Home Depot Ladies Night a surprise hit

Ladies Night at the Vaudreuil-Dorion Home Depot. It’s clear there’s a huge pent-up demand for the kind of information best conveyed by female experts. (Gazette, Julie Cadieux)

by JULIE CADIEUX

VAUDREUIL – Approximately 200 women and exactly 3 men showed up for the first ever ladies night held at Vaudreuil’s Home Depot a couple of weeks ago.
The evening began with the store’s new director Stéphane Morin addressing the crowd by first apologizing for the late start and explaining that they had originally expected only about 50 people.
Next up were representatives from Martha Stewart Paints who gave inspiring examples of their products and paint techniques such as linen, raw silk, faux marble and metallic finishes all using paint and specialized roller and brushes. Their water-based formula cleans up easily with soap and water and they claim that it can hold up well for a multitude of uses besides walls, such as furniture and craft applications.
As a welcome break we were all encouraged to wander through the store to grab a free coffee and dessert and visit the several home improvement kiosks that were set up with information such as tile installation, window treatments and houseplant re-potting. “The goal is to make shopping in our store a joyful experience for our customers,” Morin told The Hudson/St.Lazare Gazette.
Morin has plans to do this again but no word yet if this will become a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual event. The night ended with guest speaker Manon Leblanc, television host and celebrity decorator best known for her television shows: “Manon, tu m’inspires” and “Ma maison signée…Manon LeBlanc”, and her current show “Manon, ma cuisine…et moi!” airs Monday nights on Canal Vie.
She spoke of decorating trends and talked about how home decor is moving away from the stark, modern off-the-shelf look to a more organic, earthy and eclectic style using elements like burlap, stone and steel to weathered woods, curvy furniture and mirrored accent pieces. A perfect example: I have noticed these last few months that grandma’s provincial antique sofa is back in, only now it has bold coloured upholstery and unfinished rustic wood trim or down filled soft linen fabric with black painted lacquered wood trim — or even gold leafed wood trim!
People have always made home improvements and decorated their homes, but LeBlanc says she sees more than ever that people want to put a personal stamp on their living spaces. One of the reasons may be that in the last 10 years there has been a mass and wide variety of home improvement shows that plays 24 hours a day. Secondly, there has also been an increase in a variety of inexpensive and ever-changing decor; it’s not just the couture fashion houses that have their styles copied and mass produced for a fraction of the price — but ‘of the moment’ trendy furniture and unique home accent pieces are also being made available in more stores — affordably. Lastly, do-it-yourself has never been easier or more satisfying with websites and even phone apps that give step-by-step help and of course improvement stores which have been popping up everywhere, offering a huge selection of in-stock designer paints, tiles, flooring, counter tops, plumbing and lighting including the staff that will even help you get started on a project by giving free advice.
The high turnout for the Home Depot Ladies Night was yet another indication that everyday people believe they can make their homes just as beautiful, comfortable and fashionable as the ones they see on the glossy pages of design magazines. LeBlanc ended the evening taking questions from the audience before Morin drew names for prizes for Martha Stewart Paint products and a lucky participant received a $100 Home Depot gift card.

The Hudson St-Lazare Gazette – October 26th, 2011 – Julie Cadieux

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