooches { a little DIY inspired by yours truly}

And the fabulous felted billy buttons featured on Design Sponge!

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, your education, has design always been something you are drawn to?

When I was a child, I used to steal my mom’s design magazines and “re-do” my room, which consisted of weird projects like jury-rigging a “sofa” from a row of chairs, a blanket and some duct tape.   My husband finds it ceaselessly amusing that I also charged my parents an admission to see my updates.  Although I am a PhD candidate in women’s studies now (my background is in philosophy), my blog ensures I get to feed my creative side as well.  Ironically, I made more money as a petulant child “designer” than I do as a blogger (total blog wages: $0).

What made you decide to start blogging?

I was introduced to design blogs through magazines a few years ago and then I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole.  I saw fabulous conversations developing about DIY projects, design dilemmas and life outside the glossy world of magazines.  In 2010 I finally decided I wanted to be a part of these conversations and started Dans le Townhouse (which is my Bugs Bunny French for “In the Townhouse”—French-speaking Canadians, please don’t hate me).

What have you enjoyed about blogging and what has surprised you along the way?

I really, really enjoy connecting with other bloggers and readers.  A reader comment or new blog follower can make my day!  What has surprised me is just how much work blogging is!  Perhaps this is why I am doubly surprised by how many fabulous blogs are out there.  I feel like I can discover a new blog every hour.  I think about the collective time we are all devoting to blogging and I am amazed.

Where do you go for inspiration for your blog?

I’m inspired by other blogs, shelter magazines, art galleries, local stores, and design books but sometimes (only sometimes) my ideas materialize from thin air.  I wish that happened more often.

What are your hopes and dreams for your future?

I’d like to finish my PhD.  It seems impossible right now, so it is hard to envision a life past that goal.  I’d love a position teaching at a Canadian university, but I also want to keep writing about design and DIY projects.  Freelance writing for some of my favorite magazines would be a dream.  I feel privileged because the other areas of my life (my family, my marriage, my home) are already fabulous.  I just hope I am lucky enough to continue to enjoy my life. 

How would you describe your design style?

I’m drawn to bright, modern spaces with elements of vintage flair.  I am deeply in love with gallery-white walls punctuated by pops of colour and an abundance of artwork.  I also think handmade or DIY’d pieces add personality and are key to my personal style as well.

Tell us one thing about you that would surprise us!

I have never had a manicure, pedicure or even set foot in a spa.  The idea gives me the heebie-jeebies, but it is probably less weird if I just say I’m so into DIY I prefer to do my own nails (which I do!)

Are you a coffee or tea kind of gal?

Both!  I drink tea at home but coffee if I am grabbing a drink while I am out and about (although I don’t buy coffee often, to save my pennies for home décor).

If you were given the opportunity to meet anyone or do anything, what would it be and why?

I would like to visit Egypt—I even have a relative who lives there.  But with the political turmoil, no one will accompany me. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

What is this “free time” you mention?  My blog devours much of my free time, but I happily and willingly devote many hours to working on and around the townhouse with my hubby.  Reading, travelling, painting and swimming are also activities that make me smile.     

What are your views on the role Canadian design plays in the world design scene? Do you feel that Canadians have a unique sense of style and design, and if so, what is it that you think sets us apart?

I think Canadians have proven themselves to be amazing designers, artists, and writers.  I don’t think I can pinpoint a distinct “Canadian” style because Canadians are diverse, contributing many different flavours.  I do think, though, that we could be more proud of our abilities and be more supportive of the talent found in our country.  I’m working on increasingly supporting Canadians.

Tanya, I had NO idea that you were working on your PhD! That is why I love doing these interviews because I find out more about the blogger behind the blog! Love learning more about you! And love your home  - you are truly gifted.

XO Barbara

Tanya, don't give up 


  1. Another great interview, Barbara. Tanya sounds like a sincere and well grounded person. Her home is light and lovely. Thanks for the intro!
    ~ Wendi ~

  2. Tanya's sense of style is amazing and what a devoted blogger. As always Barbara, great interview.

  3. I am a huge fan of Tanya and her blog. Amazing what that woman can do in a day!!

  4. Wonderful post Barbara, you always pick the best people to interview!

  5. It was great reading about Tanya. I love the artwork as doors on the Billy bookcase, what a fabulous idea!

  6. Thanks for your kind words, Barbara (and hodge:podge readers). It was so fun to be interviewed!

    P.S. I just found out my Expedit Hack was featured on Ikea Hackers! What a fun weekend.

  7. WHat a fantastic home! I love the simplicity of your style, such a clean look. Every piece is gorgeous. And I completely agree with Barbara - oh, to have a welder!!

  8. Nice feature, as always Barbara! I recently started following Tanya's blog and she has loads of great ideas :)

  9. Great interview. I love Tanya's blog. She has great ideas.

  10. Wonderful interview - even though I have been reading Tanya´s blog, I feel I have learnt more about her with this interview. I enjoyed reading this interview! Thank you :-)

  11. Another great interview! Thanks for sharing, Tanya :) I LOVE LOVE LOVE the vintage furnishings in your house and I share Barbara's envy over your connection to a welder.

    Thanks a lot, ladies!
    *Tania @

  12. Ok, Tanya ... it's almost creepy how many things we have in common: I love tea, doing my own nails, went to Egypt last year {my dream trip - I am a Canadian Egyptian}, and I am finishing my PhD in a few months!! Craziness. Will be hopping over to visit your blog now!
    Nancy xo

  13. Wow, Nancy - except you're future me, doing all the things I wish I could do or will do. That is creepy ;) Congrats on finishing youe PhD!

  14. Haha! Nancy and Tanya, you guys made me laugh! Tanya, good to learn more about you! Tanya, you are one creative lady!! Glad that you're getting recognized all over the place for it lately! :)

  15. WOW...Tanya certainly has some incredible style. I will have to go over and visit! Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us.

  16. So nice to meet you Tanya, and WOW, what great style! Popping over to check out your blog now :-)

  17. Barb thanks again...Tanya...wooowzers..those two tables alone make me swoon...stunning home!Thanks for sharing!


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