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

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project is on track, despite COVID-19 and the recent provincial election. (Government of BC photo)
Kicking Horse Canyon Phase 4 closures announced

The first major closures are expected to occur starting on April 12 until May 14

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
115 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths in Interior Health

There are now a total of 4,970 cases in the region

One of the renovated VWs that has served as the inspiration for Wood's idea for a VW village to redefine camping. (Jeremiah Woods photo)
Golden entrpreneau walks away with a deal from Dragon’s Den

Camping in the Woods combines a love of the outdoors and for classic VW vehicles

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(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

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Most Read