At Home with Bif Naked

The Vancouver musician takes us through the eclectic Yaletown condo she shares with her husband Ian Walker

Bif Naked lovingly describes her home as a mismatched environment

Vancouver-based multi-platform musician Bif Naked feels equally at home as a poet, actress, cartoonist and motivational speaker as she does as a rock singer. She recently also got married and completed a record tour while battling breast cancer

I bought my 15-year-old two-bedroom Yaletown condo in 2006, met Ian Walker, a sports writer for the Vancouver Sun, and made him give up his Kitsilano bachelor pad when we married in 2007. Before Ian moved in, I had been living alone for a long time.

Bif Naked’s Mismatched Decor

I have always been a bit of a hippie, and also had a dog, which had six spinal surgeries, so I owned very little furniture that was more than a few inches high. I slept on a tatami mat and had pillows to sit on. The decor was, and still is, primarily Moroccan and Rajasthani in chili reds, turmeric and paprika, with East Indian furniture and accessories. I didn’t own a computer or TV. 

When Ian came into my world, he brought his high-tech multimedia system and flat-screen TVs to watch TSN, hockey paraphernalia, surfboard…. We have compromised: he gave up his real bed and couch for the dog, and we sleep on a memory foam mattress on the floor.

A bedroom was turned into Ian’s office where he watches TV. Instead, I listen to music: In the mornings it’s Indian and in the afternoon I’m a big fan of CBC Radio. Because our home has evolved into such a mismatched environment, which we like, we were featured in an episode of MTV’s Cribs. 

Dining Chez Bif

Our living and dining room’s feature is its only piece of furniture: a 16-person wood dining table from Chintz and Co.

Though I am a raw food vegan, I love cooking for others. We have two long teak dining benches with two large end chairs upholstered in purple velvet from Chintz and Co. The walls feature a Hindu-meets-hockey mix within each room: East Indian paintings, Persian tapestries, Ian’s massive painting of Gordie Howe and framed Sidney Crosby jersey.

I meditate and do yoga every day – the empty living area [is] perfect for it with mahogany floors covered in area carpets I brought back from New Delhi, where I was born. This room looks like a shrine, both in honour of my late dog (Ian asks me when I’m going to pack it up and move on) and to showcase many deities and statues within a sanctuary that has healing energy. 

The kitchen is my favourite space. I spend the most time there, preparing food from scratch or washing dishes. I have always cooked for others – even for my dogs that were vegetarian. Ian asked me to marry him after I made him my mother’s butter chicken recipe.

Being vegan works for my body and spirit, but it doesn’t work for my husband’s. Ian loves meat and won’t touch a vegetable. They say opposites attract and he was brought to me so that I may learn patience and acceptance. When friends come for dinner, they know they will be eating mostly vegetarian recipes. 

We will be demolishing a wall to have an open-concept room with kitchen as centrepoint within a large entertaining area. I like the kitchen so much that I drag my Ian-hand-me-down laptop there that I’m using to write a book about my experiences in childhood, touring as a musician and my cancer process, and to keep up with my website’s Twitter and Facebook.  

3 Things Bif Naked Can’t Live Without

1. Books: Particularly vintage dental surgery and Merck veterinary manuals, and obscure theology books (my favourite subject). In my efforts to evolve into a being that is non-attached to material objects, I find that I’m really attached to my books. Our 2,000 books made the condo cluttered before they went into storage.

2. A Spirooli: I use it all the time. It is like a pasta maker that peels all vegetables into noodles. It’s from Organic Lives, a raw food restaurant and cooking school in Vancouver. I do zucchini spaghetti and add tomato basil or Thai cashew sauce, and use it to decorate salads with cucumber, beet and sweet potato curls. 

3. A Breville juice fountain: I have tried many juicers 
and love this one the most. 

Originally published in BC Home magazine. For monthly updates, subscribe to the free BC Home e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the bi-monthly magazine.