Meet the Husband-and-Wife Team Behind Wilcor Homes, Builder at SLR

This summer marks 12 years since Wilcor Homes built its first custom home at Spring Lake Ranch! What started as one custom design on 60 acres of land has grown into a beautiful community filled with homes and families.

Wilcor’s custom and spec homes feature natural elements like stone, timbers, and large view windows, and have been featured in Best Home, the Edmonton Journal, and Homes & Land.

Here, Sarah Corker and Rainbow Williams open up about their collaborative design process and how they help clients through the custom-build journey. Read on to find out who is the “dreamer,” who is the “realist” and what’s next for Wilcor Homes.

Congratulations on 12 years of Wilcor Homes! The real estate industry has had its share of ups and downs during that time, and yet Spring Lake Ranch has continued to grow. As a custom builder, what are some key things you’ve done to succeed in a challenging market?

Sarah: For us the main key has been building quality homes that showcase the kind of features people consistently love. We know that most homebuyers drawn to Spring Lake Ranch are looking for bungalows with features like the 3 car garage, finished basement, large windows, hardwood flooring, and custom cabinetry. 

We also continue to market ourselves in new and different ways. Social media is a component that has grown and changed so much in the last decade and we have prioritized growing and changing with it. The amount of people that have found us through Facebook and Instagram is amazing. Both are excellent platforms to tell our story and keep people looped in with what we are up to. 

Rainbow: We’ve stayed focused on what’s important to us. Quality construction, strong relationships with our clients, and building in limited quantities. We can’t control the market, but we can control what we do. Working with experienced contractors and staying current with building technologies and design, we attract clients that often become friends.

Can you tell us a bit about your process as a builder and designer? Do clients meet with both of you to design their homes? Who does what and how do you combine your ideas when it comes to design?

S: Initially clients usually meet with me to learn about the community, walk the lots and tour the homes. From there, Rainbow and I will sit down with them and discuss the building specifics of Wilcor Homes. We work on the home design together and have a lot of fun at this stage. We love talking plans, looking at elevations and trying new ideas. I then help people make their selections, from exterior colours and materials to interior finishings. 

I always say that I have the fun job and Rainbow has the challenging one in that I get to design and choose all the elements and he has to execute them and make it all a reality. Perhaps I am the dreamer and he is the realist!

R: We have a consistent process that each client is lead through. Typically, this starts with a meeting on site in one of our homes, either finished or under construction. 

Meeting the clients together reinforces our teamwork and allows them to see how we work together.  As our clients are different, so are we. Sarah prefers a visual, tactile perspective with materials and plans, whereas I am far more conceptual. These different styles compliment each other, like we do, and allows for a strong connection.

The homes you build feature a lot of natural materials like wood and stone, as well as oversized windows that bring in a lot of light. These elements will seemingly never go out of style! But what about design trends? What’s been inspiring you in the design world recently that you’ve showcased in your homes?

S: I love design and working with the newest trends while also building “forever homes”. It’s an evolving industry with new looks, materials and finishing techniques coming into play all the time. 

In my opinion, the more neutral the backdrop (paint and flooring) the more the home can grow and change with trends. A person can easily change a light fixture or cabinet pull to evolve with the times but to re-paint an entire home is a lot of work and expense. 

Currently, I am loving all the whites (both walls and cabinets) that are still on the scene but then pairing it with a hit of wood, metal or contrasting black. Tile is also an area that is really fun with more elaborate installation (herringbone, chevron, stacked and staggered techniques) and different shapes such as octagon, large format or super small format. A person can add texture and dimension without going crazy with colours. 

R: Sarah tends to drive our “trendy” aspects in the homes. We stay current by working with industry leaders for lighting, plumbing and flooring as well as drawing inspiration from design publications. For me the installation of practical and functional products with new technology is exciting. LED lighting, smart wiring, solar power and innovative kitchen concepts are a few areas I really enjoy exploring. Lastly, everyone likes a good shower, so using large or small format tiles and high quality plumbing fixtures all contained with 10mm glass makes a master ensuite that much better.

A lot of people dream of building a custom home, but feel overwhelmed by all the decisions involved. How do you help guide the process? 

S: We truly value all of the relationships we have developed over the years with our clients, with our suppliers and with our trades. Our focus on communication really assists our clients in staying well informed with the building process and allows them to come to us with questions and feedback along the way. We appreciate that custom building is a large undertaking for our clients so we do our best to ease the process. Part of this comes from our 12 years of experience in the industry and part of this comes from having built our own custom home so we totally understand what our clients are going through. 

