So Canadian eh? : Heather from Interior Groupie

The best part about my visit to Toronto {you all must be getting tired of me saying that, or you must think I don't get out often...} was meeting finally all the Toronto area bloggers. So it is such a pleasure to get to know them even better with an interview!

Please welcome...

She is
Heather, author of Interior Groupie and co-founder of the Blogger Book Club has been renovating an 80 year old house in Toronto with her husband. I can only imagine the surprises they must come across when renovating an older home.  Her before and after pictures on her blog are a must-see. She has taken a sad, dilapidated old home into a stylish abode.

Also an avid reader, she started The Blogger Book Club, one that I am part of. It has been a fabulous way to connect with other bloggers on a non-design level!

Tell us a bit about yourself? Give us some insight into who you are, what are you
drawn to, where you always creative? Your education?

Hmm…let’s go way back for this one…I grew up in Ottawa, ON. I have always been interested in style, fashion, interiors.  One of my earlier full-fledged design efforts was when I pulled the old switcher-oo on my parents while they were on vacation.  I swapped my room for the guest room, painted both, and waited for them to come home to the “surprise”. Painting my room was my first foray into a decorating theme – shades of turquoise on the wall, with  a darker accent wall, white bedding, and a beachy feel.  That was the extent of my design abilities at the time (along with yearbooks, painted picture frames, and BackStreet boys CD’s. Obviously.).

In terms of education and real life, I studied Commerce (Marketing and HR) at Carleton University, and now work and live in Toronto. I have lived in Toronto for almost 6 years. I married “the Mr.” in 2009 on what was undoubtedly one of the best days of my life. We moved
into our house in January 2010, and I started Interior Groupie in January 2011!

What made you decide to start Interior Groupie blog? And has there been anything
that you have enjoyed about blogging? Not enjoyed?

I started Interior Groupie because I was spending so much time stalking other blogs, I figured why not? I started the blog about a year after we moved into our house. We had already made some progress in the house (painting over sponge paint and other various faux finishes was HIGH on the to-do list), but as we all know, renos are non- stop so I still have lots of good material to write about!
By far the best part of blogging is getting to know other bloggers through their blogs or events, and interacting with readers through comments. I have been fortunate enough to attend a few blogger meet-ups here in Toronto – you never know who you will run into! Crossing the street at the venue of my first blogger meet-up I met Jen from Rambling Renovators – this was huge as her blog was one of the first Canadian ones I followed.
What is your day job? Is it design related?

My day job has nothing to do with design (or cooking, which I also love)! I am an HR generalist for an engineering firm. Although the engineers design buildings, it’s not quite as sexy as the “design” that us bloggers think about.
What are your go-to sources for anything décor related?

Blogs! There are so many great people doing such creative things. Blogging is a fantastic way to get a glimpse of people’s creativity in your area, and around the world. Pinterest has definitely made getting “instant” inspiration much easier.
 What is your design style?

I describe my style as updated traditional.  Most often I won’t be the very first to try something, but I’ll get there eventually! I tend to know what I don’t like, but it often takes me a long time to make design decisions or to find the exact right piece I love. (I’ll admit it – I’m picky! I get these
ideas in my head and won’t settle for something that doesn’t live up to what I’ve imagined). I like quality items that transition well over time. I add fun or trendy hits to rooms with accessories (low-cost, so it’s easy to switch out).
Tell us something that would surprise us about you!

This question is so hard! I have thought and thought about it…which leads me only to think that things are obvious and NOT surprising! So instead I’ll toss something out that I mentioned once on my blog and people had a hard time with it: I eat my cereal dry. No milk, no juice, no water, NO SOGGY. This is not deep whatsoever, but most people think it’s weird.

You are renovating an 80 year old house, what are some reno tips you have learned
along the way? Any renovation marital relationship tips as well?

We are doing a lot of our renos ourselves. We get immense satisfaction out of finishing projects and looking around our house at what we have accomplished. Many of our projects are updates rather than full-fledged renos, so a lot of the “hard” work had already been done (removing
walls, etc.) when we moved in. I think the most important thing that I’ve learned is that my way is not always the best way (SHOCK, I know. It took me a while to discover that. Sometimes Often I still don’t believe it). But seriously…the Mr. and I often approach things in different ways, and sometimes I really need to relax and go along with the “other” way of doing things. I’m still learning…
J  At least the Mr. is patient with me (more than he is with other things like paint drying times!)

You also have started a Blogger Book Club, one that brings in bloggers from across
the far stretches of Canada {and internationally) - what made you decide to
start an online book club?

I have “Currently Reading” and “Recently Read” sections on the sidebar of my blog. I added them one day figuring no one would notice, but I would regularly get comments about the books I was reading! Carol from The Design Pages and I particularly started talking titles, and
decided to launch the Blogger Book Club together. It’s a fun way to get insight from people who wouldn’t be able to meet up locally to talk books.

What‘s next for Interior Groupie?

There’s always something on the go! We’re onto smaller projects now…the next big projects would be flooring or maybe (eek!) a bathroom reno.
If you could meet anyone or do anything your heart desires, who or what would it

Travel to my heart’s content. I would love love love to win the lottery and travel the world. Maybe buy some properties in some of my favourite places (Hawaii and Thailand?) and host my friends and family to exciting trips. I have been fortunate to travel quite a bit, but there are still so many places to go!
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 definitely think that Canadians have a unique sense of style and design! As a “new world” country (we say that for wine, so why not in terms of design?) we are able to pull inspiration from many different sources.  What makes our approach unique is that we are adept at mixing different styles, taking a bit of this and a bit of that, and making it into a new adaptation of existing ideas. That’s really what Canada’s about after all – accepting differences and
putting them together into something new.

I so agree with you Heather, about how we Canadians are so adept at taking bits from here and there to create our own design aesthetic that, I feel, makes it truly Canadian! I also can't wait to see what other renovation or project you will take on! Fingers crossed that lottery win happens {would love to have that happen to me as well}

XO Barbara


  1. I just love Heather and now even more. What a multi talented lady!!

  2. I love Interior Groupie! This was so fun getting to know Heather better. She's doing a gorgeous job on her home!

  3. I've always been a fan of Heather and this was great to get to know her better! Great job!

  4. Beautiful interview! Heather is just the sweetest. She was one of the first followers I got on my blog and I was - and still am - incredibly grateful! xo

  5. I have met Heather and she is the real deal! An absolute sweetie. So great to get to know her a bit better!

  6. So great to learn more about Heather! She's full of such creative ideas and she is so sweet in person. Fun interview!

  7. You can really tell that Heather loves what she does, perhaps one day we'll get to meet her in person :-)

  8. She has great style...Love that they do it themselves!

  9. So great to learn more about Heather! The girl has talent :)

    Also, great interview, Barbara. I always read them and I must say you can tell you put a lot of work and thought into the questions. Great work!

  10. Thanks so much for having me Barbara! And thanks for all the kind comments!

  11. What a bang-up job Heather is doing with her renovation. I love where she's going with her home! Nice to get to know a little more about Heather, too :-)


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