Photography Colin Jewall and Lia Crowe

Magical living in the Lovig ‘wolf den’

Sleek, modern, minimalist and… gone to the dogs

  • Nov. 24, 2020 9:55 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 groundbreaking ceremony for Cluculz Lake’s new fire hall will take place Tuesday, June 22. The current fire hall is able to only store one apparatus. (Photo submitted)
New fire hall on the way for Cluculz Lake

Approximate $950,000 facility anticipated to be completed by this fall

A cell tower is pictured in rural Ontario on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Connected future for Saik’uz First Nation

Cellular tower to be constructed by Telus within the community

Nechako River. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
So far so good, but officials keeping tabs on Nechako River streamflow

Vanderhoof Mayor said typically if there is flooding, it occurs toward the end of May and early June

Fishers prefer landscapes with large areas of connected forest, said the Forest Practices Board. (Loney Dickson photo)
Logging continuing to impact fisher habitat in B.C.

Forest Practices Board concludes investigation near Bobtail Mountain Provincial Park

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about phase two in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

People who have received two doses of a vaccine can’t yet return to post-pandemic activities with each other, she says

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

A map of Huu-ay-aht-owned forestry cutblock. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
B.C. First Nations restrict access to territory in wake of forestry standoffs

Huu-ay-aht set up checkpoints after heated and dangerous incidents on southwest Vancouver Island

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add 6 seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Most Read