Page 1


& Lifestyles 2018

Green building:

An earthen abode 6; Sustainability showcase 8; It must have been the views 10


Connected to the seasons 26

Home is where the heart is: Driftwood hearts and the Dutch corner 28

Life at the Lake

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Table of Contents

& Lifestyles2018

Green homes: An earthen abode ......................................................6 Sustainability showcase .....................................8 A view to the west ................................................. 10

Featured homes: Gone today, home tomorrow: the one day Windermere home .............. 12 Lakeside living ......................................................... 14

Lifestyles: Connected to the seasons ............................ 26

Homes is where the heart is: Photo by Marlene Chabot

Driftwood hearts and the

Soak in the views that inspired Captain Houlgrave (10,11)

Dutch corner ............................................................... 28

Interior decor ~ Artist profile: A family craft .............................................................. 30

Columbia Valley Homes & Lifestyles is published annually by The Columbia Valley Pioneer Newspaper, Misko Publishing Limited Partnership. Publisher

Dean Midyette


Steve Hubrecht

Graphic Designer

Emily Rawbon

Sales Associate

Amanda Nason

Staff Writers

Lorene Keitch, Dauna Ditson

Contributing Writers

James Rose, Leah Scheitel, Eric Elliott,

Nikki Fredrikson, Lin and Oliver Egan


Marlene Chabot


Box 868, #8, 1008 – 8th Avenue, Invermere, B.C., V0A 1K0 250-341-6299 • 1-855-377-0312 info@columbiavalleypioneer.com www.columbiavalleymagazines.com

This material, written or artistic, may not be reprinted or electronically reproduced in any way without the written consent of the publisher. The opinions and statements in articles, columns and advertising are not necessarily those of the publisher or staff of Columbia Valley Homes & Lifestyles. It is agreed by any display advertiser requesting space that the owner's responsibility, if any, for errors or omissions of any kind, is limited to the amount paid by the advertiser for that portion of the space as occupied by the incorrect item and there shall be no liability in any event greater than the amount paid for the advertisement.

Cover Photo: Marlene Chabot Photography (see Sustainability showcase 8,9)

Photos by Marlene Chabot

An earthen abode A



By Lorene Keitch

Green home:

t the tail end of a bumpy road in Athalmer, hugging the border of the vast Columbia wetlands, there sits a bare half-acre lot. A small lane spills onto the flat, exposed property’s edge. To Ray Vowels and Natalie Forrest, this land is magic – the perfect location to turn their dream of Invermere’s first rammed earth house into reality. The couple had been planning their ideal home for years. When it was time to leave their rental unit, they decided to take the leap and bought the Athalmer property. “It was pretty much a big gravel field, which means we didn’t have to tear any trees down. There was no nature to destroy, which made me very happy,” explains Natalie. “We knew we wanted to be close to wetlands, to nature, and we knew we needed something with great exposure.” A rammed earth structure, as the name suggests, is made by pounding natural materials into forms to create the home’s structure. They plan to use local elements, including aggregate from a pit nearby, a mix of sand, stone, and a white mud powder coming from Saskatchewan, stabilized with cement. Ray and Natalie’s home will be a structurally insulated build, with four inches (10 centimetres) of rigid foam sandwiched in between 20 inches (50 centimetres) of rammed earth. Rammed earth homes are masters at temperature regulation. Ray explains “It’s about design and strategy. We want the sun’s warmth but need to control the amount of sun/solar gain so the space doesn’t overheat. We regulate this by conducting sun models to see where the suns rays fall on the house; this allows us to build the roof overhangs to block the sun during the long days of summer and allow maximum sun during the short winter days. The thick rammed earth walls are like gi-

Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018

ant thermal batteries, warming during the day and releasing that warmth at night.” Rammed earth homes have excellent air quality, they are resistant to mould, are fireproof, and have good sound buffering abilities – a big plus with a train nearby. They also have been shown to last for hundreds of years, says Ray. But perhaps what tops the list for Ray and Natalie is the same as for all who build their own homes: they want to build this style of house because they love it, plain and simple. “It’s beautiful in our eyes,” says Ray. The house will be a marvel of engineering and ingenuity, incorporating techniques reaching far back into human history, such as facing the windows south to collect heat from the sun, combined with cutting-edge technology, including triple-paned windows with gas in between the panes to help keep a balance of heat and light inside the home. Outside the couple plan to landscape using permaculture and low impact development strategies to create a truly sustainable yard. When built, the Athalmer abode will be about 1,600 square feet (150 square metres); the main floor divided into a yoga studio for Natalie and living quarters for the couple, and a rental suite upstairs. They took an unusual approach to mapping out the home’s interior. Instead of building the largest home they could, Ray and Natalie determined what their minimum requirements would be for each room, testing layout ideas for the house on pieces of paper before Ray moved to a computer modelling system for the build. Ray and Natalie first heard about rammed earth homes through a CBC spotlight on Randy Bachman’s Salt Spring Island example. While the two looked at many building styles, they kept com-

ing back to a rammed earth home. Unfortunately for the couple, building such a unique home is not as simple as a conventional house. Because it is an alternative build according to the B.C. building code, Ray and Natalie are currently working through the permissions needed to break ground. They have faced many challenges. But the couple rejects the idea they are revolutionaries. “This shouldn’t be considered proactive building. This should be the standard from 30 years ago,” says Ray. “It’s being recognized as a feasibly, structurallysafe building, and a great long term investment.” The couple is hopeful that the tide is turning for sustainable building. “The response from community has been amazing. Mßy construction colleagues have been very interested in the rammed earth and the overall performance of the building, feeling there is a real need for alternatives to today’s style of building,” says Ray. Natalie adds “I think as more of these alternatives become available, pg we’re going to have to see the by- 7 laws and the building codes become more adaptable. The way we’ve been doing it (conventional home building) just doesn’t fit anymore.” Eventually, when they finally have all the permits in place and can build the home of their dreams, Natalie and Ray hope to be a showcase for sustainable living. “We want to be a tangible example of what sustainability can look like,” says Ray. And when that day happens? It will be magic.

Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018

Photos by Marlene Chabot pg

8 By Dauna Ditson

Green home:

Sustainability Showcase


hen Karen Coté and Jon Wilsgard were looking to build a home, their wish list included a wall suitable for showcasing a massive elk head. The elk, lovingly called Elkie, is the only animal Karen ever hunted, but his glorious antlers landed her a provincial record. In order to hold the record-setting mount, the couple needed a 14-foot-(four-metre) high wall. Karen and Jon wanted a “mountain modern” style where Elkie would feel at home, where their stuffed bobcat could crouch and where their owl and hawk could roost. While the elk bust is arguably the most attention-grabbing feature in the couple’s home, they were focused on building a place that matched their environmental values. They wanted an energy-efficient home constructed from materials that are built to last. Meredith Hamstead and Paul Denchuk of thinkBright Homes stepped in to build the couple the home of their dreams, with the additional aim of making it energy efficient for a modest premium compared with building a conventional home. “They convinced us they could build us a home that was exemplary,” Jon says, but thinkBright Homes delivered even more than he had hoped. "They were absolutely stellar to work with," he says.

In December 2015, the couple, Karen’s children – now 16 and 14 – and their dog moved into their threebedroom 1,800-square-foot (170-square-metre) bungalow in Wilmer. Karen and Jon’s house is 36 per cent more efficient than the average household in B.C. Annually it produces 14.1 fewer tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions than a comparable code-built home, and only 16 per cent of the energy used in the home goes to heating and cooling. According to thinkBright Homes, the family will save so much on heating and cooling their home that the energy-efficiency upgrades will pay for themselves in seven and a half years. More than two years after settling in, Jon remains pleased with their energy bills, which he says are only $200 a month – including heating costs and powering multiple refrigerators and freezers. “A lot of folks pay that much just for lighting,” he says. Paul says results such as these are his best reward. He enjoys when clients rave about a home’s beautiful design, then add, “and you should see my energy bill.” “People are getting showy about the right things,” Paul says. At Karen and Jon’s home, those right things include triplepane windows, high-quality doors, an air sourced heat pump and more than double the insulation required under provincial building codes. The home also uses water-efficient fixtures and LED lighting. “Most people value homes based on location and other sub-

Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018

jectively valued cosmetic components – the colour of the walls, if there’s a big bathroom,” Jon says. “As a society we need to start valuing our homes on a whole different set of metrics than simply cosmetic (appeal), architectural design and hugeness.” Karen and Jon focused on design simplicity, longevity, accessibility, and energy efficiency. The splendour of the home — with its red metal exterior, luxurious fixtures and wooden trim – was a side benefit. “It’s beautiful but it’s simple,” Jon says. “The entire kitchen is from Ikea, for example.” The home was also built to take advantage of the sun and the spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains. Facing east, sunrises dawn on the family as they share breakfast. When considering a new build, thinkBright Homes encourages Valley residents to choose energy-efficient homes over

conventional ones, and according to Meredith and Paul, “if you can afford to build a new house, you can’t afford not to build an energy-efficient home.” thinkBright Homes wants to demonstrate that environmentally-friendly homes can be cost effective, livable and lovely, Meredith says. They also want to prove that such a thoughtfully-built home is attainable for anyone who is looking to build. As part of the Regional District of the East Kootenay’s Real Estate Energy Efficiency Program in March 2018, thinkBright Homes showed off Karen and Jon’s high-performance pg home as part of a tour. thinkBright Homes invited re9 altors to see the evidence for themselves, to spread the word that energy-efficient places are within reach for those building new homes. “It’s important to us to bust the myth that green-built homes are only for the wealthy,” Paul says. Jon agrees. “It really works, and you can do it,” he says.

Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018

By James Rose

Green home:

A view to the west




bove all else, it must’ve been the views. The west facing views of the Columbia Valley from Lise and John Niddrie’s Toby Benches home up Houlgrave Road are nothing short of spectacular. For British-born Captain Houlgrave (the original landowner and namesake of the road) himself, I can’t imagine how else he could’ve convinced himself to buy the roughly 80 acres from the Columbia Valley Irrigated Fruit Lands in 1912, aside from his apparent taste in rustic commerce. Captain Houlgrave was the first in a series of several different owners throughout the decades to call this parcel of land, the Horsethief Ranch, home. And when the land became Lise and John’s, it was for them a perfect opportunity to build a new home reflective of not only the landscape, but also of progressive trends in modern home design. Prior to living on the ranch, the Niddries lived for the past 20 odd years in a 1932 vintage log home on Ben Abel Farm. For their new home, they had plenty of ideas on how they wanted it designed. But where to start? How best could the couple, who live an active lifestyle and have an eye to accommodating their future needs, develop a home befit to their desire? Enter designer Jillian Cochrane of Invermere-based Cochrane Design Studio. “My original role,” says Jillian, “was to consult with Lise and John on a house plan they found online. I remember sitting at their dining table as they showed me the plans. As we discussed their goals and dreams for their new home, paying homage to their property, it became clear that a clean slate was the best approach. From that meeting on, I got sketching.” And with a background in sustainable d e -

