Tour a Remodeled San Francisco-Style Victorian in Boulder
Near Pearl Street, Studio B Architecture gives this painted lady a facelift
This 2,100-square-foot Victorian house in Boulder’s Beacon Court development had seen better days. Barely updated since it was built in the early 1980s, it had a tired exterior and a poorly functioning interior.
But the location could not be beat. “It really doesn’t get any better,” the homeowner says. “You walk outside, and you’re 100 feet from mountain trails and a three-minute walk to your first coffee shop on the west end of Pearl Street, but you’re also on a cul-de-sac that nobody ever drives into except the neighbors. It’s pretty phenomenal.”
With that in mind, Boulder’s Studio B Architecture and Interiors got to work, taking the house down to its shell and updating it from the outside in to streamline and update the structure.
“The goal was to really simplify things and express the verticality of the house,” says project manager Robby Cuthbert of Studio B. “It’s a tiny footprint—three stories, with a stair bisecting the building and dividing the house into two white volumes, which reads more vertically than it used to.”
“It was in an interesting development of about a dozen units that had a San Francisco vibe, with the original house heavily ornamented, busy and claustrophobic,” says Mike Piché, principal at Studio B. “We wanted the remodeled exterior to fit within its context but do it in a more minimal and modern way.”
To achieve that, the Studio B team pared down all the exterior details, replacing the siding and all of the windows—including adding a huge window over the front door. “The front window brings in an enormous amount of light, so you can connect with the mountain views, and we added a cool light fixture so there is a connection to the street,” says Piché. “And by making that all glass, it reinforced the home’s verticality and made the home feel slimmer and a little bit more elegant.”
Studio B also replaced the entry door and front steps, added a black metal strip down the middle and built a much-needed outdoor space on the home’s north side: a deck off the living room and a covered patio below, both positioned behind a latticed screen for privacy.
The interior was also completely reconfigured, and interior design advice came from Studio B’s Raquel Mayorga. “We agonized for months and months over the layout of the place,” says the homeowner. “Before, when you walked in, nothing quite felt right. The kitchen was too small, and the living room was too big. There was no real cozy spot. And upstairs, the main bathroom was too big—bigger than the main bedroom!” So Studio B swapped the living room and the kitchen to create space for a true chef’s entertaining kitchen, replaced the heavy stairway that bisected the space with a lighter version with open treads, expanded the size of the main bedroom relative to the main bath, updated the electrical, plumbing and heating, and added white oak floors throughout.
The remodel—with 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths on the top floor, and a flex room (either a media room, office or bedroom), laundry and full bath on the bottom floor—was finished in summer 2022, and the homeowner couldn’t be happier. “No detail was spared. It’s as beautiful under the skin as outside, and it feels like a solid home now,” he says. “Now there’s enough space for everything you need, but not so much space that you get lost inside. The house has this warm feeling with the woods and gradient heat throughout, and it feels twice the size as before. The light was increased, the lines of sight were opened up, the outdoor space was added, and the proportions were changed, so it’s nice and cohesive. It’s the biggest 2,100-square-foot house out there.”
ARCHITECTURE Studio B Architecture and Interiors
INTERIOR DESIGN Studio B Architecture and Interiors
BUILDER MK Construction
METAL FABRICATOR Quality Metal Fabricators
CABINET MAKER BKI Woodworks
PHOTOGRAPHY James Florio