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So Canadian, eh? : Michelle Mollinga from i dream of chairs

February 12, 2012



Once of the most amazing things about blogging has been meeting other bloggers along the way. I am fortunate to have a fabulous circle of bloggers that all live nearby! In fact, we are getting together for coffee in a few weeks! Can't wait to catch up and chat, because that is what we like to do....chat...and chat.

My wonderful guest this week is one of those fantastic local bloggers who has an amazing eye for design and photography. In fact, she has offered her services to help me paint my espresso stained furniture, looking forward to it...will be nice to have a painting partner!

Please give a warm welcome to.....
Michelle Mollinga from i dream of chairs



She is...

Michelle, who goes by her nickname, Meesh, {love that nickname by the way} is full of surprises! Before I interviewed her I had NO idea she had studied interior design. But it all makes sense to me now, explains her fabulous eye for details and her incredible knowledge of chairs. Love how she focusses on chairs on her blog. I too would have a house full of chairs if space allowed. Not only are chairs functional but can serve as a piece of art. 


Meesh is also an incredibly talented photographer! Every photo on her blog tells such a fabulous story. She has such a knack for capturing a perfect shot. Just take a look at the photos - all taken by her.

Her living room, with her delicious chair she calls the "Bohemian Princess"







Love this chair, the Oriana Armchair, outside the Cafe for Contemporary Art in North Vancouver.


Another photo of her living room.
Photos: Michelle Mollinga


Hi Everyone! I'm sooo nervous and thrilled at the same time, as this is my first interview!! Thank you Barbara for including me in your So Canadian, Eh? Series. Eeeee!

Tell us a bit about your background? Your education? Has design always been in your blood?

Over the years I've pursued a lot of artistic things and I've always had a need for a creative outlet.  When I was a kid it was drawing, later I made jewellery, painted murals and I even did henna tattoos for a while. As a teen I rearranged my room a lot and I created my own wallpaper from black and white "Krizia" fashion ads. When my husband and I bought our first home, we lived on Vancouver Island at the time, it was a fixer upper. We did a ton of renovations, and that was when I really got the interior design bug. A couple years later we moved to the lower mainland and I studied interior design at BCIT.

How would you describe your design style?

My design style is an eclectic mashup. I love mixing styles and periods. Imagine a curvy French Bergere chair with a clean lined MCM side table. I hope to own an Eames Lounge Chair (in white) one day, to compliment my Bohemian Princess. (see photo) I love decorating with opposites too, like a shiny glam disco ball and a gnarly piece of driftwood, creating playful tension and interest. I also like curated curiosities in a room, something with a story. I decorate my own space with things I love and somehow it just all seems to work. :)

How long have you had your blog? What made you decide to start writing a blog and what have you enjoyed the most about blogging?

Gosh, I almost can't believe it! I Dream of Chairs is almost a year old! I first discovered blogs when I was in design school. They were a wealth of design inspiration! I created my own blog about three years before I even wrote a single word. I was terrified that no one would read it or care what I might say. Then one day almost a year ago I wrote my first words and posted my first picture, the chair that I call my Bohemian Princess.  Since my day job wasn't design related, I wanted a creative outlet to share and explore things I loved and found inspiring.

What I have enjoyed the most about blogging is the connections I've made with other bloggers. Without those connections, I don't know that I would have kept blogging. It's so lonely in the beginning, but the friends that I have made (Thanks to you, Barbara!) were so helpful and encouraging. I'm looking forward to nurturing those friendships in the years to come. No one gets blogging like my blogger buddies!

Your blog is named. “I dream of chairs” and aptly so as you love to feature fabulous chairs. What is it about chairs that you find do fascinating?

I like to say if I was ever stranded on a deserted island and I could only have one piece of furniture it would be a chair. (Logically, a bed would be a better choice, but if it rained the mattress might be ruined! Ha!) What's with the chairs? It is simple, really. Chairs have personality! A well designed chair is a functional piece of art.

What are your hopes and dreams for your blog? Your future? Is something design related in that future?

I Dream of Chairs has evolved so much in the last year. It's not all about chairs. It's really about sharing inspiration, whether it be in design, styling, DIY, photography, crafty projects and even food and travel. I hope it has inspired readers to try something new. Blogging has really helped me branch out, get out of my comfort zone and use my creativity in unexpected ways. I would like to improve my writing and photography skills and see where that takes me. I would also like to try refinishing some chairs myself. Maybe take an upholstering course? Maybe own a chair store? The sky's the limit...

