About

Johanne Yakula

I love to share my passion for antiques with collectors and lovers of history; for historical interiors with heritage home owners, students and designers; and for the history of art with artists, students and collectors.

I’m fascinated with the history of just about anything and very lucky that what I do for work is also what I do for fun.

My company, From Times Past Ltd. is an interior decorating company that specializes in the decoration and restoration of heritage homes. It started as a retail store here in Edmonton, Alberta back in 1994 and for 13 years I helped owners of historic homes source the right kind of products and furnish their homes.

My store carried beautiful antique furniture and all sorts of collectibles and over the years I became very knowledgeable in the categories of antiques that interested me. I closed the store nine years ago and now, apart from helping them restore or decorate their heritage homes, I am also a certified appraiser (member of the Canadian Personal Property Appraisers Group) so I help clients by appraising their antiques.

Restoring a heritage home requires more than just creativity. It takes knowledge of and appreciation for the past – the way the homes were built, organized, designed and decorated. There’s nothing I love better than to go into an old house and smell that wonderful musty odour of old wood. Am I the only one? I have worked with owners of heritage homes built as early as 1907 (early for our city) and as recent as 1960. I truly admire people who want to preserve their homes for future generations to enjoy.

Sharing my interests with kindred spirits is very rewarding to me. One of the ways I do this is by teaching. This includes teaching courses like the History of Residential Furnishings and the History of Art (amongst other design-related courses) for the University of Alberta’s certificate programs. I’m also an instructor for the City of Edmonton’s “This Old House” seminars and speak about topics ranging from antiques to interior design for senior centres, Metro Continuing Education, libraries etc.

Another way I share my knowledge is by writing . Over the years I have written for such magazines as “Discovering Antiques”, “Legacy”, “Edifice Old Home” and “Heritage Home” to name a few. My book “Historical Interiors of Alberta – A Guide to Restoring and Decorating your Heritage Home” was published in the fall of 2012 and reprinted in 2013. It’s the perfect guide for homeowners that plan to restore their heritage home but don’t know where to start.

Although I am a passionate proponent of preservation, I also understand that few people want to give up their creature comforts. I believe old homes can be preserved yet fulfill the needs of 21st century living. The key is balance. Through my volunteer work with the Highlands Historical Society, the Historic Resources Review Panel, and the Edmonton Heritage Homeowner’s Association (a loosely organized group of heritage homeowners who like to share their heritage homes with each other) I have seen many fantastic heritage homes where balance between the old and new was achieved..

By the way did I mention I live in a 1912 house?

 

Look for pictures and stories of our own restoration experiences under “My Old House” in this blog. I’d love to hear about your own experiences. I look forward to meeting or speaking with you. Any questions? Please contact me directly.

Sincerely,

Johanne Yakula