Mélanie Paulin

For seven years, I ran an amazing little boutique called Carte Blanche where I met so many of you and had the chance to help you through your own creative journeys during workshops and DIY projects. Now in a new chapter working from my home studio, I am taking Carte Blanche through its own creative journey and returning to the essence of why 8 years ago I decided to leave a career in science to pursue an artistic life.

When I started rescuing second hand furniture, I used to tell people that the furniture spoke to me, and I really felt it did! I lost track of that for a little while, swamped in the daily tasks of running a retail business and starting a new family. Until one day, I couldn't hear it anymore. Before you think I'm a bit cuckoo, no the furniture never actually spoke to me. But my artistic instinct did. So this new chapter is all about finding my way back to that creative energy and it has taken me almost a year to get there.

Instead of fighting against a piece and trying to make it sleek and modern, I embrace it's past life and choose a finish that will honour it. I like to look at it for awhile, imagine it in a space, paint or sketch out ideas, until one day I just know what it wants to become. This process allows me to go wherever my artistic voice wants to take me.

My work is all professionally hand-painted therefore quite different than a factory and mass-produced finish.  What other people may perceive as flaws or imperfections is often what I find the most beautiful and worth saving. I love using furniture that has a story and redesigning them to create unique pieces that spark conversation. 

I think I'm truly more of a maximalist design lover at heart. The spaces I appreciate the most are those where I find a variety of pattern, colour, originality and a certain quirkiness factor. Spaces that tell a story. Instead of following trends, I go with what I love and would like to be surrounded with which is always a sure bet in my book.

So I invite you to have a browse through the website to see some of my available designs, and if you want to follow a bit of my process, pop on over to my instagram account!