“Okanagan Inspired” is a weekly series of profiles offering a peek into the stories and inspirations of South Okanagan residents who hold creative roles in the community.
A Penticton interior designer has a love for art and aesthetics in her blood, and a deep connection to the Okanagan.
Nadine Alleyn has spent almost the last three decades in Penticton after growing up in North Vancouver.
“I used to come to the Okanagan as a child to visit my great aunt who had a beautiful spot on the beach in Kelowna and I remember driving down the hill into Penticton and thinking how fantastic it was,” explains Alleyn.
“I fell in love with Penticton and we moved here in 1993. We thought it would be a great place to raise a family, and although Vancouver is beautiful, it is so very different here.”
After taking graphic design courses in Vancouver, Alleyn worked in the field before finding her calling.
“I then opened Haute House Design. We specialize in window treatments, drapery and custom furniture pieces. We have a gorgeous fabric library, beautiful wallpaper and furniture. There is lots to explore,” says Alleyn.
Alleyn has since been a mainstay in the Penticton community, with Haute House Design celebrating 21 years in operation.
“We’ve been here for a long time! I’ve seen such a big change in the past couple of years in Penticton, with new breweries and cideries and distilleries and restaurants opening. It’s great to see the community grow like this. Haute House just moved locations after 20 years in the same spot. We made a big bold move down the street [on Backstreet Boulevard],” says Alleyn, laughing.
“It is a bigger studio and it is nice and bright and sunny with big windows. We love it, it was a really great move,” adds Alleyn.
Her love of design runs deep.
“Right from the time I was little and would go antiquing with my Grandma. My mother was a painter and a potter and my dad is a very talented woodworker. It really came naturally to me,” says Alleyn.
She says the industry is always changing and is very fast-paced, keeping her on her toes and never bored.
“Really, my favourite part though, is all the lovely clients I have gotten to know. I get to meet great new people everyday. I love getting to know the people we work with. Many of them come back year after year with new projects, and each time I get to reconnect. We have really amazing clients,” Alleyn explains.
For people unsure of how to decorate their homes, Alleyn can help.
“All of us who work here, have a background in design so we can help not only with window coverings, but floor plans, colour consultation and layouts. We can provide one special piece or all of the finishing pieces for your home and we can help you put it together and make sure it looks beautiful and cohesive. Our job is to make your home a warmer, more enjoyable and cozier place to be,” says Alleyn.
When looking to decorate, Alleyn advises: “Decluttering and starting fresh makes a big difference, start by editing the items in the room. Keep your favourite things but try to hang on to only the pieces that are either functional, have sentimental value or bring you joy. Keep the discards for a while to make sure you don’t miss them too much and then donate what you don’t need. Consider your larger pieces first such as a sofa, area rug or piece of art and begin building a plan from there. Create a floor plan, build your colour palette and then layer your accent pieces and lighting!”
Alleyn will most likely be found listening to Linger by The Cranberries while working away designing, creating and helping make your home feel homier than ever.
You can visit Haute House Design anytime, follow them on Instagram or check them out online.