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The Columbia Valley Pioneer • September 12, 2008

New Homes Your Guide to New Housing Developments in the Columbia Valley

Spirits Reach Business Feature by Pioneer Staff Purchase a home at Spirits Reach and you’re not just buying into a condo development. You’re becoming a part of a community that is committed to being environmentally conscious, while creating a neighbourhood where families can connect and relax. “Creating family memories is what it’s all about,” said co-owner Donna Rae, as she explained the community vision. “Part of the ‘spirit’ of Spirits Reach is community. Families can gather and belong, get to know their neighbours and make lifelong friendships.” Dave and Donna Rae’s Columere Park Developments purchased 500 acres beside pristine Columbia Lake over a period of eight years. Plans for the land will see 250 of those acres developed, with the other half remaining as is – natural, untouched and begging to be explored. Spirits Reach will encompass four neighbourhoods: Spirit of the Lake, which is already partially completed and currently has homes available; Spirits Rise; Hardie Creek; and Mustangs Crossing. A network of footpaths and biking trails will link the neighbourhoods, which will host comprehensive lifestyle amenities. Two of those amenities are already completed: last month Spirits Reach held a grand opening for The Lakehouse, an architecturally-designed villa beside Columbia Lake from which residents can swim, kayak or sail – or simply soak up the peace and tranquility. And the vision gets grander. The next stages of development include such amenities as a recreation centre that will contain a swimming facility, a fitness centre and a skating rink.

A private access to Columbia Lake is available for Spirits Reach residents.

Continued on Page 2 . . .

2 • The Columbia Valley Pioneer – New Homes Continued from Page 1 . . . At Trailhead Ranch, residents can stable their horses, ride in the outdoor arena and participate in an equestrian program. A bed and breakfast lodge will be built nearby, and a restaurant with panoramic lake views will offer organic meals using produce from the region. On the property’s outskirts, an outdoor amphitheatre will host local entertainment and community gatherings, and within the elaborate trail system through the undeveloped land, residents will find a yoga hut and a variety of smaller huts where they can take a break during their hike. All of this will be completed within six to 10 years. Right now, though, there are homes for sale in the Spirit of the Lake neighbourhood, which has direct access to Columbia Lake. Launched in September 2006, the first residents moved in last July. Of the 34 homes that have so far been constructed, just 12 are still available. It’s when you get down to the detail of these homes that you truly realize how remarkable Spirits Reach is. Everything about these new homes is tailored to minimize environmental impact.

Heating is geothermal – every home is built with its own technology that uses the heat from the earth to warm and cool. The unit also preheats the hot water tank so it uses less electricity (environmentally conscious and cost effective). The windows contain low-emissive, argon-filled glass that reflects the temperature rather than absorbing it. Formaldehyde-free insulation is blown into the roof to improve energy efficiency – and it has the added bonus of reducing sound transmission. In a particularly unique move, the wood in the fireplace mantles comes from trees removed from elsewhere on the property – wood that has been treated and prepared by the previous owner of the ranch. All of these individual aspects come together to create a community that is set apart from other developments in the Columbia Valley. Such high respect for the land, the lake and the unique sense of community found in this region will make Spirits Reach a place people flock to experience. For more information, call 1-877349-7575, visit the Spirits Reach showhome or see

September 12, 2008

High-quality Bosch dishwashers and Grohe water faucets are a feature of the kitchens.

September 12, 2008

New Homes – The Columbia Valley Pioneer • 3

As well as a mantel made from the property’s own timber, each home has a high-efficiency wood-burning fireplace, with Chesapeake Shadow rock detailing. Photos by Sally Waddington

4 • The Columbia Valley Pioneer – New Homes

September 12, 2008

THE ICING ON THE CAKE – Gorgeous lamps like these craftsman-style light fixtures from Mercer & Company in Invermere will add warmth to any room, especially now that the days are growing shorter. Photo by Cayla Gabruck

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New Homes – The Columbia Valley Pioneer • 5

