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Fanas Architecture

More Than Just Curb Appeal

Article by Elizabeth Dale

Photography by Amanda Proudfit

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

Nestled in a quiet cul-de-sac and only steps from hiking trails and CU, it was the location that attracted the owner to this 1963-bedroom, 2-bath, one-story home in the Lower Chautauqua area of Boulder. 

The simple single-story ranch home, like so many Boulder homes, had good bones but was in need of an exterior facelift, more space and some site redesign to gain as much useable outdoor space for the occupants as possible. Acknowledging the desirable neighborhood and focusing on the potential of this home, Fanas Architecture worked with the homeowners to transform this outdated home into an efficient, updated little gem.

The existing asphalt circle driveway consumed the front yard.  By relocating the garage doors from the south to the west wall of the garage, the driveway was able to be redesigned as a straight shot off of the cul-de-sac. This not only opened up the majority of the front yard for landscaping but provided separation of vehicular and pedestrian circulation at the front of the house. The existing front entry of the home was also relocated resulting in an elegant entry foyer with the previous entry area being converted into a dedicated laundry room. New fencing and landscaping complete the transformation and provide an updated and appropriate canvas for the home.

The updates to the garage required rebuilding its roof which was extended east to cover the new study and bathroom. This new space looks out onto the updated outdoor living area at the rear of the house and is accessed off of a short hallway connecting the front entry, garage and kitchen. The outdoor living space includes a fireplace and built-in grill and sits directly adjacent to the kitchen. In order to create a seamless indoor/outdoor transition, the north wall of the kitchen was opened up and large glass sliding doors were added. 

The existing living room was spacious but felt dark and did not take advantage of the potential views to the west. Fanas proposed removing the existing small bay window located on the west wall and reframing the wall and roof to create a large dormer and new large windows facing the Flatirons. This modification transformed the space into a light and airy focal point of the home.

The existing exterior of the home felt almost Scandinavian with a small gabled entry element sporting carved trim, low pitched gable roof at the garage and the tacked-on living room bay window. The existing siding was in need of repair and painted a dark green which added to the dated aesthetic. Brick was added to the updated garage façade to complement existing brick on the home and the existing brick required patching in many areas which confirmed the decision to paint the entire exterior of the home white. A new entry element was added and this, along with all-new black-framed windows, new black metal facia on the new roofs and new black roof shingles results in an end product that is clean, simple and timeless.

With Dale being a founding member of the Colorado Green Building Guild and both Dale and Elizabeth having served on the CGBG Board of Directors, Fanas Architecture focuses on energy-efficient solutions for every project, providing guidance and recommendations for each specific client. Significant energy upgrades and improvements were required by the city of Boulder and incorporated into the remodeling of the home.  

Fanas Architecture has noticed that full remodel projects as opposed to complete rebuilds have become a trend for many homeowners in Boulder. Dale and Elizabeth Smith, encourage this approach if at all feasible. Having met while in school at CU in the late 1980s, Dale and Elizabeth have watched Boulder neighborhoods develop, evolve and in some instances, lose much of their original character which is unfortunate. Not only will a full remodel provide the best "bang for the buck" for the homeowner in terms of costs, but these projects help maintain the original aesthetic of unique Boulder neighborhoods.  

The Gaelic name, “Fanas” has a dual meaning of space and opportunity.  Fanas truly believes that every space is full of opportunity. Fanas works with clients in evaluating their property, analyzing their goals and developing unique, aesthetic solutions in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Every project is unique and the key to a successful project is understanding the specific needs of each client and translating these into a design that works for them.  

General Contractor: Mitchell Construction