Photography Colin Jewall and Lia Crowe

Magical living in the Lovig ‘wolf den’

Sleek, modern, minimalist and… gone to the dogs

  • Nov. 24, 2020 10:55 a.m.

Valaura Jones

Quick facts:

Design time: 7 months

Build time: 24 months

Square feet: 5,000

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 4

Notable features:

Raw steel staircase, concrete panel wall with Bocci lights, dog spa, guest suite with living room and wet bar, custom headboard, three-sided gas fireplace.

Few people could stand on a former gravel lot site and declare that the rough, bare land is an ideal location to build a dream home. The land may border some of Kelowna’s most beloved agri-tourism businesses, but a defunct gravel yard still has the bleak feeling of a dog run. Then again, not many people are building a minimalist dream home designed for wolves.

Philanthropist, runner and lawyer Christy Lovig and her firefighting husband Trent have always wanted to build a home, but finding the perfect property was proving difficult. Through her office, Christy learned that an industrial site in Southeast Kelowna was being subdivided. The property would need a lot of work, but it boasted lake views and three acres of land. It seemed perfect for Trent’s farming endeavours and would provide room for the couple’s timber wolf-husky cross dogs to roam.

Photography Colin Jewall and Lia Crowe

“The dogs are present in so much of the design,” explains Christy. “As we were in this process, we lost my old girl, Kona. The master bedroom in our old house was on the second floor, and in her later years, we had to carry her up and down the stairs. That experience inspired the main-floor living in this house.”

With help from the Begrand Fast Design team’s talents, the canine-friendly touches don’t stop at the floor plan. The heated concrete floors stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter while remaining perfectly suited to muddy paws and the wear and tear of claws. Located off of the kitchen, the dogs have a sort of dedicated dining room of their own, with careful thought going into the placement of their dishes. An electronic dog door grants the furry family members access to their own dedicated space, complete with a “dog spa” shower.

For the family’s human members, a light-filled open floor plan offers lake views from every room in the house. The modern, minimalist design uses raw materials and thoughtful touches that keep the space joyful rather than cold.

“Trent really loves plants indoors and bringing them into the interior, and I do as well. It softens and makes the space feel alive,” says Nicole Begrand-Fast, principal of Begrand Fast Design. “Green became a bit of a neutral colour, and the green swivel chair in front of the fireplace is Trent’s chair.”

Like a modern art museum, the house is restrained, with fewer pieces that offer maximum impact. With so little noise, each element and detail can command attention. An 11-foot, live-edge sequoia slab table, crafted by Eternal Timber Design, stands beneath a Vibia light fixture that is stunningly dramatic in both its scale and simplicity. Emerging like a constellation, Bocci lights are dotted across concrete panels, illuminating a magnificent raw steel staircase that was welded on-site.

A QLOCKTWO word clock holds pride of place in the kitchen. A lacquer and wood appliance wall conceals all the day-to-day tools, while a walk-in butler’s pantry around the corner has plenty of storage space for ingredients. The double islands with matte-quartz countertops and stainless steel toe kicks allow the views to take centre stage.

A generous second-floor guest suite includes a private living area, wet bar, walk-in closet and en suite. Houseguests also have the best views of Trent’s reclamation “dogscaping,” including a burgeoning tree farm, blueberry and nut groves, and a vegetable garden.

What the home may lack in individual decor pieces and knickknacks is more than made up for by infusions of colour.

“I love the splash of bright rainbow colours, and I love stripes,” Christy smiles. “I fully acknowledge that I lean towards things being too plain sometimes. I need to be brought out of that more, and Nicole is great at making sure that I’m not too industrial or institutional. I just love it. That bright colour makes me really happy.”

The vibrant, striped Paul Smith area rug in the living room was a crucial piece in the design inspiration throughout the house, as was the hot pink Freedom chair in Christy’s second-floor office, and artwork in the gym.

When you think of a wolf den, this modern home isn’t what springs to mind. But tell that to the wolf hybrids lying in front of the fireplace on the concrete floor in the morning, as their humans drink coffee and watch the colours change with the rising sun. They seem right at home.

As Christy says, “Where we are, the dogs are.”

Photography Colin Jewall and Lia Crowe

Notable Suppliers:

Okanagan Planning Solutions

(home designer)

Wilson & Company (builder)

Begrand Fast Design (interior design)

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Lifestyle

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File Photo)
Calling all Elkford non-profits: Bursary Program registration is now open

The bursary gives $1,000 to a local non-profit to assist with community-related projects or programs

(File Photo)
Elkford Business Walks to begin in February

Topics of discussion include changes, successes, and the impact of COVID-19 on businesses

(File Photo)
KES brings employment education to those over 55

The Encore program is targeted to adults past traditional retirement years looking for employment

Angel Flight East Kootenay was one of the three recipients of funding from the inaugural Giving Event. (Photo Contributed)
100 local women collect $10,500 for community organizations

The 100 WWC Fernie donated $3,500 to three grassroots organizations via their first Giving Event

Colleen Braconnier and her care aid, Karla McKie, outside of Rocky Mountain Village. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
‘We have such a good group here’: Local senior keeps head held high throughout pandemic

COVID-19 hasn’t stopped RMV resident, Colleen Braconnier, from remaining positive

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Most Read