Versant is created by two sisters, Penelope and Charlotte Duval, who have a vision for making beautiful spaces for sustainable minimalist living.
“I may be biased because she’s my sister, but, what we have together – it’s just a perfect fit.”
Penelope is the architectural technologist, while Charlotte is the designer. Both have built successful careers in their respective fields. But during the pandemic, something changed and they started looking for a project that is meaningful to both of them.
Penelope says, “Personally, I’ve always been very minimalistic in my lifestyle. I’ve always lived in small spaces. I’ve done van life for a while as well. I always found it better to not own very much. After I went to school in architecture, I worked for a big firm for a while in Quebec City. Then COVID happened and I decided to just sell everything I owned and move to BC. I moved to a very small space, I got rid of so many things and it just gave me peace of mind.”
Charlotte agrees, “For my part, I always been into ecological things. I’ve been a vegetarian for six years now because of the environmenal aspect. So it’s really important for me to live small and reduce my carbon footprint.”
Starting the company just happened naturally. Penelope remembers thinking, “if we don’t start now, when are we going to start?”
From the beginning, they made ecological design a central part of their business, something not all home builders even in the tiny home industry care about. They named the company Versant, which means “mountain slope” in French, representing their francophone roots and also an architectural term for “roof slope”.
“We want to bring people to see the other side of the mountain – sustainable living, minimal living, reduced carbon footprint. Turning the perception on living.”
So, what’s on the other side of the mountain? To Penelope and Charlotte, it means peace of mind, not worrying about buying, paying for and maintaining things you don’t need. And knowing that you’re doing your part for the environment: “It’s always a good feeling to know that you’re doing good.”
They recognize that for people their age, buying a first home is very difficult. “There’s a very small percentage of us who are actually able to buy a house nowadays. So, having the possibility to actually own something is a very good advantage.”
Tiny home plans that can be built by your local contractors
As tiny homes become more popular in Quebec and Canada, Penelope and Charlotte offer a magic formula for getting one built by your local contractors without having to wait and travel to a far-away builder. Simply follow the detailed designs and plans from Versant.
“We think about every inch. Everything is already thought out for them, every detail.”
At the moment, Versant offers eight pre-designed models, six of which are on foundations and two on wheels. Since Penelope is a certified building technologist, the drawings are already in the format you need to submit to your municipal building official in Quebec. Outside Quebec, Versant works with partners to be able to adjust to other provincial requirements.
“All our plans are 100% customizable, we can change absolutely everything.”