Photos by Marlene Chabot Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018

sign, she went to work. “Lise and John wanted a comfortable home, with great light and views to compliment their strong connection to the outdoors and their active lifestyle,” says Jillian. “This encompassed an open-plan, efficient, and adaptable use of space, a light-filled studio and workshop area, ample storage and superb energy efficiency.” The end result of this planning was the design of a high performance, low energy, healthy, comfortable and sustainable home. “Because of the incredible view we have facing west we felt we had no choice but to build to that orientation,” says John. “I was a little concerned with too much heat, but it has worked out fine, the triple-pane windows, solar shades (more for managing the natural light) and additional insulation keeps our house from overheating even on the warmest days. The attached greenhouse on the south really helps provide some solar heat on those sunny spring and fall days to the main living area of the house.” “The home was built with 'Passive House' concepts in mind, using energy efficient building components (highly insulated walls, triple-pane windows, ventilation system),” says Jillian. “It features an open plan design on the main floor, walkout basement and the home is sited to maximize solar gain and the fantastic views as well.” The concept of a 'Passive House' is internationally recog-

nized as an integrated set of design principles for lowering energy demand to a practical minimum. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling. A truly 'Passive House’ is passive because it does not require an active heating system. To that end, the Niddrie home incorporates air-tight construction with super-efficient heat recovery ventilation guaranteeing continuous filtered fresh air; 14-inch (35-centimetre) thick insulated walls, 30-inch (75-centimetre) thick insulated roof, high-performance windows and doors with shading, exposed concrete floors for thermal-mass in the walk-out basement, energy-efficient lighting and appliances and loads of natural daylight to keep the home's annual energy bills to a bare minimum. Which brings us to the differences between their new home and their old home. Simply put, there are many. “The efficiencies of their new home compared to their old log-home are worlds apart,” comments Jillian. The old log home had many interior walls separating the rooms. The new home is a lot more open, allowing light to penetrate the space much more effectively and easing the demand on heating and cooling. But back to those views. Looking out at the Horsethief Range inspires a feeling of peace and serenity. “We have very little noise or light pollution,” says John, “and the night skies can be incredible. It really is a special property.”

Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018





Featured home:

Gone today, home tomorrow: the one-day Windermere home


new home in Windermere has caused a stir in the community for how quickly it was built. The home – or “shallot” (chalet) as dubbed by the homeowners Erin and Jeff Fetterly – was cosntructed in little more than a day. The Fetterlys, who bought a property with a small cabin in Windermere last spring, worked with Calgary-based company Nomodic to create a new modular home on the lot. Erin and Jeff, along with their family, used the existing cabin in the summer, tore it down in the fall, and built their new modular home by December. They were able to celebrate the holidays in their new home, which Erin says was their intention at the start of the project. Erin helped design the modular home with the Nomodic team, who then reached out to other contractors to help build the structure. Nomodic specializes in the front end design and architecture of their projects, according to company representative Jared Dielwart. “Nomodic is unique because we focus on the specialization of front end designs. We work with architects and designers to focus on the client’s vision and end goal, and then our

By Leah Scheitel

project managers and modular installation team bring the project to life. The customer remains engaged and involved from start to finish – design through to completion,” says Jared. However, Nomodic doesn’t actually do any of the fabrication themselves, opting to work with local contractors and manufacturers to help construct the buildings. In the case of the Windermere chalet, Nomodic partnered with an Edmonton-based manufacturer. “We are finding new manufacturers all the time that are as local as possible. For Windermere, we looked at Kelowna and other options throughout B.C., but it ended up being a group in Edmonton that was able to complete the project for us in the tight timeline,” Jared says. The majority of the construction for the Fetterlys’ home was done at the manufacturers in Edmonton before being transported to Windermere. The site had been prepped in the fall, and the new home was assembled in little more than a day. The home is comprised of three modules joined together, resulting in an open feeling to the home. Other features, such as a porch and a car

Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018


13 covering, were added after the initial build. Nomodic started as a way to enhance remote worksite accommodations, such as in oil and gas camps in northern Alberta. “In 2016 with the changing environment in oil and gas, we decided to apply our modular methods to other real estate opportunities – residential and hospitality. While Nomodic did switch gears, we still work with the oil, gas, and mining industries when the opportunity arises, and continue to focus on diversifying. We’ve successfully installed residential homes, have a hotel underway in Tofino, and are looking at another site in Yellowknife as well,” says Jared. The home has many environmentally-friendly features built into it, and also has the added green benefit of producing less waste than traditional on-site builds. Because the home was built in a controlled environment (indoors), the building waste was discarded with more care, resulting in less waste overall. Erin cites the functionality as her favourite aspect of the chalet, particularly the open floorplan and optimal use of space. The quick construction timeline that occurred during the shoulder season was another big reason the couple chose to work with Nomodic. The project encompassed a lot of firsts for Nomodic, according to Jared. “It is the first cabin, first house, and also first project in the Columbia Valley,” he says, adding the company hopes to do more in the area in the future, and is already in the initial planning stages with another family in the Columbia Valley. “There is nothing better for us than a happy family,” he says. “The Windermere project was incredible to be a part of because the family was so great, and it was such a non-traditional method – we were thrilled to bring their dream home to life.” Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018