Right from the beginning of financing and design, we guide our clients. We work with their lawyers and bankers to get everything in place. We then have a step-by-step process for them to make all of their home selections. Our suppliers are also a key part of this as they meet with our clients and assist them with choosing their products and educating them on the various options.

R: It starts from our first interaction with each client. We outline the process from start to finish, along with putting clear timelines on each decision. Then we work together with our suppliers and clients to ensure that we are staying on budget and on time. Lastly, we perform a review of all the material selections multiple times to ensure that the products are working together, and the clients are satisfied. Our extensive experience building custom homes help our clients feel confident as they navigate the selection process.

A big part of building custom at SLR is getting to choose your lot. How much does the lot size and views affect the kind of home that’s built on it? How do you optimize the property features? 

S: We call this Site-Specific Design and it’s a very important part of designing a home. We spend quite a bit of time on the vacant lot to determine the best views, optimal light exposure and maximum privacy. From here, we design the home to feature all of these aspects. Placement of windows is a big part of this as well as the decks. Each person is unique; some want to feature their deck to take in the hot, west sun, for example, while others prefer the morning light. 

R: During the master planning stage, we designed each lot at Spring Lake Ranch to have its own view channel. As we plan the home on the lot, we take this into consideration as well as conditions such as passive solar (specific window placements to take advantage of light and the sun) and location of trees for privacy, right down to the direction of the window openings for capturing cross breezes.   

Looking ahead, what projects are coming up at Wilcor Homes? How can people stay connected and learn about new homes for sale or building their own?h

S: The Birchview is nearing completion and it’s coming together beautifully. It’s a 3 bedroom bungalow for sale on one of the more private lots at SLR. From the back of the home, all you can see are trees. I am especially excited about the tile in this home — a combination of octagon and herringbone. Lots of whites with hits of black and gold. 

We are also working on a new custom build at Spring Lake Ranch, a build in the city and a new spec home. 

On September 14th, we are having a big community event with live music, a BBQ and the Remax hot air balloon! People interested in SLR should definitely mark their calendars and stay tuned for our fall building incentive. 

R: Each year we bring new designs to the community, and this year is no different. The Birchview combines a spacious master bedroom, larger en-suite with walk in shower, massive 3 car garage, 3 bedroom main floor, dual laundry location (for family living, or empty nesters), large fully developed daylight basement, and a new colour of James Hardie Siding. There are many special design features like unique tile, floating vanities, wall mounted faucets and a large walk-in pantry. It’s a fantastic home and we are very proud of it.  

This fall we’re planning to break ground on a new design similar to The Aspen, featuring new exterior elevations and same changes to the floor plan.  We never build the same house twice!

As always, we welcome all to sign up for the Newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram, but most important come out and visit us!  Nothing does SLR more justice than a walk on the nature trails, taking in the lake or just sitting in a gazebo listening to the orchestra of birds who call SLR home throughout the year.

Thank you so much, Sarah and Rainbow!

Check out SLR Homes For Sale here and Lots For Sale here. Learn more about Wilcor Homes here.

View The ASPEN 4 Bdrm Bungalow: FOR SALE

The ASPEN is a brand-new design by Wilcor Homes. This home is almost complete, and will be Move-in ready end of March!

The ASPEN backs onto a beautiful treed ravine, giving the open-plan kitchen, living, and dining areas gorgeous views of mature trees and tons of natural light.

This home is 1575 sq ft. with a fully finished basement, oversized walk-in pantry, black, triple-pane All Weather Windows, a fully finished basement, and triple garage. The garage has very high ceilings, offering the potential of a future lift system.

One of our favourite features of the ASPEN this stunning floor-to-ceiling white-tile fireplace. It gives the living space such a sophisticated look and feel.

For the exterior, we chose James Hardie siding in Deep Ocean and Pearl Grey. This is the first home at SLR to feature these fantastic new colours. Another feature adding to the curb appeal is the beautiful archway over the entrance.

The ASPEN blends exceptional craftsmanship with modern design. Check out a video tour here.

Interested in viewing this home BEFORE it goes on the market?

Contact Sarah Corker at 1.888.8671055 or scorker@springlakeranch.ca. And be sure to follow us on facebook here and instagram @springlakeranch for the latest updates. We look forward to seeing you soon at SLR!

Choose Your Finishings: New Opportunity on TWO Homes For Sale!

Hello!
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With the launch of Phase 4 in September, Wilcor Homes has been hard at work designing and building TWO beautiful new homes For Sale. The ASPEN and The BIRCHVIEW bungalows are both located in Phase 4 (our final phase) with gorgeous views of the treed ravine.

With these new homes, we’re excited to announce a new opportunity:

YOUR HOME, YOUR WAY. 

