She was in the fashion industry, and working with concrete was more his thing. But together, something was starting: A couple decades, a cross-country move, two kids and countless renovation projects later, Denise and Chris Krahn are still collaborating – and that’s been key to the success of Westside Curb Appeal Inc., Peachland’s best-known residential and commercial design / build renovation company.
“It’s a husband and wife team, so we live together, and we work together,” says Denise.
“I would say 80% of our business is here in Peachland – we’ve been super blessed.”
Denise is originally from Winnipeg, and Chris hails from Niverville, a small town outside the city.
“When we moved to Peachland, Chris started doing renos and I started putting my two bits in – ‘why are you letting them use that tile, why that paint colour,’ – so I slowly butted into the jobs and now I’m doing full-on design.”
Chris “does everything else,” Denise says with a laugh. He’s answering the calls, ordering materials and organizing trades, while she works with clients from the start, helping form their vision of how they want their home to be.
It’s been more than 13 years since the Krahns started Westside Curb Appeal Inc. – A company that’s received its share of Peachland business awards, along with magazine features and even, an appearance in Love, Bubbles and Crystal Cove, a movie filmed in part, at their Peachland home a couple years ago.
“We’ve stayed true to who we are over the years, and I think that’s why we’ve been able to do most of our business here in Peachland,” says Denise.
And while the pergola on their business card is a nod to their start in specializing in outside features like decks (they’re an authorized Tufdek Dealer), they do everything from bathrooms and kitchens, to full home renos and commercial projects. Their latest venture, a simple, yet sophisticated furnished rental property, sits just 100ft from Okanagan Lake.
“This was a passion project, if you want to call it,” says Denise of the 966 sq.-ft., two bedroom, two-bath property (complete with a sunny turfed side yard and barbecue area).
It’s called 5944 Extension (because it’s just down from the Krahn’s main home.) No expense was spared – and once you step inside, its understated luxury is apparent. Clean white walls are accented with fluted panels, natural elements and custom oak cabinetry (which was completed in-house.)
“I actually picked this light fixture before I designed anything in here,” says Denise, pointing to the raw brass Regina Andrew Detroit sputnik-inspired light that illuminates the kitchen’s honed white arched island.
Arches, in fact are used throughout the space to help showcase the main draw – the view (and by the way, it’s super-quiet inside, thanks to the all-concrete construction)
One design challenge, says Denise, was to simplify the main hallway of the home – a space that leads to the bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as the laundry nook and electrical panel.
“There were too many doors in this hallway, so we created some custom panels – it’s something we’ll never do again (it was a painstaking process, using a CNC machine and then piecing everything together by hand) – but it hides the laundry door and the electrical panel.”
The second bedroom was treated to the same panelling, while the primary bedroom is inspired by Chris and Denise’s daughter, who recently travelled throughout Asia. Everything you need is in one place – from a desk and chair facing the yard, to functional yet decorative features like custom oak hooks. There’s also thoughtful storage areas and nice, soft lighting.
“I’m all about the details,” says Denise.
“Everything is custom. We did the concealed toilets, the custom black shower finishes…and it’s fully furnished, so you just need to pack your stuff – it has absolutely everything you need.”
And with black-frame picture windows facing the lake, 5944 Extension certainly accomplishes that coveted Okanagan Lake view.
“We didn’t want to take away from the lake,” says Denise.
The options are open for 5944 Extension – it can be rented long-term, as a holiday rental, a place for their renovation clients – or maybe one day, as the Krahn’s main residence (their kids are now grown and gone).
There’s always something ahead, Denise says.
“Chris and I cannot sit still. We’re go-getters, there’s always something, there’s always opportunities. In this industry, it’s always ‘OK, what’s next.’”
One thing that hasn’t changed is the Krahn’s commitment to Peachland. Thanks to their annual Christmas food drive, they’ve managed to contribute over $30,000 over the years. The tradition has evolved from gathering grocery donations with their young kids, to hosting an annual party for clients, who are asked to bring a food bank donation. Westside Curb Appeal Inc. matches those donations, and then Chris, Denise and their staff go shopping.
“We have always loved Peachland,” she says.
And after all these years, she and Chris still love working together.
“The market has gone up and down, and people in our industry have come and gone,” she says.
“But we’ve been able to stay, I think because we bring ourselves back to why we are doing this, and who we are doing this for.
We do this because we enjoy being creative. And we just love the relationships we’ve built with all our clients.”
Westside Curb Appeal Inc.
To enquire about 5944 Extension rental opportunities call (250) 215-3521