Home Is Where The Heart Is

Getting the most out of your home with Fänas Architecture

The greenest home is the existing home. While the architects at Fänas Architecture love working with clients on new homes as well, this is a founding precept. It is a quality that Dolf & Sue Kahl, the King Street homeowners, appreciated when hiring Fänas' Elizabeth & Dale Smith to help with their relocating back to Boulder.

Fänas (a Gaelic term with the duel meaning of “space” & “opportunity”) worked with the Kahl’s & their realtor in finding an existing home whose location, zoning requirements, and ‘bones’ leant itself to the Kahl’s desires. They ultimately landed on the 1973, 1,500 SF King Street ranch home in an optimal location, but with a dated interior and exterior aesthetic.

In hopes of creating a seamless flow from indoor to outdoor living, the design team prioritized maintaining the original character of the home while simultaneously modernizing the aesthetic and opening up the compartmentalized floorplan. This included removing and relocating the majority of the interior walls, carving out portions of the existing eight-foot ceiling to create a new spacious vaulted ceiling in the living room, adding a new large operable window wall to capture the views of the Flatirons, as well as to access a new open-air patio. Fänas also decreased the size of the original living room, allowing for the addition of a new master bathroom and increased master closet. 

The original fireplace was replaced with a free-standing gas fireplace that not only separates and defines the living room but is also the focal point within the space. All new finishes, fixtures, and lighting complete the interior transformation of the home.

The exterior of the home was dated and the brick required reinforcement and repointing in many areas, which added to the decision to paint the entire exterior of the home. This, along with all-new black framed windows and new black roof shingles, results in a design that is clean, simple and timeless.

As a founding member of the Boulder Green Building Guild (, Fänas Architecture focuses on energy-efficient solutions for every project, providing guidance and recommendations for each specific client. Significant energy upgrades and improvements are required by the City of Boulder and incorporated into the remodeling of each home. Having designed their first “sustainable” home in 1995, Fänas works with clients to identify, as a budgetary function, which energy alternatives best suit clients and their home.

Dale frequently tells clients “with building, we’ve all heard the negative stories. Building or remodeling your home should be fun, exciting, romantic.”

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