If you dream of building a custom home, but don’t want the extra expense that a custom build brings, this is an excellent option.How it Works:

From Saturday, Nov. 24th until Saturday, January 20th, we are offering the chance to Choose Your Finishings with purchase of The ASPEN or The BIRCHVIEW. (This is a first-come, first-serve opportunity.)

1. Put your deposit down on the home of your choice.

2. Choose your finishings. This includes flooring, cabinetry, lighting fixtures and paint colours. The Wilcor Design Team is on hand to help guide you the process and connect you with suppliers.

3. Close on the home at time of completion. Both homes will be move-in ready Spring 2019!

The YOUR HOME, YOUR WAY Advantage:

Custom builds typically require a draw mortgage, with interest accruing throughout the build. This makes building a custom home out of reach for many people.

Your Home, Your Way is what we call a “partial” custom build, with the design completed as a spec home, and the finishings chosen by YOU. This option allows you to greatly customize your home’s style through its finishings, while still financing with a completion mortgage. This can result in an estimated $20,000 financing savings!

Sneak peek of the homes:

The ASPEN Bungalow
(Also shown in first photo at top of post.)
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Framing is already complete on The ASPEN, a 4 Bdrm (2 up, 2 down) bungalow with Open plan Kitchen, Dining and Great Room.
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Highlights:
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*Fantastic archway over entry for a great sense of arrival to the home
*1575 sq ft
*Oversized walk-in pantry
*Opportunity for the laundry on the main floor OR the basement – your choice
*Black, triple-pane All Weather Windows
*Fully finished basement
*Triple garage with very high ceilings offering the potential of a future lift system
*Ravine views with mature trees
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The BIRCHVIEW Bungalow

Located on Juniper Lane, The BIRCHVIEW is a 5 Bdrm (3 up, 2 down) bungalow with Open plan Kitchen, Dining and Great Room.Currently at what we call the “dance floor” stage, this home will be framed soon and completed for a Spring 2019 occupancy.

Highlights:

*Located in Juniper Lane which is a 3-property cul-de-sac, giving The BIRCHVIEW additional privacy along with Ravine views.
* 1703 square feet on main floor
* Open concept living
* Gorgeous master bedroom and en suite
* Fully finished daylight basement
* Covered back deck with a gas line for BBQ, heat and year round enjoyment
* Oversized triple garage

Interested in viewing these homes and learning more about Your Home, Your Way? Let’s connect!

Contact Sarah Corker at 1-888-867-1055 OR scorker@springlakeranch.ca. We look forward to meeting you.

Words from our residents:

“The homes are all beautifully designed and well constructed with high quality materials. We have enjoyed working with Wilcor Homes to make our home uniquely ours.”

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~Sharon + Len, owners of The TAMARACK

Phase 4 Has Launched! 11 New Properties For Sale

Phase 4 has LAUNCHED ~ the final phase of Spring Lake Ranch.

These beautiful properties are located primarily in the upper west section of the community, with several lots backing onto a forested ravine or meadow reserve. Each lot is serviced and ready for building. (And there is still time to break ground on new homes before winter!)

Phase 4 also features Juniper Lane ~ a three-lot section of the community with its own cul-de-sac. The tree views and added privacy are fantastic.

We are now booking private viewings of Phase 4. Tour the lots, learn about your building options at SLR, and find YOUR ideal piece of land.

*Note, residents can custom build with Wilcor Homes OR another builder of your choosing.

To Book Your Tour, contact Sarah Corker at 780.288.9767 or scorker@www.springlakeranch.ca. 

And here is a sneak peek of the lots!

 

Phase 4 properties are 1/2 acre lots, which, as we highlighted in this post, is the ideal size for a balanced lifestyle. With a property under one acre, you can have a beautiful garden, grow your own veggies, and still have plenty of room for a fire pit and hot tub— without having to dedicate all your free time to maintaining your land.

PLUS: you have the privacy of country living while still being part of a community.

Our Residents Say…

“We chose this location because it’s close to towns and cities with all the amenities, but still in a quiet, scenic, rural lakeside setting. The lot sizes are very generous compared to what we had looked at in several cities.

~Sharon + Len, Owners of The Tamarack Bungalow

“We were attracted to the layout of Spring Lake Ranch, abundance of mature trees, lack of highway noise, and close location to amenities. We walk the trails every day and are hearing bird songs that we never heard while living in the city. Loving the loons!”

~Kim + Brian, Residents of Spruce Crescent

“We love the small lake town feel, like a secret little gem.”

~ Shawn + Michelle, Owners of the Jasper Bungalow

For Questions or To Book Your  Phase 4 Tour, contact Sarah Corker at 780.288.9767 or scorker@www.springlakeranch.ca. 

