Incorporating Indigenous Culture into Your Kelowna Home Design

A detailed ceiling artwork at Indigenous World Winery in West Kelowna featuring stylized animal illustrations illuminated warmly.
Indigenous World Winery

The world is increasingly realizing the importance of maintaining and supporting indigenous cultures. One area where this has a particularly visual and intriguing impact is in home design. If you're a resident of Kelowna or simply love the city's unique appeal and want to incorporate Indigenous elements into your home, not only will these design styles add a unique touch to your home, but they will also help to preserve and respect the rich heritage of the indigenous peoples.

Understanding Indigenous Culture

Before incorporating indigenous elements into home design, it's essential to gain an understanding of what indigenous culture entails. The first inhabitants of the Kelowna area were the Okanagan (Syilx) people, who have a rich history spanning over thousands of years.

Central to the art of the Syilx people is the intention to live in harmony with nature, which is often represented in their unique symbols, colours, materials, and handcrafted artifacts. Their art forms often depict traditional stories and beliefs enabling younger generations to connect with their ancestry.

Incorporating Local Artwork

The Syilx people are known for their beautiful and distinctive pieces of art, which can be a great addition to your home decor. Consider investing in indigenous paintings, pottery, woven baskets, wood carvings or beaded accessories, all of which reflect the indigenous culture's unique artistry and storytelling element.

It can't be stressed enough the importance of ensuring the artwork you purchase was created by actual indigenous artists. This not only supports these artists and their communities, but it also ensures that what you're bringing into your home is authentic and respectful.

Bringing in Natural Elements

One of the most appealing aspects of Syilx culture is their strong connection to nature. In your Kelowna home, this can be reflected through the use of natural materials in your furnishings and decor.

Consider furniture made of natural woods, or add a natural stone element to your home with granite countertops or stone fireplaces. Also consider incorporating natural fabrics such as leather, wool, or organic cotton in your upholstery, bedding, or drapery.

Using Symbolic Colours and Motifs

Indigenous cultures used specific colours in their artwork and crafts, each symbolizing different aspects of life, nature, or spiritual beliefs. In the home, these can be applied in several ways, from coloured walls to accent pieces, fabrics, or artistic installations.

For the Kelowna home, consider incorporating earthy tones such as browns, greens, and blues that were typical in Syilx art and crafts, signifying their bond with the earth, sky, and water respectively. These colours can add a warm and serene atmosphere to your home, while also instilling it with cultural significance.

Respecting Indigenous Culture

In your pursuit to incorporate indigenous elements into your home design, remember to always do so in ways that show respect for the culture. Indigenous artwork and designs are not merely decorative, but are steeped in spirituality, history, and the life experiences of the indigenous peoples.

Whenever possible, seek to understand the symbolism and meaning behind particular designs before incorporating them into your home. This understanding will add a depth of appreciation to the beauty of your design and ensure you are respectful in your incorporation of Indigenous art and design elements.


Incorporating elements of indigenous culture from the Kelowna area into your home design is a unique and enriching experience. It brings in a sense of serenity, connection to nature, and respect for ancestral wisdom that can transform your living spaces. With the right balance between authenticity and aesthetic appeal, your home can double as a tribute to the beautiful and profound culture that helped shape Kelowna's rich history.