Lake Home Renovation

This amazing lake home renovation in Kelowna, British Columbia, took a diamond in the rough and made it brilliant. Full interior renovations plus landscaping details were completed by the Rockwood Custom Homes team during a 16-week period in the Spring/Summer of 2015. The renovated property and home blends seamlessly with the surrounding mountains, parkland and the beauty of Lake Okanagan, while paying tribute to the home’s history and past owner.

Retreat. Remove yourself from the hustle and bustle of city life. Turn off the television. Set your phone to quiet. Grab your bathing suit and that novel you’ve been meaning to read for the last month. It’s the dog days of summer—your favourite time of year. Put your feet up, breathe deep, and enjoy the serenity of your surroundings while relaxing in your spacious, luxurious, custom-cottage lake home.

With panoramic views of Lake Okanagan and surrounding mountains, Rockwood Custom Home’s latest lake home renovation abounds with luxurious touches while honouring the spirit of the lake. With serene colours, gorgeous wood and stone work, and plenty of high-end finishes, Rockwood has elevated this historic lake home into a luxury getaway. Big on comfort while not skimping on style, this warm and contemporary, 3500-square-foot lake cottage features five bedrooms, a guesthouse and six separate, outdoor sitting spaces. With an 80-foot-wide beach with a charming lakeside gazebo and 385 feet of private lake frontage, it’s perfect for hosting family and friends, or just relaxing while taking in the breathtaking views of Lake Okanagan and surrounding vistas.

This inspired lake home renovation was a passion project for Rockwood Custom Homes’ president Allison Grafton. Grafton and her husband Kevin Taillefer were fortunate to stumble upon this historic property and re-imagine it as a their personal home, renovated in Rockwood fashion—their dream lake cottage on Lake Okanagan.

The property’s own history goes back 120 years when it was owned by the Leach family—some of the first homesteaders in Kelowna’s Mission area. The land itself was gifted to one of the Leach daughters, Erica, who built and lived in the original lake home from the 1920s to 2013. Erica, the property and the home were all devastated as the home burnt to the ground in the Kelowna fires of 2003. The home was eventually reconstructed, just as it had been, but on a different piece of the property in order to maximize its lake views. Mrs. Leach passed away in 2013 at the tender age of 94, leaving behind the lake home and a fascinating legacy. The face of F.H. Varley’s (one of the famous Group of Seven artists, arguably one of Canada’s most legendary painters) portrait of an Unknown Woman, later called by its rightful name, Erica, Mrs. Leach was the inspiration behind a piece of Canadian art history. Many of the wind-blown, ancient fir trees visible on the property also seem to show up in Varley’s work and Grafton wonders if this is where he took some of his inspiration?

Grafton and Taillefer like to think that the home she leaves behind holds a little bit of that same magic that inspired Varley to paint Erica. The cottage’s reconstruction aims to honour the woman, her home, and the beautiful lake that serves as its backdrop… its canvas.