- Project Name
- Cherry Hills Residence
- Architectural Workshop
- Project Types
- Custom Home
- Project Scope
- 7,660 sq. feet
- Year Completed
C4 Build, Builder
Duet Design Group, Interior Designer
- Project Status
2018 Remodeling Design Awards
Whole-House Remodeling Over $500,000: Project of the Year
When you listen to a great jazz quartet, note how the musicians are as good at listening and responding to each other as they are at playing. That’s just as true of a major remodeling project like this one at Denver’s Cherry Hills Village, where architect Brett Linscott, builder Wade Cumming, interior designer Devon Tobin, and the home’s owners worked in concert to transform a downtrodden Cape Cod into the 2018 Remodeling Design Awards Project of the Year.
The key to the $1.5 million, 18-month, 7,660-square-foot-project was “keeping the stream of communication going,” Linscott says. That meant two things: Nobody was surprised by what was going on, and when people made suggestions, the others listened and responded.
Communication also mattered because Linscott, associate principal at Denver-based Architectural Workshop, was given wide latitude for the project by the home’s new owners. Their chief wants were mainly don’t-wants: “They were focused on not looking like other things,” Linscott says. “They came not wanting a large estate or mansion-like character.” About the only things they did request were a fresh look, a more open interior space, and a willingness to use modern materials.
“It was something that was undefined,” Linscott says. “We had fun with that.”
The home occupies a two-acre triangular lot in Cherry Hills Village, an old country club community southeast of Denver. While the house wasn’t subject to any homeowner association restrictions, Linscott & Co. sought a style that respected the area but had what he calls “a refined, rural vernacular.”
Outside, that rural feel was accomplished in part by installing a metal roof, board-and-batten siding, and, as an accent, weathered wood siding. But the overall effect is lighter because the existing brick on the home was painted white and lighter colors were used for the siding.
Inside, the first floor already was an open plan, but the Cape Cod style limited the rooms vertically. The team took care of that by removing and replacing the second floor. This helped make possible an even more open floor plan at ground level and a second level that could accommodate laundry facilities, guest bedrooms, and an expansive master bedroom layout with a covered deck on the upstairs floor over the garage. Throughout the home, new, larger windows brought in abundant light.
The give-and-take that characterizes the project shows up in small and big ways. The master bedroom’s windows are farther apart than first planned because the team noticed that the couple’s bed wouldn’t fit in the space between. Likewise, a wall downstairs was extended two feet to accommodate a particular couch.
Linscott responded to the owner’s requests even on ideas he had settled into for months. For instance, the library originally was a two-story space with a mezzanine, but the owner “thought it was a little too grand for his comfort,” Linscott says. “So I went back on that. In the end, I respect him stepping out and saying that didn’t feel right. And looking back, I think the proportions were better for it. Sometimes we designers have tunnel vision after a decision is made. The challenge is to be a good listener and take in that [differing] perspective.”
It’s a similar story with the stairs in the central hall. Originally, they were to run straight, and much of the time spent planning them was given to issues like how thin the spindles could be and how the steel treads would be covered by wood.
“When the owner saw this, he was uncomfortable with having to come out of the living area, turn a corner, and go up the stairs,” Linscott says. So now the stairs swing slightly as they reach the first floor.
Cumming, owner of C4 Construction in nearby Littleton, Colo., says creating that curve turned out to be one of the toughest jobs in the whole house. “You know that old adage, ‘measure twice, cut once?’” he asks. “We probably mocked it up four different times. We wanted the client to understand how it was going to be. And we tweaked it each time.”
Cumming agrees that working in concert is vital. Architects and interior designers “don’t want to step on our toes and tell us what to construct,” he says. “But there’s a certain purpose or reason behind what they did. If you have trouble taking their vision into reality, that’s when you need to move in a time-sensitive manner.”
FROM THE FIRM:
The existing main floor layout was compatible with the client’s desire for an open floor plan. A new second floor layout provided the freedom necessary to create new bedroom spaces, functional and central laundry, along with a stunning new master bedroom layout that includes a covered deck over the existing garage. As the existing home was showing its age, the dark and dreary exterior was clearly in need of a refresh. Removing and replacing the second floor was paramount in creating a more stately, upright façade. This also created the opportunity to raise the second floor, providing high ceilings throughout the main level. This offered relief from the original layout and added a more comfortable proportion to the open floor plan.
The design team focused on balancing the old country club estate aesthetic with a move toward a refined, rural vernacular. Many new, larger windows were strategically located to allow more light throughout the home. The thin, dark aluminum frames give way to spacious openings, bringing a welcomed transparency to the exterior. Board and batten siding provide warmth and nostalgia. Reclaimed horizontal boards were utilized sparingly to offer not only contrast, but a historical nod to the rural surroundings. Heavy, stacked timber stairs with leather tread inlays anchor your arrival at the entry. The railing system is comprised of delicate metal spindles, transparent enough not to impede the dramatic view into the living space. Raw, brushed metal finishes are fashioned throughout the interior with glimpses of concrete surfaces from the open kitchen. Two islands were positioned ninety degrees from the back wall to frame the food preparation functionality desired by the food loving clients. This exposed layout interfaces not only the dining room, but also the family room and breakfast nook, resulting in a full 180-degree exposure to its surroundings. Two huge fifteen-foot sliding openings flow into a covered patio beyond which enlarges the living spaces even more.