Constructed in 1