See the Homes around SLR’s Loon Lake! (Video)

Earlier this summer Wilcor Homes designer, Sarah Corker, captured the beauty of the homes surrounding Loon Lake. This is one of the natural water areas in the community, and a great spot to see bird life. Our residents love to sit on their back decks and enjoy the peaceful view.

 

 

Phase 4 at SLR: 15 Gorgeous Properties

When our team began creating the SLR community, we chose to develop it in 4 phases. 

This stunning final phase of Spring Lake Ranch includes 2 quiet cul-de-sacs, Spruce Crescent and Juniper Lane, with gorgeous properties that back onto the treed ravine. Starting at $164,900.

Phase 4 properties are 1/2 acre lots, which, as we highlighted in this post, is the ideal size for a balanced lifestyle. With a property under one acre, you can have a beautiful garden, grow your own veggies, and still have plenty of room for a fire pit and hot tub— without having to dedicate all your free time to maintaining your land.

PLUS: you have the privacy of country living while still being part of a community.

A beautiful Phase 4 property bordering the treed ravine

Some Phase 4 Lots border the Meadow Reserve, a peaceful oasis that’s home to native bird species.

Many Phase 4 properties back onto SLR’s treed Ravine, which features a walking trail and lovely treetop and sky views. A morning stroll here is one of our favourite ways to start the day! (And kids LOVE searching for frogs and other forest creatures.)

This summer, Wilcor Homes began construction on our first Phase 4 home build. This gorgeous home For Sale is an updated design of The TAMARACK, and is located on Lot 33, backing onto the Ravine. This brand-new TAMARACK will be Move-in Ready December 2017!

We’ll be releasing more details on this home soon, but for now you can view the original design here. If you’re interested in viewing or learning more about The TAMARACK prior to its public Open House this fall, contact Sarah Corker at 1.888.867.1055 or scorker@springlakeranch.ca.

We often have visitors to SLR ask about the building options available when they purchase a lot. When you are ready to start the design and build process, you can choose to work with SLR’s premier builder Wilcor Homes, or another builder of your choosing. Homes built at SLR follow our architectural guidelines, which maintains the beauty, quality, and value of the community.

Phase 4 has 15 Lots For Sale, starting at $164,900. 

If you have questions or would like to view Phase 4 properties and have the opportunity to reserve your Lot, contact Sarah Corker. 1.888.867.1055 or scorker@springlakeranch.ca.

We welcome your interest, and look forward to seeing this gorgeous area of SLR become home to more wonderful residents! To keep updated on Phase 4 + other SLR news, subscribe to our newsletter here, follow us on facebook here, and on instagram @springlakeranch.

Check out Phase 4 and the SLR community from above in this amazing aerial video — captured from a helicopter!

See you soon at Spring Lake Ranch…

Save the Date: SLR’s HOME + LOT HOP, Sat, June 10th, 12-4 pm!

Searching for your future home?

Join us on Saturday, June 10th from 12-4 pm for SLR’s HOME + LOT HOP!

* View 4 Beautiful Homes For Sale ~ all by Wilcor Homes

* Tour 7 Lots For Sale…and get a sneak peek of 15 PHASE 4 Lots prior to their public release

* Enjoy refreshments

* Walk the Lake + Ravine Trails ~ a great activity for the whole family!

There is no better opportunity to see first-hand the craftsmanship of our homes and the beauty of the community. If you have ever considered making SLR your future home, this is a MUST-ATTEND event!

(Know someone on the home hunt? We invite you to share these event details!)

Get ready to view these GORGEOUS Homes FOR SALE:

The MEADOWVIEW ~ 5 Bdrm Bungalow

*Open-Plan Living + Dining

*Great Room with 11’ Ceilings + Large Windows
*Gourmet Kitchen + Walk Through Pantry

*Walkout with 3 Bdrms, 1 Bath + Rec Room
*Large Spa-Style Ensuite
*Spacious Main-Floor Laundry
*Abundance of Closets
*Oversized 3-Car Garage
*Wrap Around Covered Deck
*Heated Floors
*Built In Speakers both inside + outside
*Fully Landscaped
*Asphalt Driveway

The TAMARACK ~ 4 Bdrm Bungalow 

*Open concept  kitchen, dining + great room with large windows, fireplace + 11 ft ceilings
*Chef-style kitchen features custom cabinetry, large granite island, tile backsplash + designer lighting
* 2 Bdrms on main floor, 2 Bdrms in Finished Daylight Basement + 3 Bthrms
*Master suite with double sinks, soaker tub + walk in shower with glass door
*Large recreation room, giving you total of *3000 plus sq ft of finished home
*Oversized triple garage
*Stunning curb appeal, with James Hardie exterior siding in Mountain Sage

