Rarely are the elements of art, architecture, and interior design so masterfully blended as in this renovated Boulder home, a direct reflection of the cohesive way the design team came together and interacted from the outset. All decisions were considered from the multiple perspectives of architects, interior designers, and homeowners. The result is a perfectly melded and intertwining flow of space and design, with every aspect custom tailored to the artful taste and lifestyle of the homeowners.
Set on a pine-studded hill overlooking a lake, and with views of the Flatiron Mountains, it was the spectacular site that sold the house; the 1970s structure itself could not have been more uninspiring. Not only was the house dated, but later additions proved awkward and lacked a sense of flow. The new owners had second thoughts about their purchase and even considered reselling, but the site kept drawing them back until they decided to remodel and move in.
The couple hired interior designer Annette Stelmack, who helped them realize it would take a clean slate to create the sophisticated, contemporary house they desired—anything less would be painting over the problems. Stelmack and her colleague Angie Pache brought in architects Hans Berglund and Doug Graybeal, with whom they had a long working relationship. “Designers and architects don’t usually work as closely together as we did on this project,” Berglund says. “All the key players were there from conception, creating a design synergy and shared vision.”
As project manager, Stelmack began the collaboration with an intense two-day work session to focus on solutions, sketch ideas, and make decisions. “Our major goal was to unify the floor plan of the home,” Stelmack says. “The meeting was the launching pad for the design process.”
The site and views drove the design, which involved gutting the interiors, replacing two staircases with one central staircase, reconfiguring rooms, and opening the long, southern expanse of the house to the views. “It was a bit of a puzzle to take apart and put back together so it looked like the house was designed from scratch,” Graybeal says.
Having both the time and interest, the homeowners were intricately involved in the process. They brought to the table a creative vision for a contemporary home that embraces warmth and nature, along with their strong passion for art. As the owners commissioned art pieces to showcase in their home, the designers and architects worked together to ensure the home itself was a work of art.
Form blends with function in a most sculptural, dramatic manner in this house. Guests enter through a pivoting
7-foot-wide glass and metal front door and are guided gently into the house by a curved wood sculpture that serves as the powder room wall. A floating, cantilevered staircase—an exquisite piece
of sculpture in steel, wood, and glass—is the key to the improved floor plan. “It creates the heart of the home. All the
living areas work off this central point,” Stelmack says. Designed by the architects, the staircase was crafted by artist Wayne Brungard of Longmont and Lakewood glass designer J. Gorsuch Collins, two of the outstanding local
artisans brought in on the project. “We worked with many amazing local artists who created unique pieces—a mesquite wood countertop, custom cabinetry, stainless steel architectural accents. The clients were intrigued. They loved the craft of it,” Pache explains.
The palette of colors and materials has a sophisticated yet organic natural beauty, with a commitment to environmentally friendly materials. Integral plaster in a sandy taupe hue wraps the walls in a smooth finish, inviting to the touch. Underfoot, luminous limestone tile floors complement the walls in color and texture. A rich array of renewable woods (beech, sycamore, maple, bamboo, and myrtle) offers warm, natural tones and intriguing patterns that balance sleek glass and stainless steel surfaces.
Built-in furnishings are integrated into the architecture: custom entertainment units, wood columns and cabinetry, art niches, a stainless steel bar, and sculptural fireplace surrounds. Their clean, contemporary lines are repeated
in the furniture—extra-long sofas and oversized coffee tables customized to fit the spaces and proportions of the 8,000-square-foot house.
Highly textural fabrics such as chenille, butter-soft leather and suede, and lush wool and silk carpets were chosen for their soft appeal and subtle interest. “We used a lot of natural earth tones and popped it with color in the accessories and art,” Pache says.
The finished home is a highly personal reflection of the homeowners and a tribute to the skills of the design team. “The house has an interesting aura: comfortable and casually elegant with very sophisticated finishes and architecture,” Berglund says. “You don’t expect the two to coexist.”