That’s the question Deanne and Iannick Fallu were asking themselves in 2008, when they moved into their two-storey home in Secord, Edmonton’s most westerly new subdivision.
It met the conventional standards of an attractive house. It had a pleasant appearance, inside and out. It was well-proportioned, with great bones. But it was very like the homes on either side of it – like a row of beauty pageant contestants with a similar sash and smile.
The new home’s first owner lived there only a month before his job relocated him to another town, so the place was just like new. The young couple savoured the challenge of giving the blank canvas of its builder-designed space a personality.
Deanne had a head full of ideas and was ready to put her shelf full of design books into action. With a love of fashion and an eye for style, she had sharpened her skills on small design projects for friends and family and was ready to take on the dream assignment of her own home.
But the couple, who had moved to their new home from an adult-only condo with the idea of starting a family, quickly became pregnant.
It was not an easy pregnancy, so Deanne’s doctor recommended she not take on too much. “I knew what I wanted and really wanted to do it all myself, but I couldn’t even leave home to shop,” she says. Reluctantly, the Fallus abandoned their hands-on plan and began searching for a designer to fulfill their vision.
Their disappointment at losing a DIY project soon dissolved when they found designer Rosalyn Lazaruk of Wicketblue Interiors and realized they had gained a wealth of experience and creative resourcefulness. Over the next 18 months, their collaboration with Lazaruk transformed their home from bland and predictable to colourful and adventuresome.
“When I first walked in, there was nothing on the walls; the entire home was one paint shade,” says Lazaruk. “The space didn’t reflect their personal styles at all. What we ended up with is a great example of how simple additions such as lighting, paint, wallpaper and well-chosen accessories can take a home from a basic builder package into wow-factor territory, without spending a fortune.”