By Eric Elliott

Featured home:

Lakeside living Photos by Marlene Chabot




lthough she moved away to start a life with her family in Calgary, Columbia Valley-born and bred Jessica Davies always knew that she wanted to return to her roots. In 2006, she and her partner purchased a piece of land on Baltac Road just north of Windermere with the hopes of one day building a summer dream home for themselves and their three young girls daughters. “I grew up in Invermere and my family still lives here so my dream was always to return to the valley,” Jessica says. “It is so beautiful here and I wanted my daughters to grow up appreciating not only the lake and the mountains but also the pace of life.” After building their main home in Calgary, the family focused their efforts on their mountain dream home. With the help of local builders such as CXL Construction, Warwick Interiors and designers such as McIntyre Bills from Calgary, the home blends in perfectly with the surrounding landscape overlooking Lake Windermere. At just a bit more than 6,000 square feet (550 square metres), the three-story, six-bedroom home was built to accommodate family and extended friends throughout the year. “We wanted the feel to be different than our home in Calgary which is masculine with dark colours and more contemporary,” she says. “Here we wanted to embrace a lighter, more feminine feel with a few traditional touches.” Arguably one of the greatest features of the home is its open-entertainment style approach, which takes advantage of the glorious Columbia Valley outdoors. Walking into the kitchen, you’ll quickly be taken aback by the view through the doors facing out towards the lake with the patio, a near-infinity pool and a hot tub. While these features are truly stunning on their own, the NanaWall sliding doors (which function almost like a movable wall) separating the kitchen from the patio are the true distinction for this haven. “My favourite part of this home is how we’ve brought the outdoors in and expanded the living space outdoors,” Jessica says. “The kitchen Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018

was designed to be part of the deck when the doors are open and I love looking out at the lake and mountains, or the kids playing in the pool, while making lunch.” When hosting functions such as the family reunion they had last year, the home allows people to enjoy food and drink in the kitchen without feeling separated from the rest of the party sitting outside or cooling off and relaxing in the pool. Throughout the house, you’ll notice other elegant design features such as the natural walnut and painted white cabinets, and outdoor fabrics on all the furniture, which help make this home truly kid-friendly. If all that didn’t catch your eye, the double chandelier in the dining room surely will — it’s one feature Jessica notices every time she makes her way through the kitchen. Another feature with a local touch is the grandiose staircase that winds up the three-story home, created by TXN Installations in Invermere. Entering from the lower level, it’s one of the first things that a visitor sees when walking through the entertainment area and past the home gym. “Again the goal was to create a space that was open and fresh and they did an excellent job,” Jessica says. “The staircase has a two-story bank of windows beside it, adding to the airy feel.” Reaching the top story, the house features two matching master suites with accompanying balconies where Jessica says she frequently enjoys a slow start to the morning with a cup of coffee looking over the lake. With six bedrooms in the house, this Columbia Valley homeaway-from-home is made for enjoying one of the most picturesque places in the world in the company of good friends. It’s why, when asked how much time she plans to spend at the home throughout the year, she's quick to reply "as much as possible.”

Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018




By James Rose


growing trend in the market for second-home ownership is the desire to reside in what feels like a home rather than a hotel room. Many people now look for ground level access, deck space, and the ability to interact with nearby neighbours when deciding on what style of vacation residence they wish to invest in. Yet despite wanting what feels like a home away from home, there is still a strong desire among second-home buyers to minimize the amount of work required to maintain a more traditional style home. Enter The Residences at Bighorn Meadows Resort. The Residences offer a fantastic blend between a home and resort environment. “With The Residences, anything that can happen in a resort environment, you can also have in a residential environment,” says developer Randy Trapp, president of Bighorn Meadows Resort Ltd. “If you want maid/concierge service or package activity booking, all of this can be done on site even if one were to use their townhouse as a full-time residence.” Bighorn Meadows Resort is now selling the next five units in phase 12 of the 17-phase fully managed resort community where a total of 44 new residences will complete the development. “The key point to emphasize is that The Residences are the only fully managed resort residential community in the Columbia Valley,” says Randy. Privately located between the 9th and 10th holes on The Springs Golf Course in the Village of Radium Hot Springs, the mountain contemporary-style, two-bedroom, two-bath townhomes are being sold as full ownership. Randy expects the remaining 31 units of The Residences to be completed over the next two years. “(The Residences) offer completely managed, worry-free, vacation homes in an alluring resort community,” says Valerie Bracken, director of sales and marketing. “Owners arrive to a clean, well-maintained residence with no need to worry about shoveling snow, mowing grass or spring cleanup. Everything is taken care of prior to your arrival and again when owners or their guests leave. This allows for more vacation time to be spent in your vacation home.” The Columbia Valley is experiencing a surge in demand for second-home ownership. “The exchange rate has had a large impact,” Randy says. “People who normally would vacation in the United States are now choosing Canada, and are also choosing to vacation in the summer over

