So Canadian eh? : Holly from In the Fun Lane

Visiting from the prairies, the ever-so-creative and talented


After admiring Holly's fabulous creativity for a few years, I figured it was time to have her here on the blog. If you have not stumbled across her blog, you have been living under a rock. She has taken a builder basic home and given it so much character, light and life! She takes the ordinary and with her own twist makes it extraordinary. Her talents are ever reaching, from taking a jar and creating a mini-terranium to full scale kitchen renovation. She artfully mixes high and low to create a bright and layered space. I would call her style: Scandinavian with a beachy twist.

Enjoy her photos...but careful, wipe that drool off your chin.

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?

I am a 29 year old wife and mom of 4 year old girl. I would say that I am laid back, yet at the same time a bit of a perfectionist, which are two traits that don’t always go hand in hand so it often catches people off guard that I am so relaxed (specially living in a mainly white house).  My days are mainly spent juggling family life, blogging, and flipping houses, which means at the end of the day I am usually asleep within a minute of my head hitting the pillow. I never classified myself as a creative type person growing up, but I ALWAYS loved furniture, antiques, decorating. I originally started my post secondary education to become an architect, but quickly learned it was not as fun and simple as drawing my dream home ideas all day. I ended up with a Business Management degree from California State and it has served me well.

Why made you decide to start your blog? And has there been anything that you have enjoyed about blogging? Not enjoyed?

My blog was started the day we moved into our current house. I was 5 months pregnant, 24 years old and I wanted to document the new chapter in our lives we were starting. Never in a million years did I think anyone beyond my friends and family would read my blog.  I actually enjoy everything about blogging! I am so lucky because the people who read my blog are just lovely, always sharing great comments and suggestions. It is so fun flipping back through old posts and remembering how different things were back then!

What is your day job? Is it design related?

My ‘day job’ is renovating and flipping houses/condos  so entirely design related. I am not a designer by trade or working on cutting edge design, just someone who genuinely enjoys making things pretty. It is a great job for me because it is so flexible, which I need as a mom whose children don’t go to daycare or school all day.

What are your go-to sources for anything décor related?

Thrift stores! I am all about reducing and reusing and recycling. There are amazing and wonderful treasures just waiting to be found, all you need is an imagination and a little patience if you are looking for something specific. But if you go often enough you will soon see that there are wonderful things out there that  you weren’t even looking for. I always have to rein myself in because I am a person who doesn’t like a lot of accessory clutter in my home, but I am running out of space to display all of my finds!

What is your design style?

I would say ‘eclectic, modern, beach’. Don’t know if they really go together but everything in my house falls into one of those catagories. 

Tell us something that would surprise us about you!

I am TERRIFIED of turkeys! Unless they are in my oven, of course.

You are renovating your home, taking it from builder basic to a custom space, any tips you want to share in creating a beautiful home?

My biggest tip is to just try things. A lot of my friends are not that into design and they are always shocked at what we attempt to do on our own because they truly thought that you hire people to renovate. Renovating doesn’t have to mean ripping down walls and tearing out cabinetry! Start simple, upgrade your baseboards, add a backsplash,  switch out an old faucet. These are easy weekend projects that can give new renovators a little confidence to try bigger projects. You don’t wake up one day and suddenly know how to do everything, I knew nothing at all about renovating when we bought our house, but when you are doing it on a budget you have to learn. And the best way to learn is to get your feet wet!

You are also known for your furniture re-finishing business, do you do that at home? Or do you have a shop?

I had to wind down my WhiteBerry projects because I realized that I was doing myself no favors by stretching myself so thin. But I still do them from time to time when I stage a house I finished renovating, or lately I’ve been working on some new design projects with friends and family that I have done refinishing for. I do all this in my garage (which is thankfully pretty big!). It is a great little business for moms because we can have that creative outlet so many of us desire, make a little money at it, and have the flexibility we need to raise our families.

How do you balance your business, blogging, motherhood, marriage all while renovating?

I have to admit I don’t really think about it much, I just do what needs to get done and I have a very wonderful husband. I remember one cabinet installer once told me he calls drywall dust ‘divorce dust’, and I do know why! When you are living in chaos, up to your eyeballs in things that need to get done and have little children running about you tend to have a short fuse. I am so lucky in that my husband really is supportive and proud of my blog and renovation projects. He offers support when I need it or ask but he usually lets me do my thing without trying to offer his advice or input. Which is good because I would be so indecisive if I had more outside input.

What ‘s next for Life in the Fun Lane?

I am really excited for 2013. I have a lot of fun things planned, but I am mainly excited to get focused on really putting a lot of effort into my blog this year now that Wren is a little older and in school. There will be more before and afters for the houses I renovate and lots of generally fun and happy thoughts and ideas shared.

If you could meet anyone or do anything your heart desires, who or what would it be?

I would love to shadow Jeff Lewis for a week. I am always amazed at his vision for a project and his ability to juggle multiple projects simultaneously. Plus I find him hilarious. He is definitely one of my inspirations.

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 am starting to see it more and more, specially as I branch out more myself on things like Instagram. It is so nice to see things like the Hudson Bay stripes becoming internationally known and popular again because it is a part of our heritage. We definitely have a cozy take on design, lots of fabric, texture, warmth. These are all things I think a Canadian home should have, even if they aren’t in the traditional sense.

XO Barbara


  1. I love Holly's style (although I would NOT be so relaxed about white!). Also living in Edmonton, I am always amazed at how beachy her house does look in her photos....even in the middle of a deep freeze.

  2. Thanks for introducing me to a new blog Barb. Apparently I have been living under a rock:)) Her place is lovely and you know I can't resist a fellow thrifter!

  3. Love the vibe of her home - it's a perfect mix! And... where have I been? Thanks for the introduction! :-)

  4. Well I guess I've been under a rock...LOL But I'm happy to find out about Holly and her beautiful home. She is one talented lady and I'm off to check her out. Thanks for sharing Barbara.
    And I'm excited to learn all about your six week challenge!

  5. Aww I love her. And I LOVE Jeff Lewis too. I'll be following her progress for sure!


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