Before and After: A 1960s Denver Ranch

New homeowners reinvent a Cherry Hills Village home

Built in the 1960s, this 4,000-square-foot ranch house sits on a spacious one-acre lot in an established Cherry Hills Village neighborhood. The house offered plenty of square footage but was built before open-concept living was de rigueur. The redbrick structure was low-slung and chopped up—small rooms, narrow hallways, and low ceilings made it feel smaller than it was. The original finishes, such as wood-paneled walls, were dark and dated.

Raising the pitch of the roof was the key to updating the home and giving it more breathing room and a fresh look. KGA Studio Architect Paul Mahony, AIA, knocked out walls to create a large open area in the middle of the home, with everything spinning off of that. Vaulted ceilings add volume, and dormers allow light to flood the new open spaces. A 900-square-foot master suite addition enlarged the house, while a new front porch and pergola in back expanded the outdoor living space. Traditional East Coast architectural details and a modern white-and-black palette are carried through both inside and out.


Matt Joblon couldn’t bring the New England Patriots with him when he moved from Boston to Denver, but he could see to it that his Cherry Hills Village home included a touch of East Coast architectural swagger. Matt and his wife, Alissa, loved the big trees and established neighborhood of sprawling ranch houses but knew a major remodel was needed to make this home their own.

With a clear vision of an open, casual living space; a clean, modern palette of white and black; and Cape Cod/Nantucket-style architectural details, the couple decided to divide and conquer. “Matt is a real estate developer and he handled the architecture, layout, and landscaping details, and I worked on materials, finishes, and interior fixtures,” says Alissa, a former fashion stylist.

KGA architect Paul Mahony says the couple had specific, focused ideas and gave him clear direction. “Our primary goal was to create a large, open, friendly space to gather,” he says. His clients entertain often, with everyone drawn to the big kitchen. Casual living is the name of the game here: Alissa’s 40-plus local family members frequently drop by, and the couple’s two little girls have the run of the house. “The kids are allowed everywhere…the house is theirs to ruin,” she says with a smile.

The main living area suits the family’s come-on-in-and-hang-out philosophy with an open concept comprising kitchen, dining, and living spaces. A center wall anchors the great room but maintains an open feeling by not rising all the way to the high vaulted ceiling. “We wanted to have some sense of arrival in the entry, and the partial wall creates a sense of separation without closing it off,” Alissa says.

Mahony incorporated coastal style with simplified traditional details: white painted brick, black shutters, pillars, and gables on the exterior, and tongue-and-groove ceilings and modernized moldings, door, and window trim inside. “Simple, uncluttered details are younger, fresher, and more the way people live today,” he says.

Alissa enlisted help from interior designers while instilling the neutral furnishings with punches of color and her personal flair. She added beaded chandeliers and a hint of Bohemian style to the clean, white interiors and kept the new master suite calm and quiet, inspired by luxury hotels.

“The outdoor experience is a huge part of this house as well,” adds Alissa. Two sets of French doors and tall windows extend the main living space to a newly landscaped backyard that features living and dining spaces among mature trees and a new pergola.

While the home works beautifully for the family of four, they cherish the opportunity to share it with extended family and friends. “We have people over almost daily,” Alissa says. “Every time we have plans with someone, we all assume it’s going to be at our house.”


A new centered entry with stately columns and a covered front porch bestow elegance upon arrival. The exterior was elevated to a modern, farmhouse look with painted white brick, black metal accents, a raised roof pitch and dormers.  



With the floor plan opened up, the kitchen is clearly the center of the home, flowing easily to the family room and game room beyond. A huge center island accommodates food prep and clean up while leaving plenty of room to pull up a chair for a meal. Custom white-painted cabinets, subway tile and a sparkling white quartz countertop play off the dark wood floors and rustic dining table. Alissa Joblon added some bling with a crystal chandelier and glossy hardware.


Shades of pink abound in the daughters’ playroom—a colorful, whimsical place—that’s both sophisticated and fun, and works well when messy.


A beaded chandelier from Ro Sham Beaux is jewelry for the front entry hall. “It’s a combination of everything I love,” says Alissa. “French, Morrocan, and shiny ceramic beads all wrapped in gold thread and a tassel.”


Joblon’s girls run back and forth between their bedrooms, which are connected by a fresh white Jack-and-Jill bathroom.



Inspired by luxury hotel rooms, the homeowners opted for simple, clean finishes and quiet colors to create a peaceful master bedroom. A jeweled light fixture plays off the beamed, tongue-in-groove ceilings in keeping with Alissa’s rustic/glam style.



Daylight floods the new master bath (opposite page, left), which features a seamless glass shower, freestanding tub and double vanity. The floors are swirled marble; the counters a durable quartz.


French doors extend the flow to a newly landscaped backyard with living and dining spaces.

Paul Mahony, AIA, KGA Studio Architects, PC  BUILDER Jason Squibb, Squibb Estates 

Categories: Interiors