This article first appeared in print in the July 2019 issue of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine.
Words by Louise Stanway, photos by Laura Szanto
When snow-capped mountains, glassy lakes, and a welcoming community lured Kate and Kirk McCarroll to Revelstoke three years ago, the couple had no intention of building their own home. “We were initially hoping for an easy, move-in ready place,” said Kate McCarroll, as she reminisced on the early stages of the project. However, their quick perusal of the housing market confirmed that they weren’t the only ones seduced by the town’s charm. And so, for the two medical professionals, it was time to return to the drawing board — literally.
After some careful calculations and a rerouted search, Kirk and Kate made the decision to step away from move-in ready properties and, instead, invest in something that more closely aligned with their lifestyle and home expectations. With timing and determination on their side, they purchased a beautiful vacant lot nestled in Cashato Crescent, Arrow Heights.
The couple hired Absolute Contracting to plan, design, and build their 4,490-square-foot family home. Kate admits that she took the reigns when it came to working with the designers on the structure and aesthetics. “We wanted the design of the house to be functional; it needed to be low maintenance and easy to live in,” she explained. With two young children – Max, 7, and Elliot, 5 – Kate wished to generate spaces that promoted creative flow and allowed the boys to roam freely.
Working closely with Technical Architectural Designer, Kelvin Skoretz of Two73° Research. Design. Build., the Absolute team were able to deliver a finished product that is both modern and smart in its design, but simultaneously boasts rustic, homely values at its core. Skoretz said that one of his favourite features of the house is the shed roof, which has allowed for the maximization of recreational space. The single-sloped roof has also enabled the creation of a loft space attached to the kids’ shared bedroom, providing them with a personalized den-like retreat away from the rest of the house.
There are no creaks or squeaks as you navigate the insulated concrete flooring that paves the way between rooms in the house. In the entranceway to one of the bedrooms, Kirk and Kate decided to insert a customized concrete tile with imprinted handprints of their two kids. It is one of the character-shaping hidden gems of the house that puts family sentiment above pristine aesthetics.
Dissimilar to the deliberate hideaways of upstairs kid-zones, space is certainly not an issue on the ground floor of the house. Walking into the central living space is like biting into the centre of cream-filled donut — it’s the main event. From house plants, unique artwork, to boutique chairs — their interior designer, Heidi Hopkins of Hopkins Interior Design, has made sure that visual treats fill every corner of the house.
Energy efficient Innotech Windows ensure that none of Hopkins’ intricate embellishments go unnoticed in this illuminated space. The windows were installed to seal out unwanted water, air, and sound, while simultaneously allowing natural daylight to pour through and light the room. Not just for show, the window placement is a Passive strategy employed here by Skoretz, to enable their thermal properties to reduce energy costs and emissions. It is simply a bonus that the idyllic mountainous skylines of Revelstoke – such as the Mount Cartier peak — fill their frames.
A traditional log burner stove with accompanying wood sits in the centre of the main living area. Its uncanny resemblance to a television set (chrome, rectangular shape and central placement) reaffirms the McCarrolls’ family-centred agenda. It encourages conversation over media consumption.
Kirk and Kate were initially worried about counter and cabinet space in the kitchen, knowing that their growing family would require plenty of storage. Their worries turned out to be unfounded, as the cabinets installed by Lortap are functional right up to the high ceilings of the room. Meanwhile, the central counter has plenty of hidden cubbies to keep the countertop clutter-free and sparkling.
The adjacent dining room area is equipped with a built-in sink and tap, glass cabinets, and all the necessary cocktail mixing accessories. The room is personalized with framed photos of their kids and overlooks their rustic (yet unfinished) backyard.
Moving forward, the next step for the McCarrolls will be to work alongside Kelvin Skoretz to complete the outside landscaping this summer. The couple are over the moon with their new property and are looking forward to fully settling into the finished product. This will, of course, come as disappointing news for the two young boys, as they’ve been making use of playing in the dirt outside just as much as their indoor play zones!