Along The Spri Radium Hot


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ing Golf Course Springs, B.C.


the winter.” Canadians once interested in the market in the Southwest United States appear to now be looking domestically since property values in places such as Arizona have risen substantially since 2008 and the Canadian dollar has grown weaker compared to the American dollar. “The Columbia Valley has a longer golf and summer season than other Rocky Mountain tourist towns yet there is still access to skiing. Nearby, we also have one of the best recreational lakes in the interior, Lake Windermere, with water-skiing, fishing, kayaking — anything within 15 minutes of your door,” Randy says. While on vacation, if you are planning to maximize your time by exploring the world-renowned Columbia Valley wetlands, or one of the valley’s many fantastic golf courses, the last thing you will want to worry about is mowing your front lawn. Furthermore, each townhouse at The Residences was designed to allow people to make the most of their time together. “Comfort, convenience, open and inviting best describe floor plans of all full-ownership properties,” Randy notes. “The kitchen/dining area is open to the living room that flows seamlessly onto your covered patio. It provides a free flowing space without the usual optical impedance and barriers that separate these areas for gathering.” “Time with friends and family should be about enjoying each other’s company and spaces like these allow you to make the most of your time together,” he adds. Amenities at Bighorn Meadows include an outdoor pool, two hot tubs, fitness facility, a meeting room/owner’s lounge, playground, landscaped walking paths and a Welcome Centre with concierge service. The first two phases of The Residences are complete and the third is only weeks away from completion, with pricing starting at $329,900. At this price point, Randy believes that, for the efficiently designed 1,100 square foot spaces, there is substantial value to be had for the buyer.

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By Leah Scheitel



A makeover at RONA Northstar Hardware

ONA Northstar Hardware is undergoing a bit of a makeover, upgrading both their look and the services they can offer customers in the Columbia Valley. The exterior of the building will feature a timber frame entrance, which will allow for customers to get a visual idea of the products and services offered within. According to RONA Invermere general manager Chris Corey the upgrade will command attention. “We are looking to spruce up the front of the store – just do a general facelift of the front of the store, featuring our timber frames. It’s definitely for a statement,” he says. “For the size of the lumber and the quality that we produce, it also gives the customer some eye candy when they’re walking in the store. Some of the things they see, we can certainly do as features in the front of their houses when they’re building.” Along with adding some visual appeal, Chris says they are expanding some of the services they offer, increasing the capacity of what they can provide while cutting down on wait times for customers. A second kiln has been added, which Chris believes will help double the capacity. “We currently do 4,000 kiln charge. We’re looking between a 20,000 or 30,000 board foot capacity,” he said. Invermere RONA has also added a four-sided planer, to complement the existing second mill and provide lumber to their customers more easily. The second mill has been operating since September, and they have been running both mills at full capacity since then. “We are making our own trims and mouldings. We have a moulder and we have hired someone to run that full time. So we are making our own V-joint flooring and the capabilities are endless really,” Chris says. The new moulder hails from the coast and has over two decades of experience in the industry, says Chris. As far as products that can be offered, RONA Northstar Hard-

ware has added cedar into its line of offerings, allowing customers the choice between fir and cedar in their building plans. “We stock a full line of cedar products now and we have the full capabilities of milling cedar timbers,” says Chris. “It’s more of an expensive alternative but the wood lasts forever. We are trying to be able to buy the timber and mill it at more of an affordable rate for customers.” According to Chris, these upgrades are being made to help satisfy demand and keep customers in the Columbia Valley happy. The expansion of their kilns and the additions of a four-sided planer have helped cut down the wait time for customers to receive their orders. “Last year, the orders got to be two to three or even three to four weeks out. So you know, you placed the order and pg 19 it took four weeks to get to you,” says Corey. “In a building season, it was hard to keep up with so much demand, so we have decided to invest in a second mill to keep those wait times to within a week – basically within two to three days. It’s under a week.” There is another factor that is also helping cut down on the wait times for customers – RONA is now stocking some inventory, enabling customers to walk out with the products they desire that day. Chris says these products are in the “most common sizes – 2x4, 2x6 — so that the customer can actually come in and take the rough fir right off the pile, cut for size and ready to go.” With the upgrades RONA Northstar Harware is undertaking, it will be easier to envision a design, get the right materials cut perfectly to size, and in less time than before. Let the home building dreams begin.

Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018




QUALITY HOMES & CONTRACTING STW Builders, Quality Homes and Contracting, has quickly developed a positive reputation for exceptional work in the Columbia Valley. STW Cutting Edge Carpentry Inc. has been successfully operating and helping clients manifest their dreams for over a decade. With a diverse expertise in custom home builds, renovations, and specialized structures, STW understands the importance of providing personalized design features that work well to suit the client’s vision.

RELATIONSHIP BUILDing The foundation of building a quality home is BUILDing the relationship with the client. To deliver a superior product, STW believes that it is necessary to have a clear understanding of who the client is, the purpose of the project and their values before the project can begin. STW prides itself on open, honest and transparent communication in a timely manner to ensure quality service and on budget success.

STW creates a trusting partnership with homeowners. We believe that you aren’t just building a home – you’re investing in a lifestyle.

