Located in the Lower Mission, Kelowna’s prestigious Hobson Road is peaceful and serene, yet everything you could want is nearby. One of the most impressive homes on the block isn’t on the waterfront, but sits on the other side of the road, guarded by a pair of towering, stately maple trees.
At some 10,500 finished square feet, the house is understandably grand, but it is the thoughtful details that set it apart. The homeowners, Dale and Lisa Lamb, spent five years in the planning stages, undertaking 14 designs and variations, before finally breaking ground in 2009.
“We put a lot of thought into how we would use the house and how it would flow and function,” explains Lisa. “Shane Baxter [the home’s designer] is like a wizard with that kind of stuff.”
Influenced by old-world Mediterranean villas, the exterior of the house is clad in a warm, European-style layered stucco with loads of character that never seems to age. The tile roof adds an additional dimension, as do the five generous balconies that overlook the property. Of course, no home of this style would be complete without a tower, and this particular one is round and stretches three storeys high. As a delightful surprise for guests, the push of a button activates a water fountain in the centre of the stone driveway, complete with colour-changing LED lighting to illuminate the streams of water.
The backyard is an oasis with a nearly endless list of features. A sports court at the back of the property is the perfect place to play ball hockey in the summer, but it can also be flooded in the winter so you can create your own rink. The fully-tiled swimming pool is oversized at 22 by 47 feet, making it great for parties or for swimming a few laps. The adjacent wading pool is great for kids and pets, or those who just want to dip their toes in the water while they read a good book.
The pool house and guesthouse are located in the same building, although they are on different levels. A cabana-style great room is easily accessible from the swimming pool and also acts as a games room with a pool table, lounge chairs and three television screens to watch your sport of choice. The fully-equipped wet bar has everything needed to whip up a snack or make a cocktail too.
Guests can take the stairs or an elevator to the second floor, where a two-bedroom apartment with all the conveniences of a luxury vacation rental awaits.
Dale’s favourite “room” is the outdoor living area. It’s enclosed on three sides and fully covered with infrared heaters that make it usable year-round. The glass doors to the kitchen open completely, making it perfect for summer barbecues or watching the big game on the large television screen that hangs above the outdoor fireplace.
“I sit out here all winter and watch hockey and other sports,” Dale smiles.
Back inside, the oversized kitchen is a chef’s dream and built to entertain in style. A magnificent island holds pride of place in the room, with a built-in eating area for casual dining, homework or a glass of wine with friends.
The adjoining two-storey great room has soaring ceilings, rich, dark cabinetry and a colossal fireplace made of the same granite stone that adds texture and classic charm throughout the house.
Around the corner, a formal dining room is ensconced in the circular rotunda, complete with a glittering chandelier overhead. A fantastic, temperature- and humidity-controlled wine cellar with a lead glass window and a Viking cooling system is across the hall.
Large, glittering chandeliers hang throughout the home, including in the dining room and formal entry. While beautiful, it is a practical detail that leaves me awed; the chandeliers can be lowered to the floor at the flick of a switch, making cleaning and maintenance a breeze.
“There’s a lot of attention to detail in terms of functionality of this house,” explains Lisa. “It’s very much a family home.”
Down the hall, we come to the master suite with French doors that open onto a backyard patio and the swimming pool. A double-sided fireplace offers a cozy ambiance in both the bedroom and en suite, where a free-standing, classic soaker tub is off-set in the centre of the room. Large sliders open into a delightful, private, stone-walled courtyard.
“This courtyard opens out into the hot tub, so it’s very secluded and jungle-like,” Lisa says. “It’s nice because you can be in your bathroom and have the natural light, but you don’t have to worry about privacy.”
A wrap-around walk-in closet leads into a private attached laundry room, which opens into another garage. The laundry room features a large, durable island on casters that has been the site of many crafting adventures, gift wrapping and other memories.
Upstairs, the luxury continues with a spacious home gym, theatre room, four additional bedrooms with walk-in closets and private bathrooms, a flex area and a second laundry room. The room at the top of the three-storey tower started life as an office, but it is romantic and serene, giving it the potential to be a fantastic art studio, library, meditation or yoga space.
It has everything a family or entertainer could want, but life has its seasons, and the Lambs are readying to sell and move on to their next adventure.
When I ask Dale and Lisa about favourite memories in the home, they reflect fondly on their daughters’ friends visiting often and a wedding they hosted. Dale is a financial planner and has a particular niche with clients in the NHL world, so a Stanley Cup party at the house also holds a special place in their hearts.
The family hopes that the home’s next owners will find the same joy within its stately walls. As Dale says, “It’s got good karma about it.”
- Design time: 5 years
- Build time: 17 months
- Square feet: 10,500 finished square feet, including the cabana
- Bedrooms: 7, including main floor master and two bedrooms in guesthouse
- Bathrooms: 9
- Currently listed with Jane Hoffmann
Tiled swimming pool, sports court, two-bedroom guest house with elevator access, butler’s pantry, spacious home gym on second floor, theatre room, home automation and sound system, hand-honed ash hardwood flooring, 400-amp electrical, built-in vault, LED-lit water fountain in driveway, imported French wall fountain, outdoor living room.
- Baxter Designs (home design)
- Shonna Fox Design (interior design)
- Carolyn Walsh (kitchen and cabinetry design)
- Mike Kennedy (construction foreman)
- Daniel Hammer with Hammer Construction
- Scooby’s Masonry
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