When a House Becomes a Home

Three years ago, when Lidy Dipert and her husband, Joel, moved back to Canada from California, the couple was looking for the perfect home to raise their three young children. “In California, we lived in a really beautiful, historic neighborhood,” says Lidy, “but in Canada, a lot of the homes aren’t that old, and it’s really hard to get an old home that’s not way out of the budget.” They decided Airdrie was the perfect choice to raise their family and found an 1100-square foot house in one of the city’s older communities. “Airdrie is a very young town, but the neighborhood had cute paths, and the house had potential for us to make it a home,” Lidy shares.

As a design blogger and stay-at-home mom, it was important for Lidy to find a well-lit house where she wouldn’t feel confined. “Natural light is really important to me, especially in Canada, when you’re inside most of the year because its freezing outside,” she laughs.

A key design aspect for Lidy is to be true to yourself and not worry what other people may think about your choices. “I feel it’s a lot like clothing yourself and accessorizing. Your house is a part of you and should reflect who you are,” she notes. Lidy tries to be more mindful about buying pieces she still sees herself loving in years to come. “Sometimes I think the temptation is to go mainstream with whatever is trending. But the thing with trends is thtey come and go, and with homes, you can’t afford to constantly be changing things.”

The couple draws influences from Scandinavian design, but also leans towards a 70s Bohemian vibe. “We love a home that has a lot of our own creations. My husband is really creative and handy,” says Lidy. The living room is her favourite space, and like much of the home, focuses on earthy colours and textures. Minimalist wooden shelves, built by Joel, hold a selection of quirky antique store finds, black and white graphic prints, and luscious, trailing plants.

The couple is grateful to have a separate family room in the basement, where the children can play freely, creating the opportunity for a quieter, more formal, relaxation space in the upstairs living room. “Sometimes I’ll just sit here and sip coffee and look outside to clear my mind,” Lidy says, pointing to the brown leather couch, layered with textured cushions and a sheepskin throw to create contrast. A shabby-chic sideboard from an old Californian farmhouse displays wedding china and small trinkets the couple has collected on their travels.

In the dining room, geometric, monochrome wallpaper creates an impressive feature wall. While there are many exposed-bulb light fixtures throughout the home, Lidy and Joel opted for more intimate lighting in this space. “We wanted something a little bit different and, in the evening,, it creates a moodier dining area,” Lidy says, of the solid brass chandelier. Charming saloon doors leading into the kitchen are a nostalgic addition, and they once belonged to Lidy’s grandmother. “Every time you open them, they creak, and that sound takes me right back to my childhood. Suddenly, it’s not just my home, it’s something with a much deeper meaning to me,” she smiles.

Making the compact master bedroom feel more spacious was a fun design challenge for the couple. Floating side tables, built by Joel, offer a personal touch and increase available floor space. In contrast to the black and white walls, an eye-catching mix of framed paintings hangs above the bed, each with a unique story to tell. This bright and airy room is another favourite for Lidy, who considers it a peaceful haven for relaxation.

The basement family room is a wonderful space for Lidy and Joel to connect with their family and friends. “When we have company over, we tend to come down here because it feels so comfy and cozy,” says Lidy. A playful floral wallpaper leather butterfly chair, and coffee table hand-made by Joel add whimsical touches to the room. Although Lidy says the house is still a work in progress, their design adventure has already produced a stylish and welcoming family home.

Follow Lidy on Instagram @hellolidy

Written by Emily Thwaites