A Store Owner’s Childhood Home Gets a Fresh, Modern Look

updated Sep 11, 2019

A Store Owner’s Childhood Home Gets a Fresh, Modern Look

updated Sep 11, 2019
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Name: Caroline Jodoin, Jean-François Tremblay and their two children Florence and Isaac
Location: Greater Montreal, Quebec
Size: 1,800 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned

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Caroline and her boyfriend were looking for a place they could call home for their family of four. As they were considering different options, her parents were selling the house where she grew up (and lived in until she was 21), and they decided to buy it! The home doesn’t look like it did when Caroline was a kid. The couple completely renovated the first floor, tearing walls down between the kitchen and the living room to give it a fresh new look.

As co-founder of a home decor shop, BUK & NOLA, Caroline decorated her house with a mix of influences ranging from Scandinavian, minimalism, quirky, and boho designs. She’s mostly inspired by what she picks in her boutique and her travels. Her place feels cozy and colorful thanks to the art prints, wallpaper, plants and the mix of different textures. Bright and airy, her house is the perfect environment to play around with her two children, and make many more memories to come.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I’m pretty instinctive. Like the objects that I choose for my boutique BUK & NOLA, I always work with favorites. My style is at the same time refined, minimalist, bohemian, colorful, monochrome, handmade, Scandinavian, functional, and eclectic.

Inspiration: Since I own a home decor shop, I’m always looking for new products and artists. The artists and designers we choose are therefore a great source of inspiration. It is always exciting to discover their new creations and then find them in our shop. I also like to browse blogs, Pinterest and Instagram. And I love travelling! Which is, without a doubt, an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

Favorite Element: I like my dining room with the gallery and the chandelier. Also, our oversized kitchen island became the cult object of the house. We fell in love with it. It’s where we gather when we invite friends or spend time cooking and playing with our family.

Biggest Challenge: Our house is the one where I was born and where I lived until I was 21 years old. It was not planned at all, nor a dream I had, but when my parents put the house up for sale (10 years later), and it was still on the market after a few months, we decided to buy it on a whim! As it was a house that I knew like the back of my hand, it was the vision that I had in thinking of what I could do that excited me. I saw all the potential the house had, and it helped a lot to make the right choices in my renovations. The challenge was that I did not want to feel at home with my parents. We had no choice but to transform it from A to Z! Removing the wall on the ground floor and painting the brick wall surrounding the fireplace in white immediately changed the look of the house.

What Friends Say: They often tell me that they feel like they’re walking into my shop! I have many comments on how bright the ground floor is because of the large windows and the open space. Also, I’m crazy about lighting. I have small strings of lights, dim lighting, etc., and that’s what creates the mood. I am often told that the house is cozy, thanks to the lighting.

Biggest Embarrassment: When we moved in, we put all our energy on the inside. The outdoors, therefore, needs some love, especially in terms of landscaping. Flowers, shrubs, pretty shutters on the windows would give it a lot of charm, that’s for sure.

Proudest DIY: With our limited budget, it was not in our plans to upgrade the bathroom initially, but I think it was made cute and functional after renovating it ourselves at a low price.

Biggest Indulgence: The lights above my kitchen island.

Best Advice: Don’t over-follow current trends by investing in expensive and permanent renovations like flooring, ceramics, kitchen cabinets, etc. It is best to choose a timeless style and then have some fun with accessories, the colors on the walls, the addition of wallpapers, posters, etc.


Vases — BUK & NOLA
Candles — BUK & NOLA
Magazine — BUK & NOLA
Cabinet — IKEA Besta

Souk wool rug — West Elm
Coffee Table — Mariette Clermont
Mid-century media console — West Elm
Posters — BUK & NOLA
Vases and planters — BUK & NOLA
Pillows — BUK & NOLA
Baskets — BUK & NOLA

Kitchen cabinets — Club Cuisine BCBG
Stools — Maison Corbeil
Pendants — Tom Dixon – The Modern Shop
Cookbook holder, utensils, recipe box and vases — BUK & NOLA

Table — Kasa Living
Buffet — IKEA Besta
Frames and pictures — BUK & NOLA
Chandelier — custom

Bed linen — Target
Pillows, pictures, wall stickers — BUK & NOLA
Superhero Basket — BUK & NOLA
Desk and shelves — IKEA – Algot Collection
Terrazzo boxes — BUK & NOLA
Paint —Benjamin Moore Paper White #OC-55

Curtain — CB2 – Triangle Shower Curtain
Marble shelf — CB2
Picture — BUK & NOLA

Bed — Maison Corbeil
Nightstand — West Elm
Dresser — IKEA Malm
Mirror — HomeSense
Pictures, vases and accessories — BUK & NOLA
Paint —Benjamin Moore Gravel Gray #2127-30

Pictures – BUK & NOLA
Baskets — BUK & NOLA
Bed — Flexa
Nightstand and dresser —IKEA
Lamp — West Elm Scoop
Chandelier — IKEA Maskros
Wallpaper — Hygge & West

Wallpaper — EBONY from Hygge & West
Hand soap — BUK & NOLA

Thanks, Caroline!

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