$629,900

View on MLS here

The TIMBER HAVEN ~ 3 Bdrm Two-Storey Home

  • 2348 Sq. ft Two-Storey with 3 Bdrms, 2.5 Bath + Front Den 
  • Solid Douglas fir Timber Frame with pine ceiling 
  • Gourmet Kitchen with Butler’s Pantry, Travertine Backsplash + Eating Island
  • Spa-style En suite with Clawfoot Tub + Walk-in Glass Shower
  • Dark-Stained Solid Cherry Cabinets
  • Exotic Granite, Wide-Plank Walnut Hardwood + European Tile
  • Glass + Ebony Handrails
  • Electrolux Appliances + Kohler Plumbing Fixtures
  • 3-car Garage + Covered Patio
  • Walkout 

$849,900 

The LAKEWOOD ~ 4 Bdrm Bungalow (Move-in Ready Fall 2017)

*1649 sq. ft. Bungalow with 2 Bdrms on the main floor + 2 more downstairs
*3 Bathrooms
*Daylight Basement with Huge Recreation Room + Bar
*Open-Plan Living + Infinity Dining Room surrounded by windows
*Gourmet Kitchen
*Great Room Features 11’Ceilings, Fireplace + Large Windows overlooking Loon Lake
*Spa-Style En suite
*Main-Floor Laundry + Large Mudroom
*Oversized 3-Car Garage

$679,900

PLUS: View 7 Lots FOR SALE (and Tour Phase 4 ~ 15 Lots Releasing Fall 2017!)

Looking for Land?

SLR’s 1/2 acre-plus properties feature a mix of lake and forest views with plenty of space for gardening, a fire pit, and of course your beautiful custom home! Our residents love having the privacy of country living while still being part of a community.

At the HOME + LOT HOP, you’ll be given a map of the community showing designated Lots For Sale, so you can choose your own adventure! Explore the properties, discover what makes each one unique, and have fun envisioning your future home at SLR. You’ll also have the opportunity to Reserve Your Lot ~ the first exciting step in joining this stunning community.

Lots starting at $149,900.

See you June 10th at the HOME + LOT HOP!

Find directions to Spring Lake Ranch here

The Beauty of the Bungalow

The MEADOWVIEW ~ For Sale

As Wilcor Homes approaches its 10 year anniversary (this summer — stay tuned!), one thing we have been reflecting on is the evolution of our home designs. Creating a community in Alberta with a touch of West Coast flair has been an adventure from the start! We have always incorporated natural elements into our homes like real stone veneer and Douglas Fir timbers, and featured oversized windows and spacious decks to optimize the incredible views.

But another aspect of home design that we truly specialize in is the Bungalow!

Through our years of experience, we have found it to be the most functional and flexible home design for families of all ages and sizes.

The TAMARACK ~ For Sale $629,900

The TAMARACK ~ For Sale $629,900

Many clients with children LOVE their bungalow designs for bringing ease and simplicity to day-to-day living. With the open-concept Kitchen, Great Room and Dining areas, family members can spend time together while still having their own ‘zones’.

The bungalow floor plan’s flow makes conversing while cooking, clearing, and lunch-packing easier. And when your kids are playing outside, you can keep an eye on the backyard through your large windows or from the deck — while enjoying the beautiful views!

Bungalow Great Room with Stone Fireplace, Oversized Window + Lake view

The TAMARACK ~ For Sale $629,900

SLR deck with views of Loon Lake

Alll of SLR’s Bungalows feature either Daylight or Walkout basements with bedrooms and recreational areas — perfect for kids to play in and keeping toys and games corralled. 

The HAWKSWOOD Rec Room

For families without kids, the Bungalow is also appealing for its function and flow. Our mud rooms and laundry rooms have extra square footage, a window when possible, and an oversized closet for the many jackets you need in this four season climate. This space also works well as a “drop” spot for grocery bags when you first step in the door and need to take off shoes or boots before heading to the kitchen!

Most of our bungalows have at least 2 bedrooms on the main floor (with others in the walkout), and many residents choose to use the second room as an office/den or guest room. 

The LAKEWOOD Bungalow Den

Recently, we received feedback from a couple who live with an aging mother as well as their two senior dogs. The ease of bungalow life was a big attraction! When everything you need is on one floor, it’s that much easier to age gracefully. For people searching for their ‘forever home’ a bungalow is an excellent choice.

The Lakewood home, which is under construction on Lot #57, features 36″ wide doors making any mobility challenges more accessible.

