Our first February feature is someone with whom we've been thrilled to spend some time over the past few months! Rebecca McKinnon of House of Earnest recently began her small business journey with a professional wallpaper installation, painting, and decorating company. In late 2022, she installed the grasscloth feature wall in the new Elgin County Economic Development and Tourism suite located on the first floor of 450 Sunset Drive, and we couldn't be more pleased with her craftsmanship! Rebecca offers professional wallpaper installation services of murals, traditional paper, woven, non-woven, vinyl, grasscloth, and more anywhere in your home, including powder rooms, feature walls, nurseries, etc. This also includes measuring, estimating and consultation services to help plan your wallpaper project. On the paint side, Rebecca does regular paint jobs, hand painted murals and offers colour consultations using Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and Farrow and Ball paint colors.
After learning more about her journey to House of Earnest, decorating interiors seems like it was destined to be part of Rebecca's story. Indeed, she joins a legacy of ancestors that have helped to shape and style the family homes of Elgin County-- her great-great grandfather, Robert Morris, was the architect and master woodworker behind such iconic residences as the Stephen Backus home and Backus-Page House in Tyrconnell.
Born and raised in London's Wortley Village, Rebecca and her family moved to her grandfather's former dairy farm in Iona when she was 17. She went on to receive a degree from Western University which included a minor in Art History and Critcism. Her love for the arts led to a job as a tour guide at the Vatican Museum in Rome, Italy where she relished in the frescoes, tapestries, art, history, and culture of that historic place. She later worked as a museum art educator, sharing her love for the arts with the public, before returning home to Ontario when she started her family.
Rebecca always loved Elgin County and her rural roots, and she and her young family enjoy exploring the local countryside. When their dream old farmhouse came on the market, they jumped at the opportunity to renovate it into the perfect mix of old and new, and one of the best ways to blend the two was through wallpaper. Rebecca notes that adding that unique touch to a space leans into nostalgia but also can breathe new life at the same time, adding complexity to a design. She greatly enjoyed those wallpaper projects and later volunteered to use her skills to install a wallpaper accent wall at a friend's company in London. After that was a success, she became connected with the Wallpaper Loft in St. Thomas, started adding more jobs to her repertoire, and word of mouth has helped grow her clientele from there.
One of Rebecca's favourite parts of this venture is getting to reveal the final transformation to clients, and helping them to see a familiar space in a fresh new way. However, there is more involved with installing wallpaper professionally than what meets the eye. On the technical side of things, Rebecca needs to consider wall preparation before an installation and applies a wallsize to protect the walls. She carefully plans the placement of the wallpaper panels, ensures that the paper will lay properly on the walls, while also ensuring that the correct glue and materials are being used for the project.
Going forward, she would like to see the business become a steady career while still balancing time with family. She hopes that the venture will continue to build her wallpapering skills by introducing her to new and fabulous wallpapers, include more specialized painting jobs, murals, sponging and faux finishes like "cement" walls and also working more closely with designers. If you or someone you know is looking to add a fresh new look to a space, Rebecca is a great go-to to help you make your vision a reality. Be sure to check out more examples of her work and stay updated on her projects on Instagram (linked below). Congratulations, Rebecca, and thank you so much for your help with our amazing new workspace!
House of Earnest
519-521-0522 | firstname.lastname@example.org