You have a real knack for photography, are you self-taught or did you take courses? What are some photography tips that you find valuable that you could share?

Really? You think so? *I'm blushing* I've only just begun my journey into photography. I am self taught. The internet, books and having a couple friends with more photographic experience than I helps. I am still such a beginner, I feel funny giving tips! I know that lighting and composition are most important. I try to shoot in daylight only. If you saw my little "photo studio" you would laugh…it consist of three pieces of white foam core board propped up on the kitchen barstools in front of a sliding glass door.
        
If you could meet anyone or do anything who or what would it be?

I would love to travel to Europe, mainly France and Italy. The history, the architecture…the food! It may be a reality more that a dream this year. I especially want to visit the Chair Gallery at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. I would also like to visit the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
  
What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy reading and have a mix of two or three books on the go at a time. Right now, Marie Antoinette, Steve Jobs Biography and I just finished The Hunger Games. When the weather is warm enough, my husband and I do a lot of touring through BC and Washington on his Harley Davidson. It's a blast and the fair weather will not not come soon enough!

How do you manage to balance your life and blogging, or is that something you have yet to master?

Uh, that one I haven't mastered. I'm always lugging around my camera, incase an opportunity comes along that I could blog about. I do really need to set up a schedule though. Mental note: Set up a blogging schedule.
  
What are your views on the role of Canadian design? Do you feel that Canadians have a unique sense of style, the way we design and decorate our homes? If so, what do you think sets us apart?

I think Canadians really just want to be comfortable. We like things to be nice, but not perfect. We want the kids and the dog to be able to flop on the couch and put their feet up on the coffee table. (Kid's feet, not dog feet!) Like our collective personality, Canadian design is warm, inviting and not overly showy. If I had to nail it down to one word, I would say that Canadian design is unpretentious.

Thanks again Barb for having me on hodge:podge. I admire your authenticity, talent and super DIY skills! You are doing an amazing job introducing and putting Canadian Bloggers out there for the world to meet!


Aww, Meesh, thanks! So glad we have met and can't believe we are practically neighbours!
Can't wait for the weather to warm up so we can have that painting partay!

XO Barbara

15 comments:

  1. Thank you for introducing me to another local gal Barbara - she does have a beautiful blog and very lovely photos!

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  2. It is a pleasure to be featured, Barb! Thank you! :)

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  3. I LOVE that Bohemian Princess chair!! And her photos are amazing. This was a great interview. Thanks for taking time to feature Meesh!

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  4. Meesh is one of the sweetest bloggers I've met through our little gang. She is super talented and her blog posts are always fun to read:)

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  5. I was sitting in the white Eames chair yesterday at Inform. Swoon.
    Meesh, I didn't know you'd studied interior design!?! I agree with Barbara, your photography is amazing! You're one talented lady!

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  6. Thank you so much for featuring sweet Meesh!! Loved hearing more about her. She is just the sweetest and I love her blog :)

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  7. I've enjoyed reading about Meesh this morning and learning more about her. Great interview as always!

    Andrea

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  8. Cool interview. I am always so excited to *meet* other Canadian bloggers....going to check Meesh out now :)

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  9. Barb ..you are the best...Love reading all your canadians! Thanks!
    Yeah for Meesh...we went to the same interior design school!...but I probably went years b4 you!
    The photography is wonderful & wow love her home & the Boho Chair!

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  10. I so love reading all about these cool Canadian bloggers you find. Meesh's photography is fabulous I would like a tutorial please ;-)

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  11. I was super excited to see our 'Meesh' was on deck! Loved reading this interview, and am just so grateful to be connected with amazing women like the both of you! ...I'm looking very forward to seeing the espresso stained furniture paint-over! With you two collaborating it's going to be awesome!!!

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  12. great interview Barbara...Nice to meet you Meesh...great blog!!

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  13. Barbara, what another fabulous interview and of course it's one of my faves cause Meesh is one of our own. She is simply one talented lady. Looking forward to more of her work.

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  14. Hi! I just start this amazing blog that is gonna change your life!! Well, jaja maybe not, but surely you like it:
    http://mon-whatsshewearing.blogspot.com/
    PS: Follow if you like it :)

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  15. I'm continually blown away by Meesh's photography! And I've been swooning over her Boho Princess chair since the first time I saw it! It's soooo great to learn a little more about her. :-)
    Victoria

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