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A retired NHL goalie builds a dream home in the Okanagan--complete with indoor and outdoor rinks, of course.
First Published in Jan/Feb 2012 For every minimalist, there is a maximalist—or, more likely, 10 of them. Luckily, those for whom more is more have lots of homes to aspire to, not least this lakefront house on Kelowna’s southern tip. Byron and Kim Dafoe were living in Atlanta when they began to plan their Okanagan dream home in 2004.The veteran NHL goalie was then in the employ of the Atlanta Thrashers, but was sitting out the lockout year and would retire before action resumed that fall. Kelowna-based Mullins Drafting & Design developed plans from Byron’s drawings, while further contributions came from Byron Dafoe’s stepmother, Hanna Pestell, retired owner of Concepts West Interior Design in Victoria, B.C.Dafoe had played for four NHL teams and the couple had built and sold other homes along the way, so they had a good idea of what they wanted. The timber-frame construction (by Edgecombe Builders and Hamill Creek Timber Homes) is entirely mortise and tenon, without a single nail to be found. Inside, Douglas fir roof components have been left exposed but walls are largely drywalled, which provides more flexibility for decorating. Meanwhile, several of the floors are finished with stone tiles. “On the outside there’s a Whistler feel,” says Dafoe. “Inside it’s a little more Old World.”Not so Old World are some of the electronic features. Dafoe is a partner in Diamante Custom Automation, which designs and installs home automation systems, and the house became something of a demonstration project. Everything electronic can be monitored and controlled remotely using a smartphone.What else does the house have? What doesn’t the house have? Seven bathrooms, five fireplaces, a wine room, a wet bar and billiards room, a home theatre, an infinity pool, geothermal heating, separate guest quarters and a home office with private terrace. There’s also a home gym large enough for ball hockey, not to mention a tennis court that Dafoe has been flooding in winter to create a hockey rink, a tradition that purchasers are welcome to carry on. (Almost 13,000 square feet in size, the house is listed by Re/Max Kelowna.)
And during pick-up games, who can be found to tend goal? Well, the new homeowners might think of knocking on their neighbour’s door: the Dafoes are selling the home because they are building another house on a lot that they’ve subdivided off the original property.