In over 40 years of construction projects, we have never enjoyed a relationship with a builder who is as competent, conscientious, and transparent as STW Cutting Edge Carpentry. No running change was considered too small or insignificant, and was always met with “We can do this”. We knew exactly where we were at every step of the construction process, which was completed on-time and on-budget. We just wish we had another project.” Robert & Ellen Lang

Scott Wilisky

Licensed Residential Builder scott@stwbuilders.com 250.270.0745 stwbuilders.com

WHAT’S NEW & EXCITING? STW welcomes challenging and unique home designs and is committed to providing quality work and high standards. Among multiple exciting custom home projects scheduled this year, STW is beginning a project with the end result of a “Net Zero” home.

This isn’t just lip-service, the tool belt is full! Committed to continued education, growth and high standards, the company is qualified to build energy efficient homes with the completion of Net-Zero Building Science, R-2000 and Energy Star Building Science courses. STW “Cutting Edge” Carpentry, is holding true to its name by building homes that will be to code for years to come and will hold the value of your home as the market changes. It is anticipated that building codes will be more stringent from an energy standpoint and qualified personnel, like STW, will be

Robert Shaunessy, owner-operator of SRL-K2 Ranch outside Invermere, had these comments to offer:

I recently had a large heated car storage facility (3522 ft2 ) constructed by STW CUTTINGEDGE CARPENTRY. Scott Wilisky, owner -operator was a pleasure to work with. Scott’s pre-project estimating and then cost control while executing were both very good. The quality of the finished product was excellent. In addition, the project schedule was right on time as well. All three legs of the construction “project management stool” were in balance for this project...just as you hope when you embark on one of these projects.”

required to build them. The times are changing and this company is well aware of it, gone are the days when any contactor can build your home, and clients are starting to recognize the importance of this when hiring a builder.

this investment (see attached chart below), however, it isn’t just about the numbers it is about comfort, these homes provide clean and fresh air, a reduction of noise pollution in the home and it is better for the environment

Energy savings can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including purchasing Energy Star appliances, but it goes well beyond. More efficient means such as improved insulation, heat pumps, exchangers, and marrying the home design with the natural layout of the land, all while working within the client budget is a fine science. The numbers back

You’re not just hiring a builder your entering into a relationship of trust and respect. Choosing STW is great investment decision, backed with education, New Home Warrantee and experience. They are committed to educating and working with each client to ensure that their priorities are met with budget in mind.

Energy Comparison Example 1888 sq.ft home (numbers provided by local company Energy Advise, Nate Sereda) Code Built

Energy Efficient Build

Average Air Tight

4.5 ACH @ 50Pa

1.5 ACH @ 50Pa

Annual Engery Consumption

37, 692 kWh

19,750 kWh

Energy Cost (at $0.12/kWh)



EnerGuide rating

ERS 77

ERS 89

Design Heat Loss (-22F)

72,000 BTU/hr.

43,600 BTU/hr.


Designing your mountain modern dream at Antler Ridge By Nikki Fredrikson T

he Columbia Valley is known for its picturesque mountains and lake. For many would-be home buyers, seeking a retreat with a view of Lake Windermere and the Purcell mountain range, the idea of purchasing land and developing it, or renovating and upgrading a pre-existing home, can be daunting. That's why retired architect and developer Wade Gibbs created the custom home residential subdivision at Antler Ridge, pg giving buyers the opportunity to choose a design that best 22 matches their vision for a dream home.

With 10 acres of sloped land overlooking Lake Windermere, Wade got to work on conceptualizing 28 lots. Opening the Antler Ridge sales centre in the summer of 2017, he found many people had a vision for what they wanted but had no experience in home construction. “We’re not just selling land, we’re not just selling lots, we’re selling a total service for our buyers,” says Wade. “We’ll help them with the architecture. We’ll do the conceptual design, which is included in the price of the lot. And we’ll set them up with one

Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018

of our builders so the whole project is seamless for them.” Designing each of the 28 lots with a mountain modern theme allows for all the homes to have a mountain retreat feel, but with all the benefits of modern homebuilding techniques, along with panoramic views. “All of the roofs on these projects are low-sloped monopitched roofs which is the mountain modern style. But in this particular case what it does is that it affords us good views for the people in behind,” says Wade. Each home site's architectural design will be tuned to the topography of the land. With a focus on low maintenance and sustainable homes, local builders will use natural materials such as stucco, stone, metal and corrugated steel for a simple design. Nestled in a quiet cul-de-sac, the Antler Ridge subdivision has no through traffic, and no strata or homeowner association fees.

Along with the purchase of one of the 28 lots Antler Ridge will provide buyers with a five-year social membership at Copper Point Golf Club and Resort, valued at $7,500. “That social membership gives them access to golf eight rounds a year, plus the discounts at the clubhouse and the pro shop, access to pickleball courts, and also access to the Copper Point Resort, which has indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a fitness centre,” says Wade. Keeping the project affordable, lots start at $190,000. “We went competitive with our pricing, which with our offering of the combination of no strata, great views and a seamless process, added up to a success,” says Wade. Already 12 of the 28 lots at Antler Ridge have sold, clear proof that the development’s mission to create a dream home, not just another home, is striking a chord with Columbia Valpg ley home buyers. 23 To learn more visit www.antlerridge.ca.

