It’s not every day you find yourself going head-to-head with a Hollywood insider at an art auction. But knowing what you like and going after it pretty much sums up designer Anne Rainey Rokahr, owner of Trouvaille Home on Burke Street. The Winston-Salem native knows all too well that questions like “What room should I put this in?” or “What wall should I hang this on?” are best answered later, once the object of your fancy has been acquired.
Thoughtfully selected, unique furnishings and a passion for layering textures, color, and fine textiles is at the core of Rokahr’s personal home décor. It’s a starting point for a sophisticated style that serves as a great equalizer in her home in West Salem, built in the 1920s. The home reshuffles the rule book, mixing and matching old and new, East and West, luxe and humble, showy and quiet. Simply put, it’s Anne Rainey Rokahr curated.
So who exactly is this Queen of Eclecticism?
A graduate of R.J. Reynolds High School, Rokahr landed in New York City after college and began a career as a film and commercial producer. Her work eventually took her to Europe and the Middle East. The award-winning documentaries and features she produced premiered at the Cannes, Tribeca, and Dubai International Film Festivals.
Rokahr took a break from filmmaking and spent four years as Agency Director of NYC fashion and beauty PR firm RED PR and was named a top 25 publicist by Women’s Wear Daily. As it turned out, the Middle East was a good fit for Rokahr, who relocated to Dubai in 2006 to take a job as Head of Production for film company, Desert Door Productions. Her success as a film producer led Ahlan Magazine to name her one of the “100 Most Influential People in Dubai” in that same year.
Rokahr finally returned home to Winston-Salem in 2008 and purchased The Snob Shop, a legendary West End consignment shop where she worked at as a teenager. It was there that she fed her passion for interior design and honed her vision for what is today Trouvaille Home, a home décor and furnishings shop she opened in 2015. Trouvaille specializes in Continental and American antiques, contemporary collections, custom order upholstery, and mid-century masters.
Encountering the Unexpected
Like her shop’s extraordinary inventory, Rokahr’s globetrotting past shows up in her home’s interiors in ways that are sometimes unexpected. Her design style shakes up conventions and bridges the gap between contrasting looks and cultures. This is where Rokahr’s interiors draw their energy—from contrast—and the designer has definitely mastered the mix.
Of course, you wouldn’t know any of this by looking at the home from the street, as its immaculate and straightforward facelift belies the exoticism of her interiors. My personal favorite: the hot pink parlor where we sat for our interview and its juxtaposition to the adjoining dining room.
Taken individually or together, the rooms are a cross-pollination of wildly different design periods that broadcast Rokahr’s confidence as a designer. I could almost swear I saw her wink at me as I toured her home, as if to say, “Isn’t it fun to feel like you’re getting away with something?”
Yes, it is—and yes, she has.
From the moment you enter her home’s golden-hued entrance hall and are confronted by a carved wooden godhead in full philosopher’s beard and furrowed brow, you get the message to expect the unexpected. Outlandish pieces will abound, used as judicious exclamation points in a rich and colorful interior narrative—a story of eccentric charm. You’ll also likely encounter Rokahr’s lovable English bulldog, Henry, manning the property.
And remember the painting that she just had to have? You know, the one she outbid the Hollywood insider for? It now hangs in her dining room, a silent figure with a cool back story opposite a playful portrait of a stoic tiger in a 19th-centruy jacket and cravat. Between the two paintings, a sizable canvas depicts the larger-than-life face of a female blues singer, forever frozen in the anguish of a note she must hold for eternity. Now there’s a story…
They say that decorating a space with an eclectic look can be like seating guests at a dinner party: Put the chatterboxes next to the shy types, and everyone’s happy. Rokahr’s house proves that lively pieces and quiet ones can exist in perfect harmony, as long as the person in charge knows where to place them.