Mom Story: Janine from Uppercase Magazine
Hello! My name is Janine Vangool and I’m the publisher/editor/designer of UPPERCASE magazine and books. My husband, Glen Dresser, is a writer working on his second novel and we live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with our 22 month old son Finley and our dog Percy.
What kind of house do you live in—are you and your child happy here or is there anything you find lacking or would like to change?
We live in a small house in the Sunnyside neighbourhood in Calgary. It is a great location—just a block from the river and a twenty minute walk to downtown and my studio, UPPERCASE. The house is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, so for Calgary standards that’s actually quite old. Alas, the house doesn’t have any really great period features other than slanted floors and wobbly walls! Apparently, people didn’t need much closet space or large bathrooms in 1912, so those amenities are lacking.
What do you like best about living there?
The neighbourhood is excellent. Though I purchased the house when I was single, the location still suits me and my family perfectly. There is a nice elementary school a couple blocks away, a nice park, great places to go for a walk and central to everything we need and do.
Do you like to spend time decorating your home and the children’s room?
When I was expecting, we suddenly kicked our home care into high gear! I have to thank the birth of our child for a lot of upgrades to our living conditions. The most significant was redoing the kitchen entirely. And then once Finley was showing the ability to crawl we recovered our old splintered hardwood floors with gloss white snap-in-place floorboards. We painted the walls white and installed white floor-to-ceiling bookcases in the living room. It is pretty much all IKEA, but it was affordable, relatively easy and we’re very pleased with the results. I was a bit worried about whether we could live in an all-white interior, but other than having to occasionally wipe up Percy’s muddy paw prints, I love having white floors. It certainly makes the house feel brighter and more spacious. I wish I had time to do more decorating and sewing for my home, but I have far too many other things to do first.
Do you keep your child’s play area separate or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?
Finley is welcome to play throughout the main floor of the house. He likes to run back and forth between the living room and his bedroom. Since his room is quite small, he has some books and his toy train in there and the rest is out in the living room. He has his own section of the bookcase and I quite like looking at his toys strewn about—it’s the sign of a happy day!
Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?
I publish a book series called “The Suitcase Series.” Each book is a complete immersion in the life, culture and craft of a particular artist. The first book was all about Swedish illustrator Camilla Engman —Glen and I were fortunate to go visit her home in 2009 when I was working on the book. Her lovely apartment (white floors!) and the Scandinavian aesthetic were a huge inspiration for our home’s interior. More recently, Finley, Glen and I stayed with Tif Fussell (for The Suitcase Series Volume 2: dottie angel). I love Tif’s interior decorating style—a mix of thrifted finds and handmade items really give a home soul.
What is your child’s favorite item in your house?
We have a Fisher Price little village set that was mine from the mid seventies. Seeing how much he enjoys it and combined with his love of airplanes, his grandparents just gave him a Fisher Price airport from 1980 for Christmas. It’s complete with a plane, helicopter, baggage cars, luggage, people…the works!
What a lovely Mom Story, thank you Janine for sharing it with us!
*If you are interested in being considered for a Mom Story, please contact Tiffany – tiffany.bloesem(at)gmail.com