Ren­o­va­tion, Round Two

This home ren­o­va­tion delved deep to fix critic al issu es, both in­side and out, be­fore re­viv­ing its mod­ernist charm.

Atomic Ranch - - Contents - By Lind­say Jarvis Pho­tog­ra­phy by David Pat­ter­son

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.


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.

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