Bringing A Warm Australian Feel to a Cherry Creek Home in Denver
Ruggles Mabe Studio brought the best of Australian design—an open plan with loads of natural light—to this warm, gracious and peaceful Cherry Creek home
As Australian expats, the couple who bought this beautiful lot in Cherry Creek knew what they wanted in their new custom home: to bring the feel of their native country across the globe to Denver.
To achieve that look, the couple turned to Ruggles Mabe Studio, which created a four- bedroom, seven-bath house with an open floor plan, multiple living spaces and abundant access to the outdoors. The home is also anchored by an open staircase that serves as a sculptural spine and brings in natural light to all levels from a skylight above. “Having that stunning skylight above the stairwell is just gorgeous, even on gloomy days,” says the homeowner.
The careful design allows the couple, who have three grown children, a variety of options for indoor-outdoor living. “On the weekends, when it’s just the two of us, we follow the sun,” she says. “So in the mornings, we’ll sit out in our front yard. And in the afternoon, we go up to the loft and take in the incredible views of the entire Front Range and downtown. It rivals the Jacquard Hotel rooftop bar, I must say.”
The design, says Don Ruggles, CEO of Ruggles Mabe, has a definite wow factor— but is also meant to be calming and serene. “When you look at something that’s unique and exciting, there’s actually an adrenaline reaction,” he says. “But we knew we would have to find the counterbalance to that excitement to make the home comfortable.”
“Overall, the home is a comprehensive indoor-outdoor experience, where all of the main rooms are connected to an outdoor space,” Ruggles Mabe interior designer Emily Lindemann explains. That connection also comes through the many sliding glass doors, which, Ruggles says, “just allow the house to take a breath.”
The residence makes a striking impression from the front with the exterior adhering to something called the “three-by-three pattern,” which Ruggles says dates back thousands of years in art and architecture. “From the front, you can see this pattern. The line of the second floor and the line of the third floor create two horizontals, with a large mass at the center. The edges of that large mass are two verticals, creating a three-by-three pattern. This is a pattern that humankind is born looking for; it’s in our DNA.”
Ultimately, says Lindemann, “We always try to make sure that a home is a reflection of the people who live in it. And this collaboration with the homeowners really celebrates their foundation in Australia but also provides a tie to their life here in Denver with a warm, organic flow throughout.”
“We are just thrilled with what [the design team] was able to create,” the homeowner says. “A lot of people, when they finish a home, say, ‘Oh, I wish I’d changed this or done that differently.’ But there’s absolutely nothing we would change.”
ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIORS Ruggles Mabe Studio
BUILDER Nicholas Custom Homes
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT BLU Design Colorado
PHOTOGRAPHY David O. Marlow