Perhaps one of the best aspects of this style of home is how much space it offers without excessive square footage. Even homes under 2000 square feet feel very spacious because of the open layout and strategic design.

The LAKEWOOD Bungalow Great Room with tree views

The WEST VIEW Bungalow Great Room with stone fireplace

We currently have 3 beautiful Bungalows For Sale at Spring Lake Ranch:

The MEADOWVIEW on Lot #19

5 Bdrm Bungalow with Meadow Views ~ 1998 Sq ft

The TAMARACK on Lot #37

 4 Bdrm Bungalow with Tree Views

$629,900

The LAKEWOOD on Lot #57 (Move-in Ready Fall 2017!)

4 Bdrm Bungalow with views of Loon Lake ~1649 sq ft

$679,900

Searching for your future home?

You can view these bungalows by appointment call 780-288-9767 OR at our HOME + LOT HOP on Saturday, June 10th, 12-4 pm!

Check out all the Home + Lot Hop details here and contact us at 1.888.867.1055 or scorker@springlakeranch.ca with any questions.

See you at Spring Lake Ranch!

SLR Designer Sarah Corker ~ On Vision, Inspiration, and What’s Next at Spring Lake Ranch

Can you describe your role at Spring Lake Ranch? What might you be doing on a given work day?

My role with SLR is tremendously varied from sales to marketing to design and everything in between. A typical day includes: Working with our clients and suppliers, so perhaps a meeting at Robinson’s Lighting and Bath to review a lighting package for a home. Receiving an enquiry sales call to set up a tour for one of our homes or lots. Working with my amazing marketing team to develop new content for social media, newsletters, and blogs. Being in touch with our client’s mortgage broker and lawyer to organize the financing for their home. Also, I walk through our builds regularly to see the progress, ensure the proper selections are being made, check paint colours and finishing details, and take photos. 

At night, after my children go to sleep, I work on design and planning. This is when my creative juices flow and I like to dive into new floor plans, colour palettes and lighting inspiration and check in with the various design blogs I follow. This is also when my husband and business partner and I get a chance to talk about the “big picture”, plan our next builds, bounce ideas for events, and actively discuss our dreams.

SLR is known for its natural beauty and gorgeous homes. What’s it like seeing people discover it for the first time?

Often, people will walk into one of our homes and be in awe with the oversized windows, high ceilings and open concept of the heart of the home (kitchen, dining, great room). After lots of questions and the “getting to know you” conversation, there will be a pause and this is when people all of a sudden realize how quiet it is at Spring Lake Ranch. They take in the sounds of the birds in the summer or just the absolute silence in the winter. It’s magic!

The TAMARACK 4 Bdrm Bungalow For Sale – $629,900

The TAMARACK Kitchen

You and the SLR team started creating the community almost a decade ago. What’s the biggest lesson you have learned along the way in bringing this vision to life?

In the early stages of the project when Dad, Rainbow and I had a vision and 66 acres of wide open land, our mantra was UNWAVERING FAITH. Faith that others will find this natural gem on a lake, fall in love and want to call it home. That unique homes will be built. That a community will grow and flourish here.

I have learned that some people, like our earliest residents, can see things before they exist — I call them ‘visionaries’. The rest of us are more tactile, needing to touch, feel and walk through a house in order to understand how it can become a home to raise a family, to rejuvenate in, a home to love in. Now this community is a thriving, special place thanks to all the people who live here, who have chosen Spring Lake Ranch as their home and have seen our vision come to life.

                   Rainbow Williams, Sarah Corker, and Terry Williams

Let’s talk design. Wilcor Homes has always specialized in open floor plans, high ceilings, and natural elements like wood and stone. In what ways has this aesthetic shifted or evolved in the last decade? How do trends shape the way you approach a new build?

We moved here from the West coast, where you see many more two storey homes, whereas here we have the space with our half acre lots to do bungalows. Previously, in my mind bungalows were a home for retirees (my Gran had a charming one in Lloydminster!) but there has been a big shift in the design, making them more open in concept and appealing to all age demographics. We now specialize in bungalow designs and are building them for families of all ages and sizes.

The other big shift in our designs is seen in the more functional parts of the home — the mudroom and laundry room. Alberta mud is a real thing. After one full season here (and getting stuck in the mud many times) we learned the importance of making this space really functional. We now add extra square footage, a window if possible, and an oversized closet for the many jackets you need in this four season climate.

Another area of change has been in our exteriors. We love using Hardie Board siding as it requires no future maintenance, is a fire retardant, and is incredibly durable — important in this climate where a flash hail storm can occur.

