When a designer and builder find themselves working with a homeowner that not only knows what he wants but is also savvy in the world of new construction, it is a recipe for a successful project. This was the case for Parker, Colo.-based Invision Homes and Centennial, Colo.-based Phoenix Design Group with a homeowner who was also an employee for Invision Homes.
“In some cases you can design a home without a lot of client input, but because the homeowner is associated with the building industry, his exposure to design was a plus,” says Steven Cole, president, Phoenix Design Group. “Because of their specific requirements, it was imperative that I work with them closely to make sure the concepts they were trying to achieve were in the plan for the house.”
The house features both European and Old World styles. “It has a European flair with Colorado style,” says Michael New, president, Invision Homes. European elements were added to a Colorado style to make it mesh with the neighborhood in which it resides.
Cole explains the two reasons why this house fits so well in its neighborhood. “There are other Old World-style homes in the neighborhood. And secondly, the Old World style is inherently associated with rural living. In this case, rural living is a description of the environment where this house sits,” he says.
The lot the house is located on created a challenge because of how narrow it is. It also includes a large-grade differential that challenged both Invision and Phoenix. “It has a 16-ft. grade differential from front to back. We had to design the house to fit on the property with not too steep of a driveway,” New says.
The house originally was intended for other property. A few modifications were required to make the house work on this lot. “We turned the house 90 degrees from how it would have been on a different site. Originally it was designed with a full basement, and we changed it to a walk-out so it doesn’t feel like a basement,” New adds.
A Homeowner with Expertise
The homeowners are closely involved in the new construction world and therefore requested specific characteristics be included in their home’s design. They wanted a circular front entry, a staircase that offers landings with additional living areas, and room for a five-car garage.
“The clients went through many homes before they started this project and they took the best ideas from those other homes,” New says.
One of the home’s two staircases is in the front entry area. “It’s a curved, circular staircase and it comes out at you as you walk in the front door. We took exterior stone and incorporated it in the staircase area. We brought the outside in,” New says.
The second stairway will be used most often because it’s most centrally located in the house, New adds. “It is three stories and floating with landings in between. The landings have been incorporated into the living areas yet are part of the stairways,” he says.
One landing is a library and the other is a wine tasting area. “There is a transitional passageway that goes from the dining room and living room back to the family areas. This is where the split-level up and split-level down [stairway] occurs. It’s not just a hallway but rather a dynamic space that is not only usable but also unique,” Cole says.
“The owners had a desire for design elements that presented certain challenges in the floor plan like the split-level wine tasting room and split-level library that is not necessarily the norm in residential design. It actually enhances the architecture and livability of the space,” he adds.
Ceiling treatments throughout the house are unique. The front entryway has a double circle coffer with faux finishes and different colored lighting. The ceilings in the rest of the house have different heights, vaults and coffers for added appeal. “This gives each space a unique character of its own as well as a sense of space and openness,” Cole says.