A Modern Twist On The Classic Ranch House In Denver

Dated: 07/12/2018

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Embracing the indoor-outdoors in the Mile High City

Originally By Samantha Weiss Hills

Jun 25, 2018, 9:30am EDT

Photography by Morgan Rachel Levy

When Cate and Paul Hoff and their three children moved to Denver from Australia about five years ago, they knew they wanted to set down real roots. The city had been the couple’s home before, and after seven years away from the U.S., they were ready for something long-term.

In search of a large lot suitable for new construction, the couple settled on Denver’s University Heights neighborhood, an area where they’d lived twice before. “It’s kind of what we consider home in Denver,” says Cate. Initially, the Hoffs thought they would keep their new house in line with the style of the neighborhood’s 1950s ranch homes.

The variegated brown of the exterior cedar siding is offset by black brick, gray concrete, and the vibrant green of the front lawn and trees on the site.
The fireplace is flanked by a blue Harry Bertoia Bird Chair (right) and a Muuto side table (left). The coffee table is from Design Within Reach. The paper sculpture on the fireplace, at right, is by Rachel Castle.

A Carl Hansen & Søn dining table and Elbow Chairs sit beneath a Christopher Boots chandelier. Two prints by Stephen Ormandy hang stacked on the rear wall.
A view of the formal living room, with chairs and a sofa from Australian furniture designer Jardan. The floor is solid oak, and a photograph of New Zealand hangs above the two-sided fireplace.
When both sets of sliding glass doors are open, the interior of the home seems to extend beyond its walls, letting the Hoffs’ activities flow out onto the lawn and patio.

The position of the house on its site, with the focus on the backyard and windows facing south and west, helps achieve the energy efficiency the family was looking for in the structure. During the winter, the home absorbs sunlight to passively heat the house; its orientation also helps additional natural light inside during darker months. The overhangs and vertical cedar shades are designed to help prevent heat from entering the house during the summer. The second floor covers the majority of the outdoor patio, providing a comfortably shaded area where the family congregates.

The backyard is virtually another room of the house because of two large sections of sliding glass doors that open up onto a patio and lawn. For as much of the year as possible, the backyard serves as a hub of activity for the family and their friends. The owners have a lot of days where we can have the doors open and both air conditioning and heating are off.

Arch11 designer Larry Sykes used vertical slats of cedar on the exterior to shade the western facade of the home from extreme heat. One of the family dogs, Aspen, surveys the patio and its Ikea furniture. The overhanging second level provides shade.
A view from the living room into the kitchen and informal dining area, with the staircase tucked in the back. Three lights from Gubi hang over the kitchen island. The black dining chairs are from Ikea; they can be used inside or outside. The couch is Walter Knoll, and the small black side table is from Design Within Reach.

Though the interiors are streamlined, they don’t have the coldness of some modern houses. It helps that there’s a seamless flow from indoors to outdoors, but there is also warmth in Cate’s selections for furnishings and finishes, something she drew from her years as a commercial interior designer in Australia.

A Hem chair snuggles into this corner of the living room. A Gubi light arches above it. Built-in shelves display objects Hoff has collected over the years.
The master bedroom has windows on two sides, letting in lots of natural light. The couple’s bed is by Australian furniture designer Jardan, but little else adorns the room.

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Wan Lim

My name is Wan, I am passionate and driven to help everyone I can in buying and selling real estate. Just a little bit about me, I graduated Colorado State University with a degree in Hospitality Mana....

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