This welcoming home works well for both people and wildlife
By Lisa Truesdale
Photos by Autumn Brooke Grinath and Dave Smith
It’s not often that a flock of wild turkeys trots across your backyard. But for Garrett and Roxanne,* it’s just another day at home. Living on the water’s edge at Lake of the Pines has its advantages, and one is wildlife. From eagles and hawks to the occasional bear and even moose, these homeowners are lucky enough to see it all. And, because the lake and surrounding wilderness promote clear nighttime views, they even got an eyeful of Comet NEOWISE when it passed overhead last summer.
“Where we lived previously, in Gunbarrel, we were lucky if we saw a few bunnies once in a while,” Garrett says.
“But now,” Roxanne adds, “we see animals all the time, like the deer browsing through the yard daily, the hawks hunting rabbits and mice, the many birds at our feeders, and the bald eagles and osprey hunting for fish in the lake.”
*The homeowners requested that we not use their real names.
As lifelong nature lovers and adventurers who enjoy hiking in Peru and scuba diving in Hawaii, the couple had long dreamed of living in Lake of the Pines, where the 55-acre private lake is rimmed with rugged foothills and home to abundant wildlife. They hoped to one day have their own mountain oasis, where they could live an active outdoor lifestyle but still be close to their offices in Boulder, an eight-minute drive away. But nothing had been available when they were ready to make the move.
Until 1997, when their dream location came up for sale. “Waterfront lots in Lake of the Pines rarely come on the market,” Garrett says, “so we jumped at the chance.”
Austin Powers Pad
Once Garrett and Roxanne secured the location, it was time to deal with the house—the one that came with the lot was an outdated 1970s design that needed a lot of work.
“We called it the ‘Austin Powers house,’” Roxanne laughs, “because of the orange shag carpeting and groovy wallpaper. It just wasn’t our style.” They considered popping the top, but eventually decided to scrape the house to ensure they’d get exactly the one they wanted. (They also made sure that the cute den of foxes living under the porch had moved on before they got started.)
Having gathered ideas and inspiration for years, Garrett and Roxanne enlisted then-Boulder architect William Rivera Jr., to make their visions a reality. “The residence is site-specific, finely crafted and detailed inside and out,” Rivera says. “The whole team that was assembled shared in the excitement of seeing it all spring to life.”
That team was comprised of Garrett and Roxanne, who served as general contractors, plus a number of subcontractors they already had established relationships with from past remodeling and building projects. With a goal of creating a home that seamlessly blends in with the surroundings, they also sourced all of their materials as locally as possible, including a custom blend of Oklahoma sandstone and buff flagstone from Tribble Stone Co. for the exterior. “You can’t get more local than that,” Roxanne says. “Tribble is right across the road.”
The entire home was carefully designed with natural custom finishes throughout to evoke the feeling of living outside, Garrett says. In the gourmet kitchen, granite slab countertops the color of beach sand, came from Arizona Tile in Denver, who also designed the custom stone mosaics found in the home’s art niches. The alder cabinets, from Genesis Cabinet Co. in Centennial, are topped with custom carvings of pine cones that look just like the ones carpeting the front and back yards.
In the formal living room, the hand-carved limestone fireplace and architectural columns from Denver’s Materials Marketing coordinate perfectly with the hand-scraped cherry floors. “The floors are the color of dark pine needles,” Roxanne says, specifically chosen to carry through to the outside when the floor-to-ceiling folding glass doors are open—which they are anytime it’s nice outdoors.
The main-floor master also features a full wall of NanaWall sliding doors, perfectly framing the gorgeous view and leading directly into the yard. On the upper level, all four spacious bedrooms have their own balcony or deck with views, which Garrett explains is so “guests can also have their own unique outdoor experience.”
Although the 5,500-square-foot interior (not including the 2,200-square-foot unfinished basement) offers more than enough space for these two empty nesters, you’ll find them outside as often as they’re able. The spacious buff flagstone patio offers several seating areas for relaxing, bird-watching or get–togethers with friends and family, and a fire pit for cozy evenings when it’s chilly.
The walkway leads down to a hot tub, and from there, stairs lead down to the shore, right where Garrett stood last summer to watch a moose swimming just 20 yards away. Near the home’s private dock, paddleboards, canoes and other aquatic-sports equipment are at the ready for heading out on the water, or fishing for trout in the fully stocked lake. On the opposite shore, the beach area, complete with a picnic pavilion and a small park, is a popular gathering spot for residents of the community’s 80 homes during the warmer months.
“Working with the homeowners was ideal, because their visions for the project were closely aligned with what I believed I could bring to the table,” says Rivera. “This project is a testament to great clients who still love their home.”
And love it, they do.
“We love the feeling of living outside, because nature is so healing,” says Roxanne. “Our home is truly our sanctuary and our retreat, where we feel so connected to our surroundings and to all the animals we share them with.”