September 12, 2008

Light up your life with beautiful lamps By Cayla Gabruck Pioneer Staff “The addition of lighting to a home can be compared to the addition of beautiful earrings when you are wearing a ballroom dress,” said Leanne Tegart, owner of Mercer & Company. “It’s the jewelry at the very end that’s showcasing all the other work that is put into the home.” Leanne is an interior designer who specializes in the field of lighting. She said that there are four major functions of light: task, decorative, accent and ambient. “Ideally you want to include all four functions of lighting in your home,” she said. “This is referred to as layered lighting. Typically you wouldn’t have all of the lights on at once, but you will be able to change the mood settings throughout the day or for whatever task you’re performing.” Breaking down the types of lighting is quite simple. Task lighting, for example, refers to the under counter light

you need when you are cooking dinner. Decorative lighting, for example, would be the fixture above the dining table; accent lighting refers to highlighting a piece of artwork; and ambient lighting gives off a soft glow and warmth. “The simplest way to achieve ambient lighting would be with a lamp,” Leanne said. “If you get the choice of designing your home, wall sconces are also great.” A wall sconce can also add a “secondary ceiling line,” giving the impression of a larger room. The most effective way to create ambient lighting is through the use of a dimmer switch. “That will allow the mood of your room to change throughout the day and it’s always nice to have the ability to dim your lights to a soft glow in the evening,” she said. “In the end it all comes down to ‘What task are you performing in that room?’” When designing your home, Leanne suggests planning your furniture layout prior to your lighting system.

“The lighting should reflect the way that each room is to be used,” she said. “To create the mood that you want to acquire, the lighting should be something you are considering at the very beginning, but you don’t apply until the very end.” According to Leanne, there really isn’t just one fixture that can satisfy all your lighting needs; there does need to be a combination of lighting. “Lights, when used correctly, create an instant level of comfort,” she added. If you are unsure exactly what your lighting needs are, Leanne offers consulting services. She will come to your home, go through the rooms with you and use her expertise to help you understand your needs and meet them. Mercer & Company offers lighting for homeowners on any type of budget. Mercer & Company is located at 733-12th Street in Invermere. For more information or quotes on your commercial or residential project, call Leanne at (250) 342-0012.

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6 • The Columbia Valley Pioneer – New Homes

September 12, 2008

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New Homes – The Columbia Valley Pioneer • 7

September 12, 2008

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder By Elinor Florence Pioneer Publisher The other day my husband decided to touch up the paint in the sun room. We built our house just five years ago and it looks like new, except for the sun room. The white paint is getting a little stained and dingy, thanks to the 100-plus orchids that my husband keeps in there. When we were building the house, I envisioned a sun-filled oasis of peace with a wrought-iron café table and two chairs where we could sip our coffee, read the papers and enjoy the mountain views. Instead we have a room so jammed with orchids that there is nowhere to sit. An elaborate system of timers, fans and humidifiers keep the orchids green and fragrant, and the floor is covered with newspapers to blot up the excess water. Since the door has to be kept closed all the time, we can’t even admire the orchids from a distance. And we can’t take any of them out of the sun room, since they need to be maintained in their cozy environment. As a result of the high humidity in the room plus the constant repotting and rearranging that goes on, the paint in the sun room has begun to yellow, and the

Orchids are elegant but finicky creatures. walls have a few scratches and dings where plant pots or tools have been dropped. So my husband asked me if I remembered what shade of white we painted the room. Even he, who knows what an organizational genius I am (although some people would have another word for it), was impressed when I opened my desk drawer and whipped

out a notebook where I kept a complete list of every paint colour in the house, plus a myriad of other details such as the size and number of vents, the make and model of faucets, lighting fixtures, and so forth. “Martha Stewart’s Fine White, AXN-1, C-1,” I announced triumphantly. As I thumbed through my old notebook, I remembered the agony of trying to decide exactly which shade of white would be perfect for the sunroom. Now I wonder why I even bothered. So many of the decisions that seem extremely important at the time of construction fade into insignificance shortly after one moves into one’s new home. We quickly become blind to our home’s imperfections, or even its greatest assets. It does me no good at all to realize that this shade of white was indeed the perfect colour when I can barely get a glimpse of it through the jungle of orchids. You can tell this is something of a sore point. However, I have decided to graciously admit defeat in this particular battle, since my husband loves his orchids so much. As he keeps pointing out, orchidgrowing may be addictive, but it’s still a lot cheaper than drinking or smoking. A home has to be lived in, loved and enjoyed rather than put on a pedestal, even if it gets a little shopworn in the process. And the same goes for one’s spouse.

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8 • The Columbia Valley Pioneer - New Homes

September 12, 2008






vol5issue37_new homes Your Guide to New Housing Developments in the Columbia Valley A private access to Columbia Lake is available for Spirits...

vol5issue37_new homes Your Guide to New Housing Developments in the Columbia Valley A private access to Columbia Lake is available for Spirits...