Big Girl Blogger Series: Interview with Rachel from Maison de Pax

Tell all ya friends and neighbors!

Rachel from Maison de Pax has some of the most gorgeous interior photography I’ve ever seen. She’s here today sharing what she’s learned along the way in her thriving business of blogging while running a peaceful home

You guys. Do you have that one person that’s just so good at what they do you’re not even jealous of them, you just want to follow them around and learn everything they know and maybe be best friends with them and send them internet hugs?

That’s Rachel from Maison de Pax for me.

maison de pax blesser house

I have been following her a long time and the main reason is her photos are just so STUNNINGLY, drop dead gorgeous that I can’t get enough. She has her own photography course that I asked for for Christmas right when it came out and it’s the best investment I’ve ever done for my blog. If you ever like a photo on my blog, hop over to Rachel’s blog and tell her cuz ya girl wouldn’t know her way around a camera otherwise.

Before I keep going on and on about her, let’s hear from Rachel herself!

Give me the elevator pitch to your blog!

Though I didn’t study design, I was the 10 year old who redecorated my room at least a dozen times… So I’ve loved interiors and DIY for a very long time. When I found myself a stay-at-home-mom with two babies and an old fixer upper, I began recording our progress on Maison de Pax. Now, as a homeschool mom of four, I use Maison de Pax both as my own creative canvas and as inspiration and encouragement for others to pursue peace and beauty in their own homes.

When did you start your blog and, more importantly, why?

I grew up with three brothers, and the four of us made up our parents’ construction crew. ???? Not really, but I did learn (and practice) a lot of DIY skills growing up. I then spent five years teaching high-school English, which ended when we moved to Paris, France for two years. While there, my first son was born… so between Parisian landscapes and a new baby, I thought photography was a logical hobby to pick up. When we returned to the US, I found myself as I mentioned above: a stay-at-home mom to two little boys with a huge fixer upper and a small budget. With my DIY, writing, and photography skills, it only seemed logical to try recording the process of loving that home back to life. And Maison de Pax was born.

What’s your favorite project/recipe/makeover to date you have done?

Oooo… so tough. From our first home (the big 1940 fixer upper), it was probably the attic we finished out. From our current home, it would have to be our kitchen. But overall, the project with the most feels (and time… and money… lol) was the complete renovation at Little Pax Ranch. The kitchen and living room are my new favorite places.

Share one project you were excited about but it turned out to be a disaster.

Back in that old 1940 fixer upper, we had visitors. Of the rodent kind. Both small and large. Gulp. Ugh. So we tried to cover all the spaces below our pier and beam foundation with screen mesh. I had the bright idea to get pre-primed (I thought) trim to create little boxes around the mesh. This would hide the staples and make it look a little fancier. Well, I’m not sure what I bought, but it was not paint-ready. I painted a bagillion feet of this molding to match the exterior of our house, cut it all into pieces to make boxes, stapled the screens to it, and then watched all that gray paint just peel off the trim a day later. Needless to say, I was NOT happy about it.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given about blogging that’s changed the game for you?

Quality over quantity. As a business, there are so many different paths you can take in the blogging/influencer world… and no one can do all of them. That’s the beauty of this industry. But I, as an obsessive over achiever by nature, have to remind myself that doing a few things really well is more effective (both for my business and my sanity) than trying to do all.the.things. all.the.time.

Tell me one thing not a lot of people may know about you and/or your blog.

I’ve been told that most people who read my blog think of me as a serene, even keel, peacemaker (maybe it’s the name of the blog? Or the tone of my voice?)… but I’m actually much more social and silly in person. In fact, my good friend Lauren from Bless’er House always laugh that her silly and sass comes out on her blog, while in person she’s much more quiet and shy… I, on the other hand, am the opposite. In fact, I spent a short season of my life choreographing and helping to direct musical theatre (translation: super charismatic and bossy)… and I loved it.

Finally, if the internet went away tomorrow and you were forced into another career, what would it be?

If not a Broadway star, then a full-time interior designer. Or maybe a family photographer. Or a classroom teacher again (I still homeschool my own children, which I love, but there’s a different energy with a room full of students). I think the lesson here is that I’m a bit of a jack (or jane?) of all trades – and I like it that way. ????

And an interview isn’t complete without a super fun lightning round. Let’s go!

  1. Coffee or tea? Coffee
  2. Coke or Pepsi? Coke (Diet?!?)
  3. Friends or Seinfield? Seinfield
  4. SUV or minivan? I made the sanity choice to drive a minivan when I found out I was pregnant with #4. I prefer the feel of an SUV, but you can’t beat those sliding doors!!!
  5. Early bird or night owl? Night owl
  6. Indoors or outdoors? Both ????
  7. Paper planner or digital? Paper feels better, but I’m too much on the go these days… I can’t keep up unless it’s on my phone, with alerts, and alarms, and extra reminders. Ha!

It was insanely hard to pick some of my favorite posts from Rachel, but here they go in no particular order:

Up first is one of my favorite DIYs she’s done to date. These DIY built in desks for real made my jaw drop. So simple, yet so stunning!

If you want to get the full effect of her work, you can take the before and after tour of her current home. Every before photo in this picture next to the after will make you be like, “Yea, no there’s no way that’s the same house.” But yet, I can assure you it is.

If this doesn’t make you cry, I can’t help you friend. They recently bought a little ranch (with a sweet story) that she’s alluded to in her interview BUT HOLY COW I can’t even explain to you how incredible of a transformation this is. You have to see it. You just have to.

All I have to say is that I’m glad the internet exists because of 2 reasons: 1, because of Rachel (and all the other girls I got to interview) and 2, because now I can Google how to get drool off of everything. So, brb while I go do that.

Oh! One more thing: I actually share with my mailing list BEFORE the interviews go live who it is that I’m interviewing so if you want to know who’s coming before the public knows, make sure you’re signed up below!

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