Building materials are consistent throughout the house to maintain its Old World appeal. “We use all alder for interior trim, and the same stone and stucco [outside and inside]. We tried to stay with a common theme throughout the interior and exterior of the house — it has appeal inside and outside,” New says. All stone in this project was manufactured due to the high cost of natural stone in this area, New says.
The homeowners wanted a home that was deeper than it is wider in terms of front-to-back dimensions, Cole adds. “That style of home fit the character of the lot itself and also enabled us to do things such as a motor court,” he says. Motor courts are popular in this area of Colorado because of the ability to hide garages from the street.
The homeowners wanted to house five cars, so the motor court helped mitigate the design challenge of creating a front elevation that is nothing but garage doors. “You drive through a porte-cochere into an area that is actually screened by the garages themselves so what you see from the street looks like the main body of the house rather than a garage,” Cole says.
The porte-cochere adds to the ambiance of the home’s exterior. “Because with the porte-cochere you don’t see garage doors, it looks very peaceful and inviting,” New says. “In the front of the house there is a fountain that frames the front door as you come up to the house. It’s tranquil. It’s also very peaceful in its surroundings.”
The lot’s grade differential offered landscaping opportunities. “The site has a lot of terrain and fall to it, and that gave the homeowners a marvelous opportunity to exploit the terrain and develop a fountain and garden path-type entry. There was a lot of character to work with,” Cole says.
Tranquility is as much a part of the back of the house as it is the front. “The rear of the house becomes the outdoor counterpart to indoor living space. We went to great pains to open up the home as much as possible for free-flowing movement and allowing the outdoor climate to penetrate the house,” Cole adds. “They [the homeowners] have an outdoor fire pit that is a congregating place as weather begins to cool off.
It’s one feature that is very appealing. It’s much a part of Colorado thinking.”
The style is carried throughout the house consistently; however, the front turret is one area with the strongest Old World and European appeal. “First impressions are important. The entry turret establishes the style of the house and the feeling of the home outside as well as inside,” Cole says. He adds that the homeowner did a great job of selecting home furnishings that carry the theme established by the architecture.
Recipe for Success
Designer and builder worked very closely with the home-owner from beginning to end. Invision Homes has a four-page checklist of design requirements that need to be on the plan before building the house. “We make sure the client’s vision and our vision are aligned. This helps us address problems before they arise,” New says. “The homeowner made all the selections but we guided them along the way. We are available to our clients 24/7, and if there’s something that doesn’t look right to them, we address it right away.”
Not only is New proud of this project but is also proud of the fact it won a Colorado Bar Award. “The Bar Award in Colorado home building is just like getting an Oscar,” he adds. “And it’s judged by our peers.”
Cole is proud because the homeowners love their home, enjoy living in it and it suits their needs. “Architects shouldn’t be designing monuments to themselves but rather designing homes that meet the needs of the client as well as contributing something from a design aesthetic,” Cole says.
New and Cole agree the reason for this project’s success is the clients. “The success of the project was due in large part to the homeowners being able to verbalize what they were trying to achieve in terms of appearance as well as floor plan. They were both very articulate about their desires and that is a tremendous help,” Cole says.
New adds that having a good team is also an ingredient for success. “The success was having good clients who knew and focused on what they wanted. It was also having a good design/build team, our trade partners and everybody that worked on the project,” New says. “It is having a good schedule in place — being hands-on is what we do.”