When the house was purchased, the dark room in the basement did not look like much, admit its owners. But each of its faults represented a driving force in the eyes of this couple who find their happiness in an artistic bubbling.

“From the first visit, I immediately saw the workshop that we had always dreamed of having, Pierre and I. It was a fairly ordinary room, with pipes in the ceiling and pillars right in the middle because of the metro passing below. But, in my eyes, these columns divide the space perfectly! Exclaims Fabienne Drouin, still excited by the memory of those first steps in their duplex in Ahuntsic, 20 years ago.

Her husband, Pierre Bourque, agrees. “Fabienne saw before anyone else what this room could become. She imagined what she is today: a perfect place to create for both of us,” he says.

The piece testifies to the abundant imagination of this plastic arts teacher, now retired, and of this massage therapist passionate about the invention of board games. Walls and shelves are full of photos, drawing notebooks, mixed works and game pieces accumulated over the years.

Other projects, some finished and others awaiting time or inspiration, are piling up on work tables and along walls.

Never short of ideas, Fabienne Drouin devotes herself without restraint to any technique of painting, drawing and crafts. For his part, Pierre Bourque does not hesitate to tame the sewing machine or the scroll saw to create the pieces straight out of his playful spirit.

“Sometimes Fabienne tells me that I should test my game mechanics before devoting so much time to her aesthetics. But, in my head, I already know all the rules and the elements that I need,” says Bourque. His games of skill, he creates them mainly to amuse the children of the daycare service, at the neighboring school, where he works. He has three commercial games to his credit.

“Fabienne often has flashes of genius,” confirms her admiring husband. She advances my ideas by suggesting approaches that I had not considered. »

This playful and artistic complicity has always been the trademark of this slightly mismatched couple, he with his almost six and a half feet, and her with just 5 feet. “I checked the height of the ceilings before I bought the house,” the woman slips in, smirking.

The door frames have nevertheless been raised after two painful frontal impacts, specifies the giant.

When they first dated, Fabienne Drouin was working as a picture framer. Her artistic desires, she kept them for her personal hobbies. “But I kept telling her that she should rather focus on what she puts in her frames,” says her lover who knew how to be persuasive.

After returning to school, Ms. Drouin taught art for 20 years in secondary schools. Even today, she teaches at a community center near her home.

For his part, Mr. Bourque added the practice of acupuncture to that of massage therapy. But his hobby was always creating games. So, evenings and weekends, they often devoted them to their personal projects, side by side, in their small apartment.

Hence the happiness of having found a large creative space when buying their house. The vulgar ABS pipes have been painted to camouflage themselves through the copper piping. The shredded wood floors were left in place to retain the artisanal character, and their new yellow color immediately brightened up the room. Furniture salvaged here and there completed the picture wonderfully.

“It’s everything we had dreamed of for a long time,” says Ms. Drouin.

Years have passed, but the couple still find renewed pleasure in descending there, a bottle and two glasses in hand, at the end of the day. “I’m still waiting for that moment. I ask Fabienne, “When are you getting off?” I’m as impatient as a child,” Mr. Bourque acknowledges.

Once reunited, they start the music, allow themselves a few dance steps or undertake a game of improvisation according to new homemade rules. “Fabienne has incredible acting talent. She manages to play three roles at the same time, ”underlines her playmate.

“It’s a place of freedom. Here, you can be whatever you want,” summarizes Ms. Drouin.