Where Country Meets the City in Denver’s Belcaro Park Neighborhood

Larsen Development infuses warmth and natural light into its design for a modern one-story farmhouse
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A combination of painted brick (Sherwin Williams Pearly White), reverse board-and-batten, cedar garage doors and a gray standing-seam metal roof heighten the curb appeal. | Photography by Kimberly Gavin

The owners of this new build in Denver’s Belcaro Park neighborhood already knew their area well—and knew they loved one-story ranches—so the design of this “stretched-out” farmhouse was a natural.

“We actually lived next door in a house that we’d renovated,” says the wife, “but my husband had always wanted to build his own house, so when the opportunity arose to buy this lot, we jumped on it. We actually got to watch the new house go up, brick by brick.”

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Outdoor seating is stationed right off the great room, with a pool beyond. The family uses the space practically year-round.“We have heating lamps out there and a large fire pit, so we can open it up even in the springtime and sit comfortably,” says the homeowner.

Knowing that the HOA strictly limited the area to one-story homes, the couple turned to luxury design-build firm Larsen Development to create a home that fits cozily into the neighborhood—but also stood out for its unique design.

“One of the design challenges was making sure we created something that didn’t look like a 1960s ranch but had volume and street presence,” says Jeff Englund, president of Larsen.

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The U-shaped island was central to the home’s design. “I wanted a table where we could all gather for casual family dinners, the kids could
do their homework and guests could sit while we’re cooking.” The two-tone cabinets are from Aspen Leaf Kitchens; the brass Grand Dome drum light is from Restoration Hardware.

Though the house—with 3,300 square feet on the main floor and 2,200 in the basement— is one story, the Larsen team was able to create a feeling of height and space throughout the home, including the vaulted main living area that encompasses the great room, island nook, and kitchen. “It was critical to design grand spaces while pulling the scale back to create inviting and intimate spaces,” says Englund. “You enter through the steel-and-glass entry door into the foyer set at 9-foot-6, which opens to the stairway and dining room, then leads you to the vaulted great room that rises to 17 feet. The rear wall of the great room showcases the 32-foot-wide bi-folding accordion doors that mesh the expansive covered patio and pool with the interior living space.”

That openness appeals to the homeowners. “We wanted a house that was really welcoming and offered the ability to entertain,” says the wife. “The indoor-outdoor feel was really important to us, so we like being able to open up that back wall so we can entertain year-round.”

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The space centers on the Visual Comfort Talia blown-glass chandelier, sitting beneath a tray ceiling of clear-grain oak that helps define the space. The sideboard was custom made by Ryan Schlaefer Fine Furniture; the Lawson- Fenning Ojai dining table is surrounded by Constantini Pietro Vera side chairs.

The main living space is vaulted, with cleverly placed upper windows that let in more western light. “In traditional two-story homes, you have a tall great room space, but it can feel disproportionate to the width, feeling like a hotel lobby,” says Jim Gunther, Larsen’s lead architectural designer on the home. “So we approached our clients with the concept of a story and a half combined family living area. We added clerestory windows to the front elevation, making the house appear taller, with the added benefit of bringing in western light.”

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“We wanted to make the area feel put together but also be comfortable,” says designer Beth Armijo. “It had to achieve a lot of things.” The fireplace—a board-form concrete with a black precast surround—faces a Lexington Home Brands leather chair and Kravet sectional, both of which sit atop a handmade Indian rug from Authentic Persian & Oriental Rugs in Denver.

To provide more curb appeal, the Larsen team designed three prominent gables: one over the garage and two over the bedroom wing which bookends the central living area.

For interior décor, the homeowners brought in Beth Armijo of Armijo Design Group. “My clients are super-sophisticated and fun and also love to travel,” Armijo says. “We wanted the home to be comfortable and realistic for children (there are two) but also have a little edge to it.”

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A Visual Comfort Go Lightly medium chandelier sits under the vaulted ceiling in the primary bedroom. A Serena & Lily bed is bookended by Serena & Lily Harbour Cane wide nightstands, topped with Uttermost lamps. The hand-made rug came from India.

The home also has a number of other custom elements that the homeowners asked for, including a second powder room for guests using the backyard pool, a canine-eating-and- bathing area (for the family’s English bulldog) and a wildly functional basement that includes two more bedrooms and baths, a playroom, rec room, exercise room, gear room and climbing wall, and is accessible from the garage. The pièce de résistance: a winch in the garage to raise the family’s large raft into the vaulted space above their cars.

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“We did this combined wet room with both a tub and shower, all enclosed in glass,” says Jim Gunther. “It’s very well lit with natural light from those four high windows.” The tile is from Decorative Materials, with Ambar tall wall lights from Visual Comfort.

“We are over the moon,” says the wife. “The house is so open and modern and welcoming and warm, but it still has timeless touches. People ask us what we would change, and it’s hard to come up with anything. Everyone put their heart into this house and it turned out great.”


INTERIOR DESIGN Armijo Design Group LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Browne & Associates Custom Landscapes BUILDER Larsen Development

Categories: Interiors