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Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018


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Connected to the seasons



t’s 5:30 p.m. on a sunny summer evening. Work in the greenhouse and on the farm is done for the day. Our family home skirts our vegetable garden, which is ideal for harvesting our dinner tonight. We stop to pick a couple of cucumbers, some cherry tomatoes and a sweet pepper. We dig a hill of potatoes, pull some beets and carrots and then fire up the barbeque as we take off our dirty shoes at the door. While the veggies are roasting on the grill, we prepare a yummy Greek salad. A steak from our local abattoir rounds out our meal. We pop the umbrella up on our patio set as the kids run through the sprinkler in the back yard. We sit down. Ahhh, this is the perfect summer evening. We are enjoying a meal from our garden, surrounded by the fragrant and colourful flower pots on our back deck, looking out over our farm and the mountains across the lake. Gardening is a lifestyle. It provides much enjoyment while actually doing it, but more importantly when you are sitting down, relaxing, visiting with friends and family, it creates a backdrop of beauty for your home environment. Gardens provide a feeling of softness, fresh air and colour that soothes the soul. As owners of Winderberry and Edibles Farm + Cafe + Catering, our customers tell us that they choose to live and/or recreate in the Columbia Valley for that feeling of unwinding and relaxing, getting closer to nature and the outdoors. Yes, gardening can be a lot of work, depending on the size of your garden and yard. But remember that yard work can be a healthy and rewarding form of exercise, a meditative practice, and a motivator to be outside, not to mention that if you’re growing a vegetable garden, your hard

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www.diamondheatingandspas.com work is rewarded by delicious healthy meals all summer long. As gardeners and farmers here in the valley, we are acutely tuned in to the changing seasons, and each season creates its own unique conditions for us to deal with. Spring is the season of renewal, a time to roll up the sleeves and watch nature unfold and come to life again. As trees, shrubs and perennials come out from the dormant months of winter, the buds begin to swell with readiness and the new growth pushes out of the ground. Now is the best time to take care of pruning and shaping and feeding the soil. Summer dazzles us with colour and the sweet smell of blossoming flowers, delicious veggies and heat. A watering and fertilizing plan for the summer can go a long way to ensure an enjoyable abundance of both flowers and food. Fall brings a time to clean up the season’s growth, harvest the vegetables, and to make soups, salsas and other preserves. It’s a time to give thanks for the growing season and prepare the garden for its winter rest. Winter is time for reflection, time to rest and replenish, and just as the trees do, to sit in snow covered quiet and dream about the spring to come. Gardens inspire us. Choose a life with style and enjoy the changes of the seasons in the spaces that surround you.

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By Dauna Ditson

Home is where the heart is:



Driftwood hearts and the Dutch corner

Photos by Marlene Chabot

Editor’s note: Columbia Valley Homes is pleased to introduce a new feature to our magazine this year — Home Is Where the Heart Is. The magazine’s “featured homes” section and other stories have always given readers a look at some of the valley’s beautiful and boldly innovative new houses, as well as the latest building trends. But the valley is full of plenty of great homes that aren’t new houses, which is precisely what Home is Where the Heart Is will focus on each year, highlighting how local people take their living spaces and, through decoration and style, make them uniquely theirs. The inaugural edition of the feature takes a peek into the gloriously eclectic home of Columbia Valley Arts Council executive director Jami Scheffer.


ami Scheffer gestures to a slab of driftwood hanging on the wall in her cozy home. While she enjoys restoring wood and old furniture, Jami chose not to sand the pockmarked, irregular heart-shaped piece of driftwood she found or alter it in any way, other than to add a hook on the back. “I like that it’s not a perfect heart,” she says. “It’s rustic and old and beat up. It’s like my heart!” Jami’s driftwood heart is surrounded by a collection of imperfect but perfectly loveable mementos from times gone by. An heirloom vase Jami broke as a child shows its fault lines tenderly, like a scar that’s been kissed. A well-worn teddy bear is dressed in the tiny onesie her daughter and later her son wore as newborns the first time she brought them home. A stack of secondhand suitcases displayed in her living room hints at the exotic places the cases have travelled and the contents they’ve carried. “I’ve never lived in a place that’s just been a house,” Jami says. Maybe that’s because her belongings themselves and the feelings they evoke are her home, no matter which walls and shelves they adorn. Everywhere Jami gazes her eyes land on a cherished memory, an orchid or another object that brings her peace. Her home is so welcoming and comforting that she refers to it as her sanctuary.

Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018

When Jami bought her home in Invermere 15 years ago, she had no trouble choosing paint colours or styles because she based the design on honouring what she already had. She had a beautiful cabinet her brother found at an auction, so she commissioned matching kitchen cupboards. And she chose the terra cotta colour of her living room walls to complement a painting of bold geometric shapes that her mother gave her when she was a teen. “When you buy something that’s brand new, there’s no story involved in it,” Jami says. “Everything I have has a meaning.” A little copper boy — a replica of the famed Mannekin Pis of Brussels — that was once attached to her Oma’s fancy bottle of perfume stands on a ledge in what Jami refers to as her “Dutch corner”, in homage to her ancestral homeland. While the little boy no longer holds her Oma’s signature scent, he carries the waft of history. During the Second World War, Jami’s mother and aunt took the figurine on a mission. Their family was desperately hungry so the sisters approached a German soldier in hopes of trading the copper statue for food. The soldier told them lewdly that he could help but he wanted more than the little boy. The girls escaped, clutching the figurine as they bolted away. Like the copper boy, the other objects in the corner are packed with family stories. A few years after Jami bought her house, she and her now-grown children moved into the basement and she then offered the main floor to her parents. Later her father passed away, but a portrait of him gazes across her living room with a bemused affection. Jami’s mother remains upstairs, but her health is declining and she requires frequent home care visits. When a loved one becomes ill, Jami says it’s easy to lose sight of who they were and to forget the passion and personality that sparkled from their eyes – something the Dutch corner helps reminds her of. The little copper boy, so weighty in Jami’s palm, brings to mind her mother’s tenacity. Other items, such as a mid-century room divider, leave Jami admiring her mother’s impeccable taste. “She always seems larger than life,” Jami says. While many of Jami’s favourite belongings evoke memories of her loved ones, she rescued others – such as a long wooden dresser and a radiator fan she displays in a window – from the landfill. When Jami comes across discarded treasures, she restores them and gives them a home. She’s loved so many found objects that her home is almost at capacity. “I have enough. I don’t need anything else,” she says. But her garage tells a different story. It is filled with piles of old dresser drawers, desks and a wooden headboard – all worthy of a second chance, all carrying tales of their own, all driftwood hearts weathered with love.

Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018



By Nikki Fredrikson

Editor's note: Many a home in the valley is adorned with works by the valley’s multitude of talented artisans. Each year Columbia Valley Homes profiles a different artist or group. In this edition Homes looks at the father-son team behind Bavin Glassworks, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.


t has been 30 years since a trip to Seattle, Washington sparked Pat Bavin’s interest in glass blowing and led him to open his own “hot shop” in his hometown — Invermere. Bavin Glassworks has been operating as a family business in the Columbia Valley since 1988, with Pat as the initial primary glassblower, and his son Ryan having now taken over as lead. “What’s interesting about glass is that the fundamentals are always there, but as your creativity shifts to more complexity, with increasing ability, you get into different forms and shapes. You’re always growing as an artist. As soon as you’ve got some new tricks, you start tweaking them,” says Pat. “I think that’s the difference in where I left off and where Ryan has continued — he keeps building on what I call our mini tricks.” The duo has worked tirelessly over the decades to perfect their craft, and the result is an ever-changing, eye-catching pg 30 series of glass creations in different shapes, forms, and colours, many of them inspired by the frequent trips the pair take out in the bush. “It (seeking inspiration in the backcountry) is wonderfully successful, it gives us all sorts of great ideas. A lot of our work is reflective of landscapes, treescapes, forestscapes, that kind of thing,” says Pat. “We throw nature and art into a paper bag, really shake it up and then see what we get. That’s what we’re about and that’s how we live.” Works of fish, totem poles and bowls are some of the father-son team’s best-

Interior decor ~ Artist profile:

A family craft known pieces, and the two spend years perfecting each design. Glass is an unforgiving medium, which according to Pat, is part of its seductiveness, but which also means each project involves striking a balance between trying to follow the original plan as much as possible and then recovering and finding a way to forge ahead when the plan goes awry. “You have to have a pretty good idea of what’s going on before you even start and then go for it, basically, and see what happens. Through multiple attempts of making the same thing, we get the insight and experience necessary to actually be able to pull the pieces off,” explains Ryan. The duo's emphasis on teamwork and planning is especially important when it comes to crafting custom projects to enhance the homes of clients. As the many gorgeous Bavin works adorning houses up and the valley and beyond can attest, those skills pay off beautifully. The pair create all manner of pieces for home decoration, from specialty lighting shades to the kind decor you just can’t find anywhere else. “There’s a lot of possibilities with glass that people simply don’t think about, because these are options that are unique to glass. It’s an amazing substance and many people just don’t realize what you can do with it,” says Ryan. Often the Bavins will walk clients through their showroom discussing shapes and colours. Ryan typically suggests using colours that will compliment a client’s home. Bavin Glassworks, one of the few valley-based glassblowing studios to create and sell under the same roof, has from the get-go pushed the envelope with cutting-edge techniques, and the father-son team plan to keep it that way.

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Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles • Vol 8: 2018


lk Park Ranch is a mountain development like no other; one which borders Kootenay National Park where future development is limited. Whether looking for a property in the Elk Park Community, or on one of our Ranch properties, you will appreciate your ability to get back to nature, find your calm, and just reconnect in a relatively undisturbed mountain environment. At Elk Park Ranch, we’ve taken the time and set strict architectural guidelines to ensure that the natural setting you want is preserved. This helps to keep the initial calm feeling you fell in love with consistent. 200+ acres in the north end of Radium Hot Springs

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SOME LONG TO BE HERE. Others simply belong here.

What does ‘more to the mountains’ mean to you? Perhaps it means our story becomes a part of yours. Mountain Living at Panorama is for those who seek Pure Canada. It’s a perfect choice for those who possess a spirit that says “I belong in the mountains.” There are exceptional new home ownership and investment

opportunities in this distinctive resort community. Occupy a higher place, come and grow with us. Discover what Mountain Living might mean for you.

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Profile for Emily Rawbon


The Columbia Valley Pioneer's feature publication, Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles, 2018.


The Columbia Valley Pioneer's feature publication, Columbia Valley Homes and Lifestyles, 2018.