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  • Our World

  • February 15, 2024 6 min read


    Within this journal series, we explore comforting nourishment tips, practical organization inspiration, and more, to ease you into 2024. Our hope is that it transports you into the world of slow living and inspires you to implement these ways not just in the new year, but in your day to day practices as well.

    Although we are well into the new year, we felt a collective shift to begin our year in a more slowed-down and calm transition (instead of the usual fast-paced start that comes along with new year habits). So, although we have progressed beyond the initial month covered in this series, we are now bringing you an interview with Addy Gray. Addy has continuously inspired us to source vintage items and create DIY items for our homes. We hope that she inspires you to do the same in 2024!

    We like to start off our interviews with an intro of who we are featuring. So, we’d love to know - who is Addy Gray?

    Hi, I am Addy. I live on Vancouver Island and I am a mom of two little boys. I work in Health Care, but my dream job would be to be an interior stylist and to help people create spaces in their homes that truly represent their style - basically, I would love to be a professional shopper. 

    Can you describe your home decorating style for us? How has it changed over the years? 

    Over the last 6 years my style has evolved from Farmhouse, to Boho, to our home currently, which I would describe as more of a collected home.  

    harly jae x addy gray

    We discovered your DIY projects through your beautiful, inspiring Instagram Reels. What sparked you to begin posting and sharing your content?

    After becoming a mother, I struggled with finding my identity, besides being a Mom. I have always been one that loves to create, I sew, love cooking and knitting.  My nickname in high school was 'Martha Stewart' because of my love for homesteading.

    When we first purchased our home, we had just moved back to Canada from living overseas for 4 years and didn't have much income, and no furniture from living abroad. DIY became our only way to outfit our home.  I spent all my time scouring Marketplace, thrift shops and our local free sites looking for pieces that may need a bit of love and care, but had good bones and timeless structure all while keeping on budget. This is what sparked my joy of furniture refurbishing and revamping.   

    harly jae x addy gray

    Where do you source your home décor inspiration?

    In my twenties I lived abroad before meeting my husband travelling throughout Italy, England and Denmark and I have always had a love for simple European styles.  In 2011 my husband and I moved to Egypt for work and it allowed us to travel and discover different architecture and history for places all over the world.  I loved wandering through the markets and collecting different fabrics, table linens and pottery to bring back to Canada for when we eventually would be able to purchase our first home. I have always been drawn to pieces that tell a story, have a history and I love being able to bring new life to a forgotten piece.   

    What creation are you most proud of?

    I am most proud of our wood stove remodel. I took it on in the spring of 2023 and it was a project I did with my Dad. It was a huge learning process, as we added drywall, did our own tiling and I was able to learn so many new trade skills I never thought I could accomplish without a professional.  

    harly jae x addy gray

    Many of us have felt the pressure of item costs rising recently, which has led us to search a little deeper for thrifted gems or even build pieces for our homes ourselves. That being said, for beginners, it can be intimidating! What advice would you give to those who are looking to embark on their first DIY home improvement project?

    With the rising costs to so many items, thrifting has become a lot more trendy but it's also what people can afford. My biggest advice is to go in with a plan - but only a little one as you never know what hidden gems you will find. If I am planning an upcoming birthday or a special table scape, I will focus on the candlesticks, unique serving trays, and glassware.  For a bedroom I would keep to the frames, lamps and the fabrics sections - you can create so much with just a little bit of fabric.

    Don't forget to look beyond the thrift store setting. Pick up the item, envision it in your home and how it could be useful in your life. It's such a wonderful feeling to be able to give new life to a forgotten piece.  

    harly jae x addy gray

    Amongst many of my DIYs, there have been a lot of items that I didn’t end up actually using. How do you approach balancing creativity as well as functionality in your projects?

    In the beginning of my DIY journey, it was all about creating the next piece, a new DIY for every holiday and season, and for me it became almost disposable. In the last couple of years I have really fine tuned what projects I DIY, also my overconsumption and wastefulness. I am becoming more intentional with our home and also my shopping habits. I no longer want disposable pieces but pieces that are timeless and will live and be loved in our home.    

    As you are fixing up your 90s house, what has been your favourite project to work on so far?

    Wow, we have done so many, it's hard to choose! I think my favourite is adding our fence, outdoor fire pit, patio, and our garden. It's a constant project and is still changing every year, but it's my favourite since our entire family gets involved. Not only with growing our own vegetables and my flower garden - this year I am hoping to have a rose garden - but we have so many fireside nights with our boys, with family and friends. It's a space that is constantly making memories.  

    harly jae x addy gray

    We believe that the space we are surrounded by affects our mindset – how do you recommend enhancing a space without breaking the bank?

    I think the biggest way to change a space is by grounding it. A good rug can transform a space, it's often where I start with a room and work around that piece. You can swap out small decor items, change the pillow fabrics and photos and art, all of these can be easily found thrifting, but a good quality rug is where I like to start.  Also the bigger the better when it comes to rugs.  

    Speaking of beautifying a space influencing how we feel, the same goes for the clothing we wear! How do your harly jae pieces make you feel?

    I was influenced when I saw someone I follow wearing a harly jae piece 2 years ago and decided to purchase my first piece - the Doll Blouse. My body has changed a lot in the last 10 years and so many of us struggle with seeing the beauty beyond a number. I choose to embrace how my body has changed. It was beautiful then and it's beautiful now.  When I put that piece on I instantly felt it was made for me. You can tell the time, care and every detail of every harly jae piece is made to make you feel radiant. I am slowly filling my closet with harly jae and also shopping less for disposable fashion and choosing more timeless pieces that make me feel beautiful.

    harly jae x addy gray 

    Lastly, what is something unexpected that your followers don’t know about you?

    When my husband and I lived abroad, we started an online shop and would buy very unique jewelry, accessories and clothing on our travels - France, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa - and bring them back to Canada for the summers and throw pop up shops. Our bags would be packed full of amazing goods and it was wildly successful and a lot of fun. We ran my shop "Beanilla Boutique" for 3 years and when I got pregnant with our first we decided to take a step back and move back to Canada. I still run into people 10 years later that remember coming to one of our event pop ups or shopped online and still wear some of the goods I shopped for. 

    harly jae x addy gray


    Addy wears our James Blouse / Les Alpes Sweater with the Brooks Pants, Doll Blouse / House Blouse with the Zipper Skirt.

    Find her amazing DIY ideas and home renovations on Instagram.