When Sacha and Melissa Leclair first began revamping homes back in 2011, they considered their business nothing more than a side hustle. Fast forward nearly ten years, and this husband-wife duo has taken the design world by storm with an ever-growing client base across North America. In addition to their residential design firm, Sacha and Melissa operate the online LD Shoppe featuring a curated collection of furniture, lighting, and home decor, along with their brick and mortar store in Ottawa.
Our team recently launched Leclair Decor’s new fully customized site, and we cannot wait to see where their growing business takes them next. Read on for our full conversation with Sacha and Melissa, and learn why these two are ones to watch.
Tell us how Leclair Decor was born, and what led you to turn a side-hustle into a full-time business?
We closed on our first house the day after our wedding. Instead of going on a honeymoon, we spent the next few months (and honeymoon budget) fixing it up and making it our own. Leclair Decor came about when we started posting photos of our home on social media and our friends and family took interest. We designed a friend’s home (for free!), and then a guest at a party he threw later became our first paying client. We continued slowly building momentum (while maintaining our existing ‘day’ jobs) and later took the plunge when we realized we had enough design work to carry us full-time.
How would you describe the Leclair Decor signature style? How do you tailor + adapt that to different clients and home styles?
We describe our style as Warm Modern, which we see as the balance of clean, modern lines + a sense of approachable warmth. There are some signature elements of our style (high contrast palette, warm woods, statement lighting, pops of cognac leather, modern furniture, etc.), but part of what we love about this work is that there are infinite combinations and interpretations of this foundation.
We love that you can take these signature elements and tweak them to lean more modern, coastal, traditional or boho. While our projects look and feel like a Leclair Decor space, it’s always unique and equally representative of our clients’ personal tastes and lifestyles.
Do you have a favorite project thus far? Tell us about it!
It would be way too hard to choose a favorite project. That’s like picking a favorite child! But we will say that at any given time, our “favorite” project is usually our most recent. Along with our design team, we are always trying to improve upon our latest work—to push ourselves as designers and as a company to be innovative and learn from every single project. Right now, we’re also really enjoying the process of finally designing and remodeling our own home. As most designers know, this often ends up dead last on the list, so we are so excited to finally be making some progress on our house.
We love that you’re a husband and wife team! Talk to us about what it’s like to work with your spouse and how your skill sets complement each other.
We get this question a lot and wish we had a secret to success. Truthfully, we’ve been really lucky that for us it just works. Early on, we both did a bit of everything, but as the business has grown, we’ve streamed into separate areas of leadership and generally know that it’s best to respect each other’s lanes. I (Melissa) serve as the CEO, overseeing the design firm, business operations, and the day-to-day management of our different departments. Sacha is our President + Creative Director, and he directs the vision for everything related to our brand, our marketing department, and the LD Shoppe e-commerce platform.
From where do you draw design inspiration?
We take inspiration from many places: art, fashion, commercial architecture, etc. But a major theme for us is nature. As a family, we love to be outside and hike, and we spend quite a bit of time in Tremblant, a small mountain community a few hours from our home in Ottawa that offers great skiing, biking, hiking, and paddling. The mountain in our logo is actually inspired by Mont-Tremblant! Natural materials, earthy accent colors, and organic textures are common in our spaces, and we have a definite soft spot for landscape art.
What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?
Ooh, though one! We try to follow a diverse group of accounts that we can draw inspiration from.
@dominique.baker | Dominique is an engaging fashion blogger which we invited to our initial studio opening. Since then we’ve collaborated on blog posts and plenty of media initiatives. We love hearing her perspective on current social issues and immaculate fashion taste.
@angelarosehome | We met Angela briefly a few years ago in Las Vegas when she was just getting her account started. Since then, we’ve become friends and it’s been so fun following along her home projects and witnessing her rapid following growth. She’s one of the most genuine and fun personalities to follow on IG!
@jakearnold | We love getting inspired by Jake’s fresh take on classic design and emphasis on moody textures.
When you aren’t working, what would we find you doing?
Hmm… working?! As an entrepreneurial couple, we do spend a lot of time working, or thinking about work, or talking about work. The line gets blurred when dinner dates double as a meeting with your business partner, but we love what we do and don’t mind that it’s a huge part of our lives. One thing we definitely make time for is spending time with our two kids, Hugo and Evelyn. They are four and five, and have TONS of energy, so we love to find things to do with them outside, like day trips to local farms, museums, trails, and parks.
Tell us about your favorite space in your own home.
Can we look into the not-so-distant future and say our ensuite?? We’ve literally been thinking and designing this space for years, and we are SO excited to see it come to fruition. We are about 75% done as we write this. We really believe in creating an oasis for our clients to retreat to at the end of the day, and that’s what we’ve tried to create with our own.
Tell us a favorite recent trend. How about a timeless one?
We have really been loving boucle fabric recently. We started seeing it everywhere late in 2019, and the texture is just such a perfect mix of cozy and comfortable but still so sophisticated. For a timeless trend (is that a thing?!), our answer might be controversial but we’ll say white walls. Some people would call this a trend, but we just think you can’t go wrong with a crisp, clean backdrop for beautiful furniture and decor.
The IDCO Studio had the absolute honor of designing Leclair Decor’s new website using our Custom Website Design, Blog Migration, and SEO Optimization services. They recently left us this review and we couldn’t be more grateful for their incredibly kind words.
We recently re-did our website top to bottom with IDCO and had a phenomenal experience. There is SO much value in working with a team who specializes in building websites for designers and design firms – they anticipated needs and possible features before we could even ask for them and they were super conscious of respecting our established brand aesthetic and the structure of how we wanted our site to work. The communication was fast, efficient, and genuinely enjoyable. We looked forward to every email and update. Couldn’t speak more highly of Anastasia, Lexi, and the entire IDCO team. Thank you ladies!
Go take a peek at their fresh new look!
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IDCO Studio is a full-service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Our recently launched limited-release website templates are the perfect way for interior designers to get a luxury website on a budget. These templates allow designers to maintain control of their content. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.