Ron and Lisa Solmer built this traditional-style home on orchard acreage in Kelowna, Canada. Mr. Solmer’s family had owned the land since the 1940s. “We were looking for a spot to build and picked this spot,” says Mr. Solmer.
“We wanted a beautiful home with some traditional features that would be timeless. We wanted a fairly large home, but we also wanted it to be livable for ourselves and our three daughters. It was a family home,” says Mr. Solmer. Construction took about 18 months. The family moved into the home in 1996.
In summer time the couple like to entertain by the pool. “Even though we’re in Canada, typical summer days are warm, as are evenings,” says Mr. Solmer, an attorney. Mrs. Solmer is an interior designer.
The more than 10,000 square foot home has five bathrooms and 5 1/2 baths. There is also a three-car garage. The 14.5-acre property comes with an apple orchard that the couple replanted. They sell the fruit from approx. 2,100 apple trees.
“It was a great home to have our kids grow up in and to entertain our friends,” says Mr. Solmer, age 63. The couple updated the house recently, including repainting it and refinishing the hardwood floors. They added granite countertops and a wine refrigerator in the kitchen. They also redid the bathrooms, says Mrs. Solmer.
The paneling in the game room is Honduran mahogany. “It’s one of my favorite rooms,” says Mr. Solmer. Maps of the world hang on the wall.
There is a den near the game room. “That was what we started with when we started designing the home–I said I wanted a den. My wife decided I wouldn’t spend a lot of time in the den unless we expanded it into an adult playroom,” says Mr. Solmer.
Mr. Solmer says he will miss the location, the privacy, the openness and the views. Mrs. Solmer says it was the views that drew them to this location. “I designed the home so every room gets a view of the lake,” she says. The master bedroom looks toward the city and Okanagan Lake.
The couple is selling as they are planning to downsize and travel more. “We’ve got two kids living in New York and one in Ireland, so it’s just my wife and I, and it’s time to downsize,” he says. “We’re doing it with mixed feelings.”
The home has three levels. The wine cellar is on the lower level. The cellar was built to naturally stay the right temperature and humidity for the wine.
The house will be auctioned without reserve Oct. 5 through Platinum Luxury Auctions in cooperation with Jane Hoffman of Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty. The house was originally listed for $6.5 million CAD ($5.34M at today’s exchange rate).
Read the article by Sarah Tilton of the Wall Street journal here.
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