We Want To Know: Ariel Garneau of PMQ For Two
If you love bold colours (and if you love to use them generously, and in bold combinations) then you're going to love today's feature! Ariel Garneau is the decor & DIY blogger behind PMQ for Two. Ariel has a colourful and eclectic aesthetic that she's honed over the last few years and can expertly fashion a room using colour combinations and patterns that are not for the faint of heart. I'm in awe of her design talent, and I'm not the only one - her work has attracted the attention of Apartment Therapy and Martha Stewart, and has been featured on both of those sites. Ariel is a friend, an inspiration and a mentor, and I'm excited to introduce her!
First of all, you might be wondering, "what is a PMQ?" PMQ stands for Private Military/Married Quarters, housing made available for members of the military and their families. The various types of houses are fairly basic in structure and design due to their affordable nature so it takes a keen eye and some imagination to spruce them up and make them feel unique (there are rules governing what can and can't be done to the space). Ariel moved into her first PMQ in Quebec with her husband in the fall of 2013. She was eager to decorate it but had to stay on a strict budget, and wanted to talk about her decor plans for hours on end but didn't have anyone to share her ideas with, so she sought out a community of like-minded people online and started reading decor blogs. She then started her own blog, giving her an outlet to express her creativity and connect with others.
Necessity is the mother of invention and this proverb couldn't have been more true for Ariel. Not only was she keeping to a limited budget, but she lived quite isolated from home decor stores that catered to her style so she had to get creative. She started doing DIYs to achieve the look she wanted in her home and shared those projects on her blog. Decorating using pieces that she created and built on her own as opposed to using strictly store-bought pieces really allowed her to take risks and find her personal style. When she first started decorating, Ariel was convinced that her decor would consist of shades of pale blue accented with silver, but through lots of trial and error she learned she was drawn to the complete opposite and landed on her now-signature style of bold colour. Since Ariel's quest to transform her home doesn't sync with the rules of living in a PMQ, she discovered work-arounds through DIYs that allowed her to create impermanent changes to her home - this in turn led her to finding an audience with renters who are also limited by the changes they can make to their spaces.
In only a few short years, Ariel has turned her blog from a passion project into a job that allows her to work from home and help support her family. She's developed a signature sense of style that's taken her beyond her own walls and has presented her with opportunities to decorate for others. She's added a ton of self-taught new skills to her repertoire, including photography, basics of coding and business skills, among others. She's turned those skills around and has become a mentor to others by offering advice and tips back to the blogging community. It's an honour to know her, and I hope you've enjoyed getting to know her, too! See more of her bold and eclectic style on PMQ for Two here. You can also follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and follow her blog on Want.Canada so you never miss a post.
Want more? Here's what We Want To Know from Ariel herself:
I can’t start my morning without… a good cup of coffee, snuggles with my zoo of fur babies, and maybe an episode of something on TV. I like my routine! What can I say. That little time in the morning lets me catch-up on social media and get something out on Instagram.
I have a weakness for… food. I’ve had a tortuous relationship with food my whole life, and now is no different. I like to say that I’ve never met a cupcake I didn’t like, and I mean it. Nothing says indulgence more than a really good meal, but oddly enough it’s what I have the hardest time splurging on. I’d probably justify home decor and craft supplies before I could justify a good meal at a restaurant for two.
Most people don’t know that I… was initially on a completely different career path. I have an MA in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada and had initially wanted to work in policy with our federal government or on the private side as a consultant. However, I became a bit of a stereotype the day I decided to follow my now husband half-way across the country to our first posting together. After a few years of tumultuous work situations and thinking I needed to be doing one thing with my work life, I finally embraced design and DIY. I haven’t looked back! I am professionally and personally fulfilled in my current line of work and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Currently reading… The latest issue of Domino Magazine!
I want… a house of our own. This is our big life goal right now. We’ve both been renting for so long and are ready to take on home ownership. I want to actually tile something, swap all the light fixtures for real, and get into some interior design. Interior decor and DIYs are such fun, but there’s something to be said for designing your environment too. We’re still a few years out from that, but we’re working really hards towards it. I will say this though: PMQs are fantastic. I just don’t want to spend all this time and money transforming our rental and then having to wipe the slate clean every time we move. I’m ready for more permanence.
Thanks, Ariel, for participating in #WeWantToKnow!
Visit Want.Canada for all Canadian news, blogs, photo sharing & messaging.