Michelle & Matt

Find the beauty in all things old with a wonderful senior dog & refurbished church home

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style team

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We’ve photographed some cool homes for Doggy Style, but possibly none as cool as Michelle and Matt’s. They recently moved into a refurbished church in the heart of Toronto and needless to say, it’s beautiful. This church-turned-home is stunningly renovated with the best of its old features maintained and new life breathed into it through expertise in home decor. We really wouldn’t be able to put its gorgeous style into words but thankfully; we took pictures.

Whether it’s a person, an animal, or a building, everything old (and everybody old) holds a certain grace and sophistication. Michelle and Matt, a young and vibrant couple, have done a great job harnessing a bit of that fashion. In addition to their new-old home, their Miniature Pinscher, Carter, is a (as Michelle writes) curmudgeonly old man. The little dog has a big attitude to match his spunky character and a wonderful old vibe that makes you want to hang out with him all day to listen to his stories… if only he could talk.

Read on as Michelle lays out a bit more about life with Carter and Matt in their awesome church home!

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Please tell us about yourself:

I am the digital & special projects editor at The Kit, a fashion and beauty publication owned by The Toronto Star. I run the day-to-day operations of the website, thekit.ca, with the help of an amazing team. I love my job because I get to test out beauty products and hit the latest celebrity gossip sites all in the name of work.

A bit about your pet:

Carter Bilodeau, aka the noodle, little man, C-Man, Carter Barter. He will be 11 in February and we celebrate our anniversary every April 1st. He is a miniature pinscher. My mom brought home a min-pin, Max, when I was 18. I instantly fell in love with him and he was mine for a few short years. My parents retired and moved up north, taking Max with them. I loved the breed because of their personality (which they have a lot of!). Carter loves to burrow under blankets and keep warm by the fireplace. He also makes me laugh at least 10 times a day with those expressive eyes and his boundless energy. And his little snores. He has turned into the perfect little curmudgeon in his old age.

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What does your ideal weekend look like:

We just moved into the neighborhood in June, so we’re still enjoying it. We love to go to Field Trip (at Westmoreland and Bloor) for their breakfast sandwiches and take Carter up to the park for a stroll. We also try to pop into Whipperwhill for burgers or grab dessert at Home Baking. Because we just moved in, we’re also entertaining at our new house quite a bit.

Describe your personal style:

I like to think that I am a mix of classic French and rock ‘n’ roll. I love a great leather jacket, boyfriend jeans, and t-shirts, but also love preppy dress pants and a crisp white shirt. Otherwise, I mostly wear black.

What inspires you?

My husband, Matt, is a pretty awesome guy. He has taught me to look at life in a more positive way and has challenged me to always look at life from many different angles.

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How would you describe the look and feel of your home?

Matt loves design so this home really reflects the mix of us both. He likes things clean and spare while I love a comfy home space. I feel very at ease when I walk into our house because there is no clutter. My favorite piece is our couch, because we entertain in the living room, but also because it’s where we get to relax as a little family.

A story about Carter:

I used to run up the hill in the Dog Bowl in Trinity Bellwoods with two of my girlfriends as exercise in the morning. Carter was always with us. One time, he was at the top of the hill, and we were back at the bottom, getting ready to leave. We called him to come over, and he started booking it down the hill. He didn’t see this big pothole and missed a huge step, causing him to slide down the hill on his side and then jump back up to keep running over. We were in tears laughing, because it was so funny. He was totally ok, but kept his ears back until we all gave him some nice pets. I think he was a little embarrassed.