Renovation, Round Two
This home renovation delved deep to fix critic al issu es, both inside and out, before reviving its modernist charm.
Carefully revived, this renovated Colorado beauty comes with a storied past.
SITTING ATOP A HILL IN ARVADA, COLORADO, THIS 1961 H. ALBERT PHIBBS HOUSE WAS PURCHASED IN THE ’80s WHEN IT WAS DERELICT AND UNOCCUPIED. Greg Comstock of Comstock Design was called in to get the house functioning properly, but few aesthetic overhauls were made at the time. “We cleaned it up and redid the kitchen during this first renovation…got it back to working order,” Greg explains.
In 2014, the owner, who had been living there since the renovation, was facing major structural, plumbing, and foundation issues. Additionally, the house wasn’t functioning for her desired lifestyle—she found the state and flow of the house to be inadequate for entertaining.
Partnering with Greg and Comstock Design once again, they embarked on a three-month renovation to tackle the essential fixes while making a more aesthetically pleasing and functional home. “It was just a house that was 50 years old and to the point where everything needed to be addressed,” Greg recalls.
“She [the homeowner] had a direction she wanted to go. People tell us what they want and how they want it to function, and then our job is to really bring to fruition what their ideas are, and we basically take it from an idea to an actual tangible form.”
Though many things needed replacing, the maple floors were kept, providing contrast with the new walnut doors and columns. An original feature, the impressive wall-sized fireplace in the great room only needed some updating. The volcanic stone was still in good shape, but brushed stainless steel was added on the back and the chimney was redone. Running a gas line from one side of the fireplace to the other created a rich fire that spans the entirety of the opening.
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Upon first glance, the gorgeous ipe main door appears to reach all the way from the threshold to the soffit line; however, it’s only an 8-foot door. To create this illusion, the door design was continued above the header up to the soffit line for an almost seamless look. Upon finding the original blue prints, the team discovered that that was actually how the architect had wanted the door to be executed.
Because the front of the house was always vague as to where the main entrance was located, the area was expanded from a little 30-inch block to a 10-foot expanse that narrows as you approach the three stone columns. “At the third column to the right we underlit the step so it gave a direction as to how to get to the front door. It also serves as a place for people to back out and turn out of the driveway,” Greg says.
“After the renovation, she [the owner] had a large party, and it was evident how well every part of the house now functions,” Greg shares.