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 drawing of the proposed Harris Road overpass in Pitt Meadows.
Pitt Meadows residents invited to road and rail project updates

Results of noise and vibration study will be made public

Amiri is currently working as a parliamentary intern. (Christian Diotte - Special to The News)
Maple Ridge woman earns scholarship to study law in Montreal

Somaya Amiri, 23, awarded McCall MacBain scholarship at McGill University

Bat Packs are the newest addition to the FVRL Playground, and have everything you need to learn more about bats, and track them in your neighbourhood. (FVRL image)
Bat Packs at Fraser Valley libraries come with echometer to track bats

Packs are the newest part of the FVRL Playground inventory

Online guide expected to make applying for building permits easier. (The News files)
City of Maple Ridge launches new building permit application tool

Users can print or save their results for easy access

Dogs big and small on the patio at Witchcraft Beer Market and Bistro. (City of Maple Ridge/Youtube)
VIDEO: Maple Ridge businesses embrace new dog friendly pilot project

Pets can come onto a patio at a restaurant or enter participating retail spaces

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
UPDATE: 1 of 3 puppies stolen from South Surrey returned to owner

American Bulldog puppy recovered after being sold at Mission car show

Two women walk past ‘The Meeting’ sculptures in White Rock’s Miramar Plaza Wednesday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
New public art in White Rock faces criticism as the ‘two Michaels’ remain in China’s custody

‘I would encourage people to go out and enjoy it’ said Vancouver Biennale founder

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

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Everett Cummings in a tribute video posted to dignitymemorial.com.
Mechanic’s death at Fraser Surrey Docks leads to $200K fine for company, union says

Photos of rally outside Surrey court posted on ILWU’s ‘Kill A Worker Go To Jail’ Facebook page

Most Read