House Tour: Maximalism meets Mid Century in Ariel’s Bold Retro Home
Ariel is a home décor, DIY and lifestyle blogger, her home is full of bold colour and pattern and according to her Instagram bio, she is a Tchochke Magpie …. Now, I have to admit that I had to Google ‘Tchochke’ and was very glad to learn this new word because “a small object that is decorative rather than strictly functional” is definitely one that should feature more in my vocabulary! But there was also another thing that beguiled me, but I had to ask Ariel herself about that …
I am intrigued by your Instagram account and blog name …. PMQ for Two … for those of us not familiar with the term, could you explain it? (I’m pretty sure it doesn’t stand for Prime Minister’s Questions, which is what us Brits would assume!)
Sure! PMQs are what the housing units available on military bases here in Canada. It’s an acronym that stands for Private Married Quarters. These days they’re referred to as RHUs (Residential Housing Units), but when I started the blog 9 years ago we just called them Qs.
How would you describe your style?
In one word: Eclectic. I find I’m drawn to many different styles, but I feel like 2 people sum up my taste perfectly: Wes Anderson and Kate Spade. They both draw on retro and mid century influences, and rely on colour and maximalism to get their aesthetic across. I feel most at home in an overstyled space, full of trinkets and tchockes, and a dash of pink.
What is it about bold colours and patterns that attracts you?
That’s hard to pinpoint! Looking back at earlier stages in my life, I’ve always been drawn to high contrast and juxtaposed colours. I wore black and purple my entire 5th year, I painted my childhood rooms lime green and later hot pink. And in university I always went with large, bold, posters to cover my dorm walls. As I’ve grown older, there’s something about matching colours and patterns that releases a certain amount of dopamine and makes my heart sing. It’s hard to explain, but it’s just one of those things that feels good when it’s done right.
I love the heady mix of modern and retro in your home, can you tell us what criteria you use when choosing pieces for your home …. or is it a simple gut reaction?
Gut reaction! Much like mixing colours and patterns, I just know when it works. Mid Century pieces are where my husband’s and my style meet. He likes wood elements with a touch more traditional flair, and I like eclectic, curated and colourful items. I feel like all of those elements meet in the middle in the 50s and 60s.
Do you have a favourite room, or piece in your home?
The answer to that changes with each season, and with each new addition. I’m currently having another purple moment, so you’ll notice me adding it to all the rooms in our home, one by one.
Do you have a favourite era or maker?
No. I like many different eras, for different reasons. I think you can’t go wrong with some Eames or Saarinen, but as I mentioned above, it’s how they’re incorporated in different styles that does it for me.
Tell us about your blog …. When did you start writing and why?
I started writing in September 2013 when my husband and I moved into our first PMQ. I was wild about decor, and for the first time we had our own semi-permanent space to decorate. I started writing because my husband didn’t want to talk about curtains for 3hrs. I later found community on social media, and the rest has grown from there. PMQ for two is now my job.
What plans do you have for your home … and blog?
We bought our current home to renovate it. We’ve almost finished one floor, and have one more to go! But that will require major renovations, so we’re saving up until we can do those properly. We’ll sell next time we’re posted. The blog will continue going on as is - a colourful shared keepsake of my life and my family.
I’m always considering a name change though, given that we’re no longer in a PMQ and it’s not just two of us anymore. We’ll see what the future holds!
Photo credits: All photos kindly provided by Ariel.