Paul LaFrance answers some questions about his career and shares secrets about his personal life.
CANADIAN HOME TRENDS HOW DID YOU GET YOUR BIG BREAK ON TV?
PAUL LAFRANCE I had the opportunity to design and build a deck for a home renovation special with Jennifer Valentyne. Mike Sheerin, who would become a great friend and produce a number of terrific deck and home renovation shows with me, saw the Breakfast Television show the day it aired and thought to himself, “This guy needs his own show.”
CHT WHAT’S THE MOST MEMORABLE PROJECT YOU’VE DONE ON THE SHOW?
PL If I had to pick one project, it would be the “Miami Deck,” where I transformed a deck built over a parking garage into a South Miami Beach nightclub, complete with cabanas and stainless steel privacy screens.
CHT IF YOU COULD GIVE A PEARL OF WISDOM TO UP AND COMING DESIGNERS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
PL I love the Pablo Picasso quote, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Approaching design in a childlike way is one of the mindsets I guard most of all and I think it would be the one piece of advice I’d shout from the rooftops if I could!
CHT WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE? WHY?
PL I had the opportunity to redesign our kitchen a few years ago for an episode of Custom Built. Recently, I decided to take up cooking. It turns out I actually love it, which makes the redesigned kitchen all that much more enjoyable!
CHT DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING THAT IS PRICELESS TO YOU IN YOUR HOME? YOUR FAVORITE ITEM THAT, SAY THERE WAS A FIRE, YOU’D GRAB BEFORE GOING OUT THE DOOR?
PL After clearing out the children, my wife, and the dog, I think it would be important to make sure I was, at the very least, wearing pants. If I managed to check all those off the list, I think I would try to grab my guitars since the grand piano is difficult to move at the best of times, let alone if it were surrounded in flames.
CHT CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN HGTV’S HOME TO WIN?
PL It’s kind of like going to camp. I get to leave the hectic pace of my everyday schedule, head out to the country, and hang out with some very talented Canadian designers and builders while still remaining the most eccentric person in the room. We pretty much laugh all day long while pulling pranks on each other!