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Mountain Canvas

How Form, Function and Flawless Style Combined in the Creation of a Foothills Home

Creativity often thrives within constraints—solving problems according to a defined structure or set of rules. The proverbial blank slate can actually create more of a challenge when it comes to inventiveness and design. Yet for one new build in Boulder’s foothills, the teams at Cottonwood Custom Builders and HMH Architecture + Interiors achieved the creation of a home that is a testament to inviting modernity and indoor/outdoor living while also serving as a true reflection of the homeowners’ vision and lifestyle.

“Building a new home was actually not the homeowners’ original intent,” says Cherie Goff, principal at HMH Architecture + Interiors. “They took a leap of faith with this property with the hope of creating a warm, modern home where they could relax, recharge and connect to nature.”

Overcoming the unique challenges that often arise in new construction in the Boulder area, the Cottonwood and HMH teams collaborated extensively with the homeowners to help hone their own unique brand of modern style—one that embraces warmth and nature and prioritizes livability over ultra-modernity. 

“We strive to achieve our clients’ aesthetic visions,” says Lea Ertz, project manager with Cottonwood Custom Builders. “We take great pride in recommending methods that consider material properties and intersections that beautifully stand the test of time, and this home is an outstanding example of fully bringing in the natural world.”

The result is a thoroughly welcoming, luxurious modern home meticulously designed and executed at every level. Zoom in to see the impeccable craftsmanship of its many custom, handmade elements, from the cast concrete fireplace hearth and vanity countertops by Gerhard Oehrlich of Concrete Design to the immaculate cabinetry by Aspen Leaf Kitchens. Zoom out to bask in the resplendence of the natural materials that permeate throughout and to appreciate the seamless integration of the outdoors within. 

“Scale was really important for this project,” Goff says. “Nothing is over-scaled. The rooms are right-sized, are very comfortable to be in and are truly optimized to the lifestyle of the homeowners.” 

The main living, kitchen and dining area is a sterling example of this practice in achieving volume not through unnecessary space, but through connections to the outdoors. Designed with an open floorplan with the kitchen centrally located, the space features a clear vertical grain cedar ceiling that extends from the inside out to the covered patio. Similarly, the dry stacked Telluride White Buff Sandstone wall that encircles the exterior flows inside across the fireplace and along the adjacent staircase wall. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows and sliding doors allow for spectacular, unencumbered Flatirons views.

Meanwhile, a small, hidden office nook is tucked behind the bookcase—a private space purposefully designed with approachability and everyday functionality in mind. This continuous balance of open airiness and cozy comfort serves as a theme throughout the home.

“This home is clean, bright and modern while still feeling warm and comfortable,” Goff says. “It feels really good to be in the space.”

Materials Mastery

Inviting the outdoors in. Contrasting the bright modern palette. Adding history and flair. The multitude of materials utilized throughout the home play a major role in achieving its natural modernity and warmth.

  • Clear Vertical Grain (CVG) Cedar Ceilings, Soffits and Walls

  • Telluride White Buff Sandstone Exterior, Fireplace and Staircase Wall

  • Cast Concrete Fireplace Hearth and Vanity Countertop

  • Staircase Steel Monorail Stringer with Solid Oak Floating Block Treads

  • White Oak Flooring

  • Single Slab of Taj Mahal Stone Quartzite Kitchen Island

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