An Eye for Style
Pewee Valley, Ky.’s Dore
has a passion for designing
She learned the basics of homebuilding from her father
PEWEE VALLEY, Ky. (August 2020) – Tracee Dore inherited a love of building homes from her father, David Dore. Her passion for design led her to create a very successful business and establish her name in a highly competitive industry that sets her above others when it comes to building and designing custom homes.
Dore, originally from Michigan, developed a love for design while working with her late father in his construction company, David Dore Builders.
“My father was a builder. I had worked on his sites since I was 16. After high school when deciding what I wanted to be, I knew I wanted to be a builder.”
She decided to attend the University of Kentucky because they “have one of the best design schools.” While studying interior design at the school, she was hired by one of her father’s clients to design their custom home.
Designer and home builder Tracee Dore is pictured above.
That same year, at age 21, she opened Tracee Dore Interior Design, a business she later relocated to Louisville, Ky.
“I love being creative,” she said. “There is nothing more rewarding than to see a project go from nothing to finished.”
Dore, 48, said her father “was a fantastic problem solver. In custom building you have to be a problem solver. The home has to function.”
“My dad was a major influence on getting me into this business.” He taught her how to be hands-on and to “know every nook and cranny. He was very creative, with an engineering background.”
Over time, she has developed her own personal design style. “I’ve been called a chameleon,” she said, when it comes to style. “My tastes are very broad. I adapt to what the client wants.”
She has designed homes incorporating a variety of styles, but ultimately it all comes down to “what the client wants.” Dore said the excitement of the client inspires her and from there she just “goes with my gut feeling.”
She decided to remain in Kentucky because she married locally and began her career in the state. Her husband, Matt Brown, is a Louisville Metro Police sergeant. For a time she joined the design firm Hubbuch & Co. before re-opening her own business as Tracee Door Builders.
Dore has designed several homes for her family. They currently live in Pewee Valley in a home she designed from the ground up in 2017.
She designed three previous homes for her family because “I know what we want.” Her current home reflects her Michigan background and the home her father built on Gull Lake. She said the current home makes her “feel like I’m on vacation.” It was designed to be similar to a lake home built on Lake Michigan.
Even though it is a new build, Dore’s home captures that quaint charm both inside and out that is so reminiscent of the many historic homes in Pewee Valley. When finished, she wanted the 2,400-square-foot house to look like it had always been there. There is an additional 600-square-feet above the garage, which houses her office.
She added historic qualities, such as several sunrooms that mimic sun porches popular at the time when many of the homes in the area were being built. One of the home’s most important aspects is an indoor connection with the outdoors, which the screened-in porches provide.
Surrounded by lush foliage and trees, the setting makes for the perfect space to get away from the fast pace of everyday life and relax in a serene, peaceful setting.
Dore incorporated elements that reflect a cottage feel, including Pickwick that was special ordered from Maine. Engineered oak flooring replicates salvaged, historical floors.
She effectively mixed a cottage feel with historic charm to give the home a casual feel for her family. She knows she accomplished what she set out to do with the home because many people ask, “Did you renovate an old home?” not realizing it is a new build.
As to the layout of the home, it is cozy and practical. Every part of the house is functional. One of her favorite spots is the kitchen, which “I love,” she said.
It was designed to look like it was created a century ago with its Danby marble countertops and custom-made cabinetry. Dore is known for her use of windows. The family is able to look out and see the beautiful yard at every angle.
Kirby Barber Riley, a cabinet designer with Barber Cabinets, worked with Dore on designing certain spots in her home. The home is “nice and open, and the dining space is very welcoming,” said Riley who works for her family business, which was begun by her grandfather over 70 years ago. Riley assisted with the white cabinets in the kitchen, the laundry room and bathrooms.
She said Dore “wanted to incorporate a lot of windows and keep it light and airy. I helped design the cabinetry to go with the style she was trying to achieve on the outside of the home.”
Riley said, “I’ve done a lot of projects with her since 2011, from remodels to construction. We get along really great and play off of each other really well.”
Dore is very diligent and involved in each client’s homebuilding process, she said. “She’s the contractor and designer and helps with all the details.”
She said Dore’s style tends to be more classic, the end result being something that will last a lifetime. Moist of her clients lean toward a craftsmen style. “I’m always willing to try new ideas with her.”
Dore’s stunning home caught the eye of a local production company, and it was used for the opening scene of “Mommy Group Murder,” a Lifetime original movie. The crew “took over our house for five days,” in which the family was able to go “in and out during that time.” The movie began with a shot of the front door, and Dore and her daughter were used as extras.
The home was also featured in the 2019 Crestwood Civic Club Holiday Home Tour. “It was fun hearing people’s comments about the house,” said Dore. The most frequent one was, “I could just move in here.”
“I loved that the tour of homes helps provide scholarships for kids in my son’s school,” she said. “Since they take time to help others, I took time to help them.”
Dore has received quite a bit of exposure from several reality TV shows as well. Several people she works for and a couple of clients encouraged Dore to audition in 2008 for Design Star 3, a show on cable’s HGTV.
“I filmed an audition tape, and then they called me to come to L.A.,” she said. “It was quite an honor and an experience.”
There were certain challenges she had to meet for each episode. “I am more about quality and good design than hurry up and get it done.” Even though she didn’t win, she said it was an amazing experience.
Dore has also appeared many times in the “Louisville at Home” TV show and recently began filming a local reality show about construction called “Behind the Build,” which is scheduled to begin airing in April on WBKI. “It’s all about construction We’ll feature four to five homes for 30 minutes each episode,” she said.
Her homes have been showcased in Better Homes & Gardens, Today’s Woman magazine, Sophisticated Living and Louisville Magazine. Her talent extends to hotels, banks, corporate headquarters and retail showrooms as well.
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