For Tracey Wikenheiser, a tuxedo was the spark. When she imagined her dream home, she pictured that timeless pairing of a black jacket with a white shirt – sharp and seductive, crisp and classic. “I wanted that sexy Old Hollywood vibe,” explains the Kelowna-based designer and owner of decor and clothing shop La Bonne Vie. But since her household isn’t, in practice, home to swinging starstudded soirees, but instead a big family, including Tracey, her husband, two kids, three dogs and a cat, functionality was also key.
“Everyone needed to be able to roam freely, with no roped-off rooms or designs vacuumed into the carpet,” she says with a laugh. The polished result – which Tracey dubs “Hollywood Regency meets Art Deco” – took five years to achieve. The design process started after Tracey opened her shop in 2005 (she was inspired by “so many gorgeous decor finds”), but it wasn’t until 2009 that she kicked her home’s design into high gear. To raise money for an orphanage in Haiti, Tracey launched a tour of local designers’ homes – and her own was on the list. “That lit the fire I needed to get it done,” she says.
Books on display
“I think books should be displayed,” says homeowner Tracey Wikenheiser. “I like them stacked, with things around them and on them. I’ve seen some designers stack them to the ceiling, and I think it’s fabulous!” Adding a few home decor accessories also creates beautiful ways to display books.