Z Place

This multi-million dollar reno started out squirrely and ended with a holiday home built for generations to come.

Ken and Trista Zinger were looking for a summer cottage. Ken, who grew up in the Okanagan, had always lived near water and wanted his children to have the same. Trista wanted somewhere with a lake that was deep enough for a boat and shallow enough for her five children to play in. That's when the family hired Sean and Brodie Thomsen of Thomsen Construction to create the home of their dreams. Thomsen Construction became the driving force behind the execution of the project.

“We fell in love with this lot,” says Trista, whose own design firm, Zinger Design Group Inc., was initiated as a result of the project. “The whole cove is flat and there’s only about a dozen homes in our immediate neighbourhood.”

The Zinger’s rented the property one summer before purchasing it.

“The property had been vacant for some time and when we arrived - it was full of squirrels,” Ken explains. “We could hear them in the walls. Once we started renovations, we realized it was an infestation and there was a mold too. We had to gut the whole place and take it down to the foundation. The sheeting, electrical and plumbing are all new; we couldn’t even keep most of the studs.”

Despite the extensive renos, the Zinger’s are upbeat about the experience. “I worked with Catherine Hogan of Kelowna on the interior design,” she explains. “She project managed and helped design everything.”

As a result of the experience, Trista’s own design firm, Zinger Design Group Inc., was born. The company now operates in both Kelowna and Calgary. This is especially handy for clients living in Alberta, who are buying or building a second home in the Okanagan. With representation on the ground in both locations, many design decisions can be made without the need for excessive travel. Trista is all too familiar with this inconvenience, as she flew to Kelowna weekly to meet with Hogan for over 6 months to facilitate the design process for Z Place.

In spite of the initial setback and a lot more work than planned, the Zinger’s now have a summer home custom-made for their family.

“We wanted to build a place that would suit our family now and in the future,” says Trista. “This way, once the kids have grown up and have their own families, they can still come back here for the summer and there is plenty of space to house everyone.”

Trista goes on to beam, “Our electrician, Kevin Villar from Sun Valley electric, was amazing. He worked so hard his wife would come out and bring him his lunch and he would spend time with his son - Kevin. When we had our first big party, he hovered around like a parent making sure everything worked properly. Then there was Cory Dickau, who did all of the woodwork in the house. He built the closets, cupboards, all the custom floating beds, shelves, fireplace… everything wood in this house was done by him. Without those people and many more, our home would not work as well as it does."

The home has several unique touches to it from the LED lighting around the waterfall, bar, bathroom vanities and beds, to the 18-man hot tub and a wing complete with games room, dishwasher, fridge and microwaves, just for the children. The main kitchen is a dream with five ovens, a built-in espresso/cappuccino maker, 10 Sub-Zero freezers and a kitchen table that seats 10.

The most unique feature of the home is the front entry light feature, made entirely of solid glass bocce balls from Germany. "We had to have the ceiling reinforced to hold it," explains Ken. "They had to hang each ball separately."

With five children, this is one holiday home that certainly gets used to it's full potential.