Prince Edward County is one of those places with tons of untouched heritage. Most of the buildings in the area have been there since the 1800’s – and some even before that! What’s even more incredible is that young creatives are starting to populate the region and it’s slowly starting to become an innovative design hub.
One of the gentlemen that are leading this movement is none other than 29-year-old Alexandre Fida. Alex and his family are the owners of the Angeline’s Inn (the wonderful destination I was lucky to stay at in part one of my #OuietLuxury adventure!). Other than helping out with the family business, Alex is a certified interior designer that specializes in adaptive reuse. Alex took each of the various traditional rundown structures on the Angeline’s property and transformed them into livable masterpieces.
Not only is Alex incredibly talented with open spaces, but he also has a unique look and wears pieces that he has collected on his journeys around the world. We caught up with Alex at his most recent project; a pop-up shop called the House of Falconer. Without further ado, let me introduce you all to Alexandre Fida, Prince Edward County’s interior design chief.
What got you interested in interior design and adaptive reuse?
I’ve always been interested in older buildings and interior spaces. I can remember as a kid sitting in the back of our parent’s station wagon doing our “Sunday drives” where we would take county back roads and discover old and forgotten places. It was an epic adventure each time.
I feel a rush every time I take on a new project. I also like the challenge old buildings present while working on them, it keeps me on my toes and I tend to not get bored by them. I have had the great fortune to work on some dream projects already. I moved an 1860’s log cabin and restored a little 1880’s workers cabin and made the log house a country getaway and the other into a little Tuck Shop.
What is the House of Falconer all about?
House of Falconer is an 1850’s gothic manor that has been empty for over 10 years. The scale and detail are amazing. I have slowly been restoring it room by room. Currently, the front of the house hosts young artists for studios and pop-up shops. In the former grand dining room, Spark Box Studio has taken over and now runs their Curio Shop which features print work from all over Canada. There are also a few vintage pieces and carefully curated gems mixed in too.
Cylinder Studio is our in-house porcelain artist and the Parlour Studio does tiny cacti and beautiful terrariums. The house has become a creative incubator of sorts and I enjoy watching it evolve – who knows where it will go.
Does design inspire the way you dress?
Totally. When it comes to designing interior spaces, I enjoy to layering a lot with different eras and styles. I like the juxtaposition of classic with contemporary lines – I feel like it tells a story and evokes a sense of time that is both past and present. You can see this methodology in my clothing choices as well – I’m not married to a specific style and I like to experiment with colour and texture
Describe your style.
A little bit dandy, a bit quirky with a few colourful punches here and there.
You feel your best when wearing..
I feel best when I’m wearing my glasses. I’ve worn them since I was 8 and they are a safety blanket of sorts. I feel super vulnerable when I don’t have them on, even wearing contacts makes me uncomfortable. I feel naked without them.
What is your favorite item in your wardrobe?
I really love this 1860’s silk vest that I found at an auction 4 years ago. It’s in incredible condition and I only wear it on special occasions. The detailing is really special on it and fits like a glove.
How do you approach getting dressed every day?
It depends on the day but overall I like to feel good no matter what I do. My mom and I are notoriously known for wearing cashmere while doing construction work. That being said I try to keep it real. I’m not precious with my clothes. I like a little wear and tear. It makes it feel genuine and it tells my story.
What is your sartorial pet peeve?
I’m not a big fan of socks. Weird I know but it makes me too hot. Nothing makes me crazier than socks that bunch up at the bottom of your shoe.
Favorite brand, retailer, or boutique?
I tend to stroll through Holts for inspiration (occasionally buying the real deal) and then explore the thrift stores of eastern Ontario to find the vintage version. There is also a great consignment shop in Picton called City Revival – they have some amazing clothing from super stylish city folk at bargain prices. I’m also a big fan of Club Monaco, I really like their clean lines and love when they throw in some fun patterns.
Who is your personal style icon? I don’t know if I have a style Icon but I do admire people like Iris Apfel who really go for it. She makes me smile whenever I see an image of her. I guess you could say I like people who take chances and aren’t afraid to show who they are.
For more on Alex check out his Instagram at @AlexFida.