February 28, 2020 3 min read

Headshot of Vanessa Bartoli, in front of the paint color chip display at Barrydowne Paint in Sudbury, Ontario.

Meet another member of the talented Barrydowne Team!

After her art career nearly zigged instead of zagged, Vanessa rediscovered a love of colour and design while working at Barrydowne Paint.

“I was very art driven in school and almost became an art teacher. I was doing a fine arts degree at McMaster University when it all started to become more of an obligation than a passion,” Vanessa recalls.

“Not really knowing what I wanted to do next, I saw a Facebook post about an available position at Barrydowne Paint. It looked like a friendly and inviting place to work, so I immediately updated my resume and emailed it,” she says. “Four years later, I’m still thankful for the opportunity to keep the creative part of my brain very much inspired and in use.”

Vanessa definitely got her groove back. Ever since, she has become known for her advanced colour-matching skills and for the way she goes above and beyond for Barrydowne’s customers, even if it means becoming an intrepid hunter of hard-to-find items.

“Last summer, I spent hours calling suppliers across Ontario trying to track down two gallons of discontinued stain for a very hopeful customer,” she laughs. “I was lucky enough to find some in Thunder Bay – and even luckier to be the one to give them the good news.”


An empty wall is the perfect blank slate for…creating an inspiring gallery wall with a collection of art and pictures. It’s my favourite method for bringing a touch of colour into an otherwise neutral space, but it also tells a unique story and showcases your style personality. If I could, I would probably have a gallery wall in every single room in my house.

All-time favourite paint name: Black Forest Green HC-187.

Black Forest Green HC-187 Benjamin Moore

Colours I love to work with:Right now, I am loving working with really dark, deep tones. Blues and greens are two of my favourites and I love the way they change a space. In fact, I’m still trying to find the perfect project to use Hidden Sapphire CSP-690, a rich, jewel-like blue.

Benjamin Moore Hidden Saphire CSP-690 Barrydowne Paint Sudbury Ontario

I stock up on the good stuff at: Definitely Structube & Urban Barn. I can spend hours wandering around and dreaming up new interior design ideas inside of either store.

Favourite room to design:I think it would have to be a tie between bedrooms and living rooms. I love decorating cozy, welcoming spaces.

Fave place to find inspiration: There is a surprising amount of design content on YouTube. One channel in particular I can’t stop watching is Mr. Kate, which started out as a blog and is now a massive lifestyle brand with 3.2 million YouTube subscribers and 280 million views. Kate and her husband Joey call themselves “creative weirdos” – and it’s fun to watch their team renovate and decorate people’s homes on a budget.

Biggest design pet peeve: Seeing all the furniture in a room pushed up against the walls with a bunch of strange dead space in the middle. Honestly, if you want your space to look bigger, there are much better ways to do it.

Style icon: Our very own Brooke-lyn Cacciotti! ☺ She’s incredibly creative and I really admire her keen sense of style.

One colour rule that was made to be broken:In my opinion, all colour rules are made to be broken. One that really needs to be tossed aside is thinking you shouldn’t use bright, fun or bold colours on your walls. A colourful room is a room filled with life, good energy and inspiration!

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