We always love incorporating natural elements. Wood and stone give a home a solid, secure feeling of time-honoured design. We use real stone veneer in all of our applications both inside and outside the home and love to highlight the entrance with solid Douglas fir timbers. I would say this has become our trademark on the exterior of many of our homes.

The TAMARACK

The TIMBER HAVEN 3+ Bdrm For Sale – $849,900

You and the Wilcor Homes team have built several custom homes at SLR. There are obviously many design decisions that your clients need to make along the way. How do you help guide people through the process, while keeping true to their vision?

Building a home requires so many decisions as a family, with the building team, and with the product suppliers — all staying within an allocated budget determined by the bank. But mostly it requires vision, like the ability to see how the paint colour will work with the flooring and cabinets and then adding lights to fully showcase the work. 

We allow our clients the freedom to make selections for their home, as it’s our goal to make their vision a reality. We share our expertise throughout the process, meeting regularly to provide design and finishing options, review selections, and pull all the details together.

They say that every time you build, you learn something new. This is where our experience and expertise come in — we understand every aspect of creating a beautiful quality home. Building custom is not for everyone, so we also build Wilcor Homes to completion, using exceptional materials and finishings that are contemporary while still having that timeless appeal. People love this option — it’s essentially falling in love with a showhome and then moving in and making it your own!

The TAMARACK Great Room

What room tends to be the #1 priority for people in ‘getting it right’?

The kitchen. Hands down, this is the heart of the home, where it all happens. We gather here and share food, stories, love, laughter, tears, and conversation. I love to design a kitchen that fully functions with the different work zones incorporated (prepping, cooking, cleaning, conversing) while having stunning aesthetics: cabinets that will look great today as well as in 10+ years, a solid surface countertop, oversized island, and windows — as many and as big as possible. Lighting a kitchen properly is very important. I love island lights on a dimmer, separate pot lights (also on a dimmer), a light over the sink for late night dishes, and under cabinet lights for example. With this variety, you can really change the mood in the room, from being focused on function and being able to see every detail to toning it down and creating a more intimate experience.

The TIMBER HAVEN Kitchen

The TAMARACK Kitchen

When designing a home, what do you look to for ideas and inspiration? How do you make each new build feel fresh and exciting?

Often my inspiration for colour palettes can come from nature. I love to be active outside all year round and I also enjoy taking photos. In doing so, I capture the natural surroundings around me and draw upon the photos to see how all of the colours and textures work together.

White is a constant colour used in the world of design. Right now there is a big trend of white cabinets in the kitchen, lighter wall colours, and even white washed hardwood floors. When I go for a walk on a snowy day, I take in all the many colours of white and grey and then think about how to integrate these colours into our homes. I just completed a home using the Benjamin Moore colour Paper White which has a slight blue tone to it. My favourite trim colour, ironically, is called Snowfall White!

Overall I love a neutral palette with layers of texture where you can add accent colours depending on the time of year through soft finishings such as pillows, flowers, tea towels. ‘Pops of colour’. By keeping your background simple and neutral, you can play with different colours and have fun with them without fully committing to a purple room.

To stay current, I also follow a number of design blogs and have a daily does on Instagram where I get tons of visual inspiration. Desire to Inspire is a Canadian and Australian team that posts endless photos of stunning homes all around the world. In the real of Instagram, I love to follow @robinsonltgbath (our lighting and plumbing supplier) showcasing their products installed in gorgeous homes; @interiordesignmag for awe inspiring photos; @dominomag for really functional style and ideas; and @styleathome, a Canadian resource for fabulous decorating, design, and entertaining ideas. 

What is the most fulfilling part of your work?

It’s the moment when I get to walk our clients through their finished home. The look on their faces, the happy tears. The feeling of completion. The ‘thank you’ hugs.

I have learned something from every family we have worked with. Whether it’s been an improvement in the design (such as adding a pocket door instead of a door with a swing so you can increase the use of space), a new material selection (we recently installed shiplap in a house for the first time), or the integration of materials (stone, new hardwood flooring or mixed metal lights). I love all of of it, as the process pushes me to stay present and to be continually improving. Our relationships with our clients and trades allow us to feel proud about the quality homes we build. We have made some lifelong friends along the way and I feel truly blessed by this.

What is the highlight of SLR for you when it comes to the natural setting? What views or “nature” moments stand out?

Spring. After a long winter of snowballs, skating and bundled-up walks on the trails, hearing the Canadian geese and other birds returning home is one of my favourite sounds. Seeing the first buds on the trees and bulbs sprouting through the soil makes me do a happy dance! My kids plant handfuls of sunflower seeds in our gardens as we love watching the goldfinches they attract in the late summer days. Spring is also the start of lake activities that our whole family enjoys: fishing, paddle boarding, and canoeing.

What’s next at SLR? What projects are in the works?

This is a very exciting year, as we are releasing the final phase of the community which includes two quiet cul-de-sacs, Spruce Crescent and Juniper Lane, with lots backing onto the treed ravine. We have done the development of SLR in phases, and Phase 4 marks completion. In June, we will hold our spring 2017 Home and Lot Hop, at which people can tour Homes and Lots For Sale — including our new Phase 4 properties! We are also holding an Open House for the Tamarack Bungalow on Saturday, April 29th from 12-4 pm.

I get goosebumps thinking about driving through Spring Lake Ranch in 30 years from now, showing our grandchildren all the homes we built, tree we planted, and friends we made. It’s extremely gratifying to see that the unwavering faith we started out with has resulted in such a unique and beautiful community.

Thank you, Sarah!

*Interested in learning more about Spring Lake Ranch homes and properties? Contact Sarah Corker at 1.888.867.1055

 

 

Home Design Trends for 2017

The TAMARACK on Lot 37, West Light. ~ For Sale ~

As our Design Team heads into a brand new season, we are taking stock of all the gorgeous colour palettes and design trends on offer right now! Here, we share a glimpse of our favourites with you…

First up: the latest exterior colours from James Hardie, our go-to source for beautiful, durable siding. Wilcor Homes is proud to showcase James Hardie siding on so many homes at SLR — it not only looks stunning, but it increases the value of our resident’s homes. The paint is actually baked into the siding board, which creates maximum durability and resistance to prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures as well as Alberta’s higher UV.

James Hardie has always had a phenomenal range of colour choices, but we are especially impressed by their latest offerings.

Here, we used Rich Espresso on The TAMARACK on Lot 39, Pelican Corner.

On this custom build on Lot 42, Raven Way, Wilcor featured Aged Pewter for the siding and Iron Gray for the trim. The gray-on-gray is so elegant! This combination is a trend that we feel will be timeless.

After all, it’s inspired by nature…

While these shades are from James Hardie’s latest collection, we also wanted to share a favourite from another palette: Mountain Sage.

We chose this colour for The TAMARACK (For Sale!) on Lot 37, WEST LIGHT. We knew it would do an amazing job of accenting this property’s surrounding mature trees.

See more details and photos of The TAMARACK on MLS here.

In other design trends, let’s talk FLOORING! The look favoured by many homebuyers these days is lighter than in years’ past, and we are embracing it. 

Light oak floors are really popular, and we’re also seeing a whitewash stain being applied to flooring, which gives it a “Cape Cod” look.

What do you think? Are you a fan of the light flooring trend? It gives homes a more open, airy feel, which pairs beautifully with the oversize windows of many SLR designs. We will always love our classic darker flooring and continue to have it as an option for your custom build, but we are having fun experimenting with the lighter look as well! As always, it really comes down to personal taste. That’s what’s so fantastic about custom design — anything is possible.

Lastly, we are excited to share some LIGHTING wisdom from lighting designer Rebecca Walker. Rebecca is a lighting expert at B.A. Robinson’s Lighting and Bath, and took the time for a Q + A with SLR.

1. What is the most exciting trend you are seeing in lighting for Spring 2017?

We are seeing a lot of oversized fixtures and geometric shapes. I also notice creative and sculpturally innovative LED fixtures offering ample lumination in a less intrusive profile. In finishes, we are still seeing mixed metals, golds and brass along with blacks and graphites.

2. What advice can you share with people who want to embrace current trends but also want their home to look great in 2, 5, 10 years from now?

There is nothing wrong with embracing trends as long as they as easy on your time and wallet to change. Changing hardware and lighting fixtures is simple enough to switch and can have the biggest impact in a room.

When it comes to finishes though, beware. Some finishes can quickly go out of style so watch how much you are investing. Rose gold and yellow golds, both characteristically reminiscent of shiny brass, are a great examples of this. All are reflective and mirror-like and we are already seeing less of them. 

So it it worth investing in them throughout your home? Probably not, but if you really have to have the look, touches can be added in other way like ceramic vases, metallic fabrics on throw pillows or DIY art work and picture frames. Some finishes are sticking around though. Warm, antiqued golds and brass seem to be here to stay for while so don’t be afraid to introduce them into your home.

Thank you, Rebecca!

The SLR team is always excited to talk design, so if you are interested in building at Spring Lake Ranch and want to discuss options, we invite you to book a complimentary consultation!

Call Sarah Corker at 780.288.9767 to book your design consultation. Learn more about building at SLR with Wilcor Homes here.