Sweet & Simple
An 1880s Breckenridge cottage—once a church parsonage—is updated to accommodate a modern family’s lifestyle while preserving its vintage details
To expand a modest “shotgun house” in the heart of Breckenridge’s historic district, architect Janet Sutterley knew she’d have to dig deep—in this case, literally.
“I love the scale of the smaller homes in the district,” says Sutterley, who has lived and worked in the mountain resort town for three decades. “At the same time, people realistically just need more space these days. Fortunately, the town offers an incentive to homeowners willing to go to the expense of restoring a historic property—you’re allowed to pick up your house and put a full basement foundation under it.”
For prospective homeowners Bruce and Allison Dodge, Sutterley’s experience with town planners gave them the confidence to buy the tiny, storied cottage—just one block from downtown—as a family retreat. “We knew Janet could come up with the right plan in keeping with the home’s historical designation,” Allison says.
Delineating the original house’s roofline, a triangle of dark wood gabling includes the former attic door that was discovered when the old drop ceiling was removed. A handsome oak door with a stained glass window provides a secondary entrance. “It was there when they bought the house, but probably isn’t original,” says architect Janet Sutterley. The coffee
table is an antique and the art over the fireplace is Don Quade’s Lantern Canyon from Walker Fine Art.
Illuminated by a tiny diamond window, a bump-out, which Sutterley considers “an historic addition” to the original house, was fitted with built-in storage and bench seating. The green trunk, coffee table and wicker chair are antiques, and the rug is from Shaver-Ramsey. At the homeowners’ request, Sutterley moved the kitchen to the front of the house. “It’s a break from the traditional floorplan of walking into the living room, but it fits the family’s lifestyle,” she says.
A simple, modern IKEA kitchen creates a quiet backdrop for collected vintage furnishings. Sutterley vaulted the historic Breckenridge home’s drop ceiling and added foam insulation; authentic tie rods provide additional structural support. To match the home’s distinctive white 19th-century plank paneling, building crews salvaged old boards from the attic demolition, blended them with new wood, and painted walls throughout the main level with Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. The rugs are from Shaver-Ramsey.
Sleek white IKEA Abstrakt cabinets provide storage, and open shelves display a collection of vintage bowls and dishes. Colorado Custom Stainless crafted the counters, and the kitchen faucet is from Blanco’s Kontrole Series. The trio of swing-arm sconces overhead is from Renovation Lighting.
Dodge suggested the sliding barn door, a design solution that maximized space and created unobstructed access from the hall to the new master bedroom. The bed and duvet cover are from IKEA, and the gothic mirror and table are antiques.
Sutterley relocated the shed and connected it to the house to create space for a new guest bedroom. A vintage iron and brass bed—which came with the house—is topped with pristine white linens from Restoration Hardware. Buhl sewed the café curtains from a pair of extra pillowcases, and the curvy overhead chandelier is from Fusion Lighting. On the wall, Penumbra, by Robin Cole Smith, is from Walker Fine Art.
Dark wood adds a rustic aesthetic to a new guest bathroom, which features a tiled shower and Duravit sink fitted with Stratford by Watermark fixtures in Rustica Brass. The light fixture is a Boat Dock Vapor Jar Sconce by Hi-Lite.
Janet Sutterley, J.L. Sutterley Architect
Greg Decker, Decker Custom Homes
Kitchen table from Colorado Antique Gallery, coloradoantiquegallery.com; Ivanhoe Sky Chief Warehouse Porcelain Pendant from Barn Light Electric, barnlightelectric.com; Retropolitan refrigerator from Big Chill, bigchill.com; White Abstrakt cabinetry from IKEA; countertop from Colorado Custom Stainless, colocustomstainless.com; Reed Articulated Sconces from Rejuvenation, rejuvenation.com; Quorum chandelier from Fusion Lighting, fusionlightinganddesign.com; Duravit wash basin and Stratford by Watermark fixtures from Do-It-Ur-Self Plumbing, doiturselfplumbing.net; Hi Lite Boat Dock Vapor Jar light from Fusion Lighting, fusionlightinganddesign.com.