So Canadian Eh? : Rita Joy from Harbour Breeze

Thanks for stopping by! Another fabulous Canadian blogger is visiting!

Please welcome the amazingly sweet and beautiful....

Rita Joy from Harbour Breeze Home

She is

Rita Joy, an American transplant, and her family make their home on a small island off the coast of British Columbia. They run a year round camp and get to enjoy the peaceful island way of life!
If you follow along with Rita's blog, Harbour Breeze Home you would NEVER imagine her amazingly decorated and styled home would be part of a camp! I always envision dark, dingy houses with spiders and cobwebs running amuck. 
Rita has taken that dark, over-the-top-with-too-much-wood home and created a breezy beach relaxed space that is simply divine all for very little cost! You will be amazed. She has even been featured in a Better Homes and Garden's special publication! 

The under $200 kitchen makeover. You will be amazed!

Rita Joy, tells us a bit about yourself? What is your education? Have you always been creative and interested in design and all things pretty?

I am a wife and mom of 3 boys.  I love trying to find order out of chaos, painting rooms, creating crafty projects, and drinking French vanilla coffee ~ just black, thanks!:)

21 years ago, I moved with my husband to a year round camp on an island in BC.  We’ve been here ever since!  I spent all my growing up years on a farm in the prairies.  It took me a while to get used to seeing the ocean out my kitchen window! I don’t have any formal education in design, but I met my husband while completing my Bachelor of Religious Education degree at a Bible College in Alberta.

I think my love for design started when I was about 16 years old and got to choose my own bedroom furniture and colors.  {If I remember correctly, there was a lot of peach involved…}  My passion for design has grown as I’ve lived in many different spaces in our married life, and loved the challenge of making each one feel like home to us.

What made you decide to start a blog? How would you describe your blog?

I started blogging on a complete whim ~ and at the nudging of a good friend.  My mom had recently been diagnosed with dementia and I realized how important it was to be constantly learning something new.  Blogging became my “new” thing.

Harbour Breeze Home started out as a diary of our life, but quickly became more focused on home décor and crafty projects.   It chronicles the renovations and changes we make on our old history-filled beach house.  We don’t own our house, so we try to do inexpensive updates with big impact.  Our $159.00 kitchen makeover is still one of the most viewed project I’ve ever written about.

Early on in my blogging days, I decided my personal goal was to write about only the things that are interesting or current with me. So, honestly, I write about whatever I want to at the time!:)  That is – more often than not – related to home, décor, and crafts but every now and then I throw in a post on our family life, too.

What has surprised you the most about blogging?

That I love it so much!!

What do you enjoy the most about blogging? Dislike?

It has been such a joy to discover something I’m truly passionate about.  I never dreamed that I would one day enjoy writing and learning “web techie” things!:)   It’s challenged me to be more creative, expand my love for photography, think outside the box, and given me the opportunity to “meet” so many wonderful people all over the world.

 My biggest challenges come when I start comparing myself to other bloggers.  Sometimes blogging can feel like a Jr. High popularity contest.  I try really hard to grow in my blogging skills, but not go down the “Why does that blogger have 3 bazillion more followers than I do and she just started blogging yesterday?”  Ooo, that’s a discouraging, slippery slope!  I try really hard to steer clear of it.

You live on  a small island off the coast of British Columbia, where are your go-to design resources?

Magazines and books from our regional library, catalogs {Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware are two of my favorite}, and of course, blogs!  I have many favorites.

You and your family have lived in a few homes on the camp your family runs, what tips do you have in making a rental home feel like “home”?

This is my favorite challenge of all!  Where do I start??  Just putting your own furniture in a space makes it feel more like home.  Depending on what the owners allow you to do, paint color is the next thing that can really personalize a space.  However, don’t be discouraged if you can’t paint!  Adding in your own accessories and even rearranging rooms (or even the whole house!) can make your home feel and function better for you.

If you could meet anyone or go anywhere who or where would it be?

I have lots of dreams in this department!  In fact, one of our long time dreams is coming true this year.  We’re headed to Hawaii!!:)  I’ve always wanted to go there…

I’ve also been pondering lately how much I’d love to go to a blogging conference and meet other ladies who I’ve met online, but not in person.  I think it would be so fun and inspirational to meet other women who have the same interests as I do.  {And, honestly, I’d love to learn from the “pros”!}

What do you love to do in your free time?
Read and watch design shows on tv… {Sarah Richardson is my favorite designer.}

You are a mom, blogger and wife, how do you balance all those roles?

I find this to be a constant, daily challenge. I’ve nixed trying any complicated formulas or hard and fast rules in the area of time management.  Instead, I try to adjust things when needed.  Sometimes my demands as a wife and mom mean that I need to slow down with blogging a bit.  Other times if I know I’m going to be really busy, I try to pre-program my blogs.  I’m constantly trying to make sure my priorities are in order.

What are your views on the role of Canadian design on the world stage? Do you feel that Canadians have a unique sense of style, the way we dress, design and decorate our homes? If so, what do you think sets us apart?

Oh, Barbara, this is a hard question!  I grew up in the States and have now lived in Canada longer than I lived there.  I do think that Canadians definitely have a unique style, but I always have a terrible time articulating what that is.

 I do know that when I go visit my family in Montana, they tell me I have a “Canadian accent”.  I’m not sure what that means, but I do know, I sure love living here!

I am still amazed by all that you have accomplished in your home! So excited that you get to visit Hawaii this year. Enjoy the sand, sun and warmth!

XO Barbara


  1. Thank you for your sweet, kind words...It's so fun to be spending some time over here on your beautiful blog!:)

  2. Rita Joy's had a real talent for making her house a home. One of my favourite room makeovers is the kitchen and I love the fun fresh colours in the beach cottage bedroom.

  3. I started reading Rita's blog last summer and really enjoy her authentic approach. You can tell the thought and care that goes into each project, and she's not afraid to share the good, the bad and the ugly- Love that!

  4. Rita is a sweet talented lady...with lots of get up and go! she has made a wonderful home out of camp stock!


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