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Lakeside home in Vernon, BC
(Photo: Sama Jim Cazian)

Lakeside homes are inevitably geared toward that ultimate money view: the lake itself. But this modern home above Lake Kalamalka in Vernon offered an embarrassment of riches when it came to views: yes, you’d see the lake to the north east and south, but to the west are gorgeous rolling hills and grasslands that were also worthy of capturing in the design of the space. 

When Nigel Parish of Vancouver’s Splyce came on board with the project, the proposed property had been positioned a little lower on the landscape. Parish proposed moving a new design northwards and upwards up the hill, gaining views to northeast that would have been lost. The home itself is also built to feel apart of the landscape—higher on the property, but made to feel as though it had emerged from land. “We wanted to marry it into the landscape somewhat, rather than pick something quite foreign. Palette wise, the whole intent, we want it to feel like it’s supposed to be there.” It feels as though it’s burrowed into the rolling grasslands, rather than perching above it.  

Juliet balcony on lakeside home in Vernon, BC
(Photo: Sama Jim Canzian)
Modern lakeside house in the okanagan
(Photo: Sama Jim Canzian)
Modern lakeside house with concrete floors
(Photo: Sama Jim Canzian)

The home itself is designed to carefully reveal each view slowly. “The movement through the space is very choreographed and considered,” says Parish. Moving from the front entry, there’s a glimpse of the view to the lake. “But as you move through the space, you reach the staircase, and all of a sudden it’s double height, and your eye goes up.” Rather than racing toward to the lake, says Parish, you’re meant to pause. “There’s a bit of wonder there, like a bit of a delay in the choreography.” The plan is simple yet nuanced, organized along a distinct east-west circulation spine on two floors.

Modern kitchen in lakeside house
(Photo: Sama Jim Canzian)

The central axis that leads to that view opens out to the kitchen, living and dining area, with bi-parting glass doors that open the space out to the lake.

Modern okanagan house
(Photo: Sama Jim Canzian)
Modern living room with lake view
(Photo: Sama Jim Canzian)

The living space is designed with impromptu seating—concrete benches and throw cushions that allow for the party to expand when the groups are larger.

The home stays cool thanks to broad overhangs on the south side of the main floor of home. Upstairs,  vertical timbers—spaced according to the movement of the sun—outside the bedroom windows to help with solar shading.

Modern bedroom with lake view
(Photo: Sama Jim Cazian). Perforated screens that provide solar shading are seen outside the primary bedroom glazing.
Modern bathroom in the okanagan
(Photo: Sama Jim Canzian)
Modern home office in the okanagan
(Photo: Sama Jim Canzian) The home office is positioned to capture gorgeous views over the lake.

It’s designed to capture the beauty of the surrounding valley 365 days of the year – inside and out.. “You look one way, and it’s the lake. You look at the other way and it’s the the rolling hills—and to me, both are amazing because the landscape especially is super beautiful,” says Parish. “In the summer it’s golden, and in the winter, it’s layered with a blanket of snow, and in the spring, it’s all green. It doesn’t last for very long, but we really want it to kind of capture all of those moments.”

Originally published August 2022