Hey there!  I’m so happy that you stopped by the lakehouse for a visit!  I’m Tanya, one half of the ambitious DIY duo behind Dans le Lakehouse.  I love thrifting and making things.  The list of projects I’ve tried grows longer and nuttier every year – did you know that I’ve even painted my own car?

I want you to leave the lakehouse feeling totally inspired to make something, with the practical know-how to make it happen.  (But please read my disclaimer here).

Looking for budget-friendly renovating ideas?  Obsessed with thrift store scores and updating second-hand finds?  Searching for cute homemade seasonal decor or handmade gift ideas?  Or maybe you just want to learn about keeping backyard chickens?  I’ve got hundreds of DIY/craft tutorials, renovating projects, room makeovers, delicious recipes, life hacks, and – oh yes! – posts about chickens!

Meet My Significant Otter:

Just kidding.  Those are neighbors.  This is my better half, affectionately known around here as Handy Hubby:

What Does Dans le Lakehouse Mean?

Dans le Lakehouse is my Bugs Bunny-esque French for “in the lakehouse”.  Dans le Lakehouse has grown from a little side hobby into a DIY, decor and lifestyle blog focused on creating a fun, happy, and handmade home.

Our Story:

I met my Handy Hubby when we were teenagers (!), working as historical re-enactors at a tourist site, where we spent all day making stuff and talking to people about it.  Even when he was still Buildy Boyfriend, we spent our weekends refinishing furniture and building things.  I’ve just always loved making things and I was thrilled to find a partner who did too!  After we got married, we bought our first house – a little fixer upper.  We spent years updating and furnishing our 1970’s townhouse on a small budget, with lots of DIY and thrifted treasures, hoping to sell for a profit.

In 2013 we sold our townhouse and it was kind of a disappointing real estate experience.  The timing was terrible and we didn’t see the profit we wanted, but we made it work so we could move into our dream house, a cute little bungalow on the shores of Lake Superior.   Now we live on the lake and we’re updating our little lakehouse one project at a time!  We’re still on a budget, so we mix inexpensive DIY updates with larger renovations – and use what we have when we can.  We want to lovingly transform this house from a 1990s oak bonanza into an updated but cozy home, with mid-century meets modern coastal vibes.  I love snooping into homes, so I’m excited to share the evolution of our home with you!


DIY & Decor on Lake Time

I believe in balance.  Who wants to spend all of their money on home decor?  Or spent all their time working on a house in the first place?  Homes are for living!  Making things should be fun.  I mix high and low, new with vintage, handmade with store bought.  I don’t even stick to home decor DIY on Dans le Lakehouse – I’ve dyed my jeans darker, tackled clothing hacks and other random projects.  I love sharing the process of creating and making – and sometimes making do.  Dans le Lakehouse isn’t a place for rules.  But one thing is for sure:  I always stop work when it’s a great day to be out on the water, so you’ll often catch a glimpse of rural life on Lake Superior.

Feeding foxes

Let’s Keep in Touch:

The best way to ask a question is by leaving a blog comment!  I moderate all comments so I’ll see yours, even if it’s on a really old blog post!  And the comments on some posts are full of all kinds of great questions and answers, so take a peek.  You can also email me: [email protected]

You can also follow me on Instagram (where I share project sneak peeks) and Pinterest (where I share tons of inspiration).  I’m on Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook too!

DIY and home decor blog focused on cottage life

Notes on Affiliate Links & Sponsored Posts:

Please note that I occasionally use affiliate links, which means that if I recommend a product or share a link to a DIY supply I used, I might make a small commission if you purchase that item.  All sponsored posts and items provided to me by sponsors are reflected as such in posts.  I work hard to partner exclusively with brands that I purchase from myself.


  1. myfriendstaci
    June 29, 2011 / 9:45 pm

    I'm a huge snoop too! Sometimes I find myself wishing that random people had blogs so I could know what's going on in their lives! I suppose I could just ask… but that would be too easy, wouldn't it?

  2. britt@knewlywifed
    October 11, 2011 / 5:29 pm

    Hello from a fellow snoop! Beautiful blog and beautiful house! Glad to have found you 🙂

  3. house no. 2
    October 23, 2011 / 12:20 am

    hello! my name is ashlee. i found you through faith pike's blog. i LOVE your cute little blog. i'm going to bookmark it asap. and you & your house are so cute too. good job decorating. talk to you soon!

  4. Heather {The Lovely Cupboard}
    December 2, 2011 / 12:58 am

    Tanya, you have some awesome DIY tips. So glad you stopped by "my place" today. I'm a new follower. Oh, and I totally relate to getting no money for something that is (at times an obsessive) hobby. Can you imagine how awesome it must be for people who get paid to do this??

  5. Nicole
    December 15, 2011 / 5:02 am

    I found your blog tonight and I really like it! Love your style! I'm starting to discover fellow Canadian Bloggers and it's very cool. I'll keep following…and learning! Happy Holidaysn

  6. Sarah @ Cozy.Cottage.Cute.
    January 4, 2012 / 3:51 am

    Oh, hello. I just found you because you just found me. I'm so glad!Let's snoop around the 'net together, k?:)

  7. thelivedinroom
    March 30, 2012 / 9:58 pm

    Hi Tanya,I am so excited to find some fellow Ottawa bloggers! Especially ones who have such great style. I love your House Tour, you have done great work. May I ask where you get your artwork? The two paintings in your living room are beautiful!Rachel

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      March 31, 2012 / 1:40 am

      Hi Rachel, nice to meet you! Thanks so much for your kind words.I'm so excited to check out your blog. Much of the artwork is DIY (those are filed under my DIY projects page). The paintings in the living room above the sofa, in the dining room, and above the guest bed and guest bedroom chair are by my Hubby's grandpa: Bert Weir.

  8. erica | wicked bride
    April 27, 2012 / 6:54 pm

    Hi Tanya -Thanks for commenting on my blog – I can't believe I've only just discovered yours! Beautiful house, beautiful style – can't wait to watch the continual evolution :)Erica

  9. Angela
    June 11, 2012 / 1:00 am

    Hi there. I just discovered your blog this weekend (from a post on the Craftzine blog). I'm from Ottawa too! Your house is looking really great and I love those paintings you have in your bedroom. I'm going to try one of my own on a biiiiig canvas (love those 50% off coupons from Michaels)! I'll be reading frequently to get inspired for my own house! cheers, Angela

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 11, 2012 / 2:46 am

      Thanks so much! Great to meet you! Nice to meet a fellow Ottawa crafter. Your Etsy shop is fabulous – you're so creative!!

  10. Anne
    July 23, 2012 / 2:20 pm

    Just found your blog and I can't wait to read more of it!I'm also in Ottawa, a former blogger and debating whether or not to start again…we close on our new house next week!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 23, 2012 / 3:43 pm

      Hi Anne,So nice to meet a fellow Ottawa-er. DEFINITELY starting blogging again and send me the link so I can follow along and add you to my blogroll!

    • Anne
      July 26, 2012 / 7:02 pm

      I will let you know if I do for sure.

  11. rusty duck
    September 17, 2012 / 11:50 am

    Hello, I just recently found your blog. I'm in England, and renovating (slowly but surely) an old cottage in the country. Hungary sounds exciting – must be interesting to look at style in a different part of the world. Look forward to following your adventures. Jessica

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 17, 2012 / 8:11 pm

      Hi Jessica,So nice to "meet" you. I am so jealous you have a cottage in the English countryside. It definitely is fun to be in Hungary for four months, because that is a good chunk of time to get to know Budapest. It's my third time here, so I've seen many sites. Now I can focus on daily life.I'm clicking over to see if there's a blog attached to your profile, because I MUST see this cottage!

  12. Nalini
    September 27, 2012 / 1:21 am

    I like your style a lot very clean. Where did you get your cream sofa for the living room?

  13. Janelle
    October 15, 2012 / 2:57 am

    Another Canadian blogger to find! I really like all of your DIYs, my favorite being the yellow abstract. I love the pop of colour. Off to browse the rest of your blog 🙂

  14. Krista Leben
    July 16, 2013 / 3:11 pm

    Just came across your blog from a Pinterest pin and realized that you're a fellow Ottawan! The world is small, eh? Love all of your projects! We just bought our first home (a town home in the South Keys area), which we're moving into in a month! All of your projects are so inspiring–thanks for sharing everything!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 16, 2013 / 11:54 pm

      Definitely a small world!! Congrats on your new townhouse!! I'm so excited for you, a townhouse is a great first home. I have definitely loved ours. We're in the process of selling ours, though, because we bought a house in another city. I'm quite sad to leave Ottawa because it's such a great city and I love how friendly people are. Thanks for stopping by to say "hi".

  15. Sarah McG
    January 3, 2014 / 7:49 pm

    Love your blog!! Can I ask what kind of camera you use? Thanks!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 9, 2014 / 9:37 pm

      Thanks! I use a Panasonic DMC-FZ28. It's actually failing me now, refusing to focus, but it's been a good little camera for the last five years. Lots of options for creative control, but a pretty smart auto setting too.

  16. Kriszti
    June 22, 2014 / 9:34 pm

    Nagyon jó a blogod, Tanya! Gratulálok. A konyhafelújításról szóló bejegyzésedről írtam én is egy postot a blogomban. Természetesen forrásként megjelöltem a Te blgodat.További sok szép projektet kívánok Neked!

  17. BarbaraJ
    July 13, 2014 / 7:51 pm

    Hello from Prairie Village, Kansas! I found you from House of Turquoise guest blog. Love what you've done to the lake house. Quick question… Where did you find the candlesticks on the credenza? I used to own several that I bought from a Scandinavian store and adored until cat knocked over and haven't been able to find again.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 13, 2014 / 8:48 pm

      Hi Barbara, it's so nice to meet you! The candlesticks are from my grandmother. I don't believe they are in production anymore, but you can find them on Ebay and Etsy. They are Iittala Festivo, but we aware that there is a knock off version some people sell as the real deal. Side by side the difference is clear, though. I hope you're able to find some replacements!! You can always check with your local antique dealers and ask them to keep an eye out for you – especially any places specializing in mid-century modern.

  18. Ashley
    October 23, 2014 / 12:07 am

    A late hello from Ottawa also! I'm not new to blogging but am refocusing as we just traded in our suburban townhouse for a country split with tons of space. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  19. Ooh Shalida
    September 19, 2015 / 7:31 pm

    Wow! I am sooooo inspired! I am one of those gals who have amazing ideas, but is only beginning to take cracks at things? How did you originally get into DIY? What were your first projects? Was it mainly your husband that inspired you to dive in? Thank so much

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 20, 2015 / 7:42 pm

      When I met my hubby, we were in our late teens, working at as historical re-enactors at a tourist site. We found work there because we both loved making things – he made buckets in a cooperage and I did hand sewing, beading and baking to entertain the tourists. In our real lives, he'd built a desk with his woodworker dad while I'd started sewing really terrible clothes for myself, with my mom's help. When we started dating, we started tackling projects together. We re-stained a table for me, upholstered a desk chair for him and took on bigger and bigger projects until we decided to re-paint my car lime green! These days, making stuff together is just something we do and we've developed skills sets so we can divide and conquer on different projects. With DIY, I started small – making my own jewellery, sewing, re-painting furniture and I built up to bigger and more challenging projects. Some have been flops, some major successes. I'd say start small with your amazing ideas – do a little research and then dive in. Know that there will be projects that flop, but look forward to the ones that turn out better than you imagined! Happy making!

  20. mafud prasetyo
    June 24, 2016 / 1:37 am

    great..your blog inspired me..

  21. Sandra
    September 7, 2016 / 10:21 am

    HI Tanya, what a fun blog you've created! Colorful and creative. Thank you for the IG 💛.Sandrawww.lowcountryfelicitylife.com

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      September 7, 2016 / 5:21 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment, Sandra!

    • Emplawyer Blog
      February 9, 2017 / 7:55 pm

      Where did you get the glass fronts for the besta cabinet?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      February 10, 2017 / 2:21 am

      IKEA but they discontinued them 🙁