Empty Nesters From California Remodel a Creek-Side Evergreen Home

The space became an airy, modern oasis—complete with backyard elk, foxes and eagles
Evergreen Patio

“The home originally had several different materials used on the exterior, and we simplified it and cleaned it up,” says Jake Hill of Hill Builders. “We removed all the concrete siding and incorporated a Telluride stone.” | Photography by Amy Wright

When Chris and Leanne Teets were planning their move from Southern California to Colorado, they knew they wanted two things: to be in the mountains and to be near water. They found both in Evergreen. The location, on Upper Bear Creek, was ideal. The house itself, not so much. Though it was fairly new (built in 2015), it needed a serious refresh. “It was really dark inside and not our style,” says Leanne.

Evergreen Entry

Interior designer Paula Cohen replaced the small front door with a custom all-glass door by Sierra Pacific, which allows guests to see all the way through the house to the back.

So the couple brought in Paula Cohen of PC Designs to spruce it up. Though the original goal was to redo just a couple of rooms, that plan snowballed—appropriately, since this is Evergreen—into something much bigger. “They originally thought they would just redo the kitchen and main bathroom,” says Cohen, “and then we essentially remodeled the entire house.”

“We wanted a space that was more open and more functional,” says Leanne. “There were lots of areas in the home that weren’t usable, like the wine room, which we converted into a home office, with views over the backyard.”

Evergreen Living

The living room was opened up and brought into the 21st century with a Venetian plaster wood-burning fireplace (refinished in Colorado stone), whitewashed ceilings and white-oak floors.

And the aesthetics and finishes throughout —from the exterior to the rooms inside— needed to be modernized and cleaned up. “The majority of the exterior was stripped down to sheathing, and about half of the drywall in the interior was removed down to the studs,” says Jake Hill, president of Hill Builders, which handled the construction.

“Everything on the main level was touched. There were a couple of window and door openings that needed structural work; it was more about cleaning up the palette and starting fresh.”

Evergreen Dine

Most of the furniture in the living and dining rooms—including the cowhide swivel chairs, leather couch, woven leather coffee table, credenza, rug and the dining table and chairs—are from Mountain Home, a store in Evergreen.

On the exterior, the team removed the original faux log chinking and faux river rocks and added new stucco and authentic Colorado stone, then brought in a more modern glass front door that allows guests to see all the way through to the creekside backyard. Inside, the rooms were made lighter and brighter, from the floors (the new ones are white oak) to the ceilings (newly whitewashed) to the fireplace (the old faux river rock was replaced with limestone from Materials Marketing, with a hand-troweled plaster above the new mantel).

Evergreen Kit

“I love to cook,” says Leanne Teets. “The one thing I wanted in the kitchen was to be able to enjoy my family and friends and guests when they were over, and now everyone’s all together
in the great room and kitchen.” The new setup is perfect for entertaining, with a hidden coffee bar, wet bar, Tilebar backsplash, and large oak cabinets.

The kitchen was gutted, with Cohen turning to Mikal Otten of EKD to help create a sleek, contemporary space with stained white-oak perimeter cabinets (wire-brushed for texture), a huge island big enough for seating, and a large central range with a plastered hood to match the fireplace; in addition, a large closet was turned into a dry bar for guests. The adjacent dining room is in the same space, but a single window was replaced with a large accordion door that opens onto the reworked back patio.

Evergreen Patio Dine

The Teets family, who moved in a year ago, had the entire exterior patio redone, including adding fire pits and a grill and putting in a huge accordion door to open up the dining area to the back of the house.

“Since we’re empty nesters in this great big home, the nicest thing is that the main bedroom, the great room and the kitchen are all on the same level, and the remainder of the bedrooms are upstairs,” Leanne says. “So we feel like we use this house to its fullest extent because we are always on the main floor appreciating the openness of the floor plan, the incredible views and the sounds of the creek.”

Evergreen Bed

A small window was replaced with a 10-foot-wide bi-parting door out to the new patio, and the faux log walls were replaced. The bed and nightstands are from Mountain Home, which also reupholstered the two leather chairs. The Kira Fercho painting is from a local gallery.

That location is still a marvel to the couple. “One of the biggest surprises is that every day we have something new that comes into our backyard,” says Leanne. “We have elk, deer, foxes, mountain lions, a mama bear with two cubs—we even saw an eagle flying over the creek. And being able to fly-fish from our backyard is something we never, ever thought we’d experience in our life. We just appreciate the beauty of the nature.”

Evergreen Bath

The freestanding tub is a preferred relaxing spot with creek views directly outside. Ample mirrors hang in the space, making the room feel larger, each echoing the views from the primary bedroom.

The Teetses, self-described outdoors people more accustomed to California-style sports, have taken advantage of now being able to ski, snowboard, hike on nearby trails and paddleboard on Evergreen Lake. “It’s been a fantastic adventure for our family,” says Leanne—one that is grounded in the relaxing beauty of their new home.

“The house is beyond our expectations,” she says. “Sometimes I feel like I live in a resort. I wake up in the morning and look outside and sometimes have to pinch myself because the beauty of the nature that takes place right in our backyard is unimaginable. We hit the lottery.”

BUILDER Hill Builders

Categories: Interiors