Turning a Minto home into a dream home with @ThisHouseHere

| 4 MIN READ | 2021-11-08

Turning a Minto home into a dream home with @ThisHouseHere

For interior décor enthusiast Nicole Kennedy, choosing a Minto home to bring her Pinterest board to life was a no-brainer. Sharing her decorating journey on Instagram (@ThisHouseHere) came just as naturally, with almost 2,500 following along as she makes her builder dream home anything but basic. Find out who inspires her, what her design hacks are and how she pulls it all together. 

ThisHouseHere living room

What made you choose a Minto home? 

My parents have owned a Minto home in Ottawa for 36 years, and this is my third Minto home. I previously owned a Terrace Home, then a townhome. It’s safe to say that I have a lot of trust in Minto as a builder. 

Which model did you choose and why? 

We chose the Georgian model because the first time I set foot in the model home, I told myself it was my dream home. When we were ready to purchase, I brought my daughter to see all the model homes across Ottawa, and when she walked in the Georgian, she said “wow! I want this house”. There was no doubt in my mind that it was the home for us. 

Have you always been interested in interior design? 

I have loved interior design since I was a kid. I used to watch HGTV shows with my mom (Trading Spaces, anyone?), and my mom always let me decorate my room the way I wanted to. I made many questionable decisions along the way, but have learned so much by experimenting with different styles. I finally feel like I’ve found my personal style, and I love sharing that with people, finding inspiration in others, and learning. 

Who are your design/decor inspirations? 

Leclair Decor/LD Shoppe, Studio McGee and Amber Interiors are major sources of inspiration for me. But I find inspiration in countless Instagram accounts, big and small, and love the design community I have found on social media. 

What customizations did you make to your home? 

We chose quite a few upgrades through Minto, including our hardwood flooring, full glass shower, and freestanding bathtub in our main bath. We made electrical upgrades which have really paid off in the long run (moving plugs, adding plugs for wall mounted TV’s). 

ThisHouseHere entry

Talk a bit about your experience with the Design Centre.

Prior to my design centre appointments, I visited the Design Centre at least once a week. We were scheduled to have something like four 1-hour design appointments, but we managed to wrap up our design process in 1.5 appointments because I had already made all of my decisions beforehand!

Was it overwhelming to choose all the finishes, or did you have a clear idea of what you wanted?

I had a very clear idea of what I wanted in this home so it wasn’t too difficult to choose all my finishes. I went back and forth between choosing traditional/safe design choices, and bold/modern choices, and I think I landed somewhere in the middle. 

ThisHouseHere dining

What’s your design philosophy? 

I definitely believe in mixing high and low. For the most part, I find my inspiration, and try to do the same thing on a smaller budget (i.e. custom slipcovers on my Ikea couches). I say this because I have two young kids and a dog, and I know I would kick myself if I spent a fortune on a sofa, only for it to be destroyed in a year. I like to blend styles because I think it creates balance. I would describe my style as a blend of modern and traditional. 

Any design hacks to share? 

My favourite design hack is using Ikea Sektion cabinets to create built-ins. While you do need some skill to do this kind of work, I have saved myself thousands of dollars by DYI’ing our living room and basement built-ins and I LOVE them. 

Any other insights? 

When preparing for your design appointment, find inspiration photos so you can show them to your designer. This will help your designer see your vision and help you achieve it. 

ThisHouseHere kitchen

 Follow along as Nicole brings her love of interior décor to life in her Minto home @ThisHouseHere.