A Historic Tudor Farmhouse With Epic Beauty
A Cherry Hills Village home receives a remodel in lieu of a scrape, and the results are awe-inspiring
Sometimes, sentimentality gets the better of us. For a husband and wife in Cherry Hills Village, the decision to remodel instead of scrape came down to sheer emotion. Since 2006, the couple had worked on multiple plans to demolish their house and rebuild, but a decade into the process they pivoted toward renovation instead.
The husband had cherished memories as a child visiting the home with his now-deceased father for business meetings; when he was finally able to purchase the house as an adult, the couple raised their three children there and treasured those precious moments as well. It was an arduous but relatively easy decision in the end.
With the help of KGA Studio Architects senior partner Paul Mahony, who had been working with the couple for more than a decade, a final plan materialized in 2017 that made sense both logistically and emotionally.
The 10-plus renovations and additions to the house over the years had led to disconnectedness, but by enlisting local builder Squibb Estates and California-based celebrity interior designer Jeffrey Alan Marks, the team was able to work in tandem to gut the home to the studs and rebuild it into the grand dame she once was.
“The story of this house is holding on to its beginnings. It’s been worked on so much over the years, but I knew it wanted to hold on to what it was originally,” says Mahony. “We didn’t want to scrape because we didn’t want it to be something it’s not. Even though it’s much bigger than when it was built in 1931, I still see the original home in there. We were able to give it life for another 100 years.”
“It doesn’t follow a particular formula, but this is what a home should do—hold onto its heritage.” — Project architect Paul Mahoney, KGA
To do so, Squibb Estates replaced all of the inner workings, including electrical, plumbing, HVAC, windows and flooring—not an easy process. “When we opened things up, we found water damage from renovations 20 or 30 years ago,” says Eric Mann, project manager and site supervisor for Squibb Estates. “No remodel is easy, but this one was particularly difficult because we had an original structure mixed with newer construction.” The team also removed previous additions, replaced the grotto-style pool with a sleeker one in a better location, constructed a 960-square-foot pool house, and moved rooms within the home for a more open and livable floor plan.
“It’s not your status quo house. It doesn’t follow a formula or recipe,” says Mahony of the 7,830-square-foot home that sits on a three-acre parcel in a historic enclave off University Boulevard. “There’s a quirky nature to these spaces, such as windows in the showers, a great room far away from the kitchen, and separate staircases for access to sets of upstairs bedrooms. It sets its own path,” he adds. “But we committed to the nature of the original design.”
Marks infused the interiors with his signature relaxed-yet-tailored aesthetic, using a neutral palette for a sense of breezy fun and informality. “They were looking for a mostly monochromatic palette. It was challenging for me in that I had to restrain my use of color,” says Marks, who has worked on multiple projects for the clients, who are based in Los Angeles. “Aside from the color, the owners let me have free rein,” he says of the interior, which he likens to a modern Belgian farmhouse with a light, airy and monochromatic European vibe. Marks used the exemplary firm Exquisite Surfaces to source reclaimed wood, stone and tile from France, Turkey and Morocco.
“There has always been an attachment to the home for [the husband],” concludes Mahony. “The couple has other homes around the world, and this isn’t even their primary residence. But while the others will come and go, this is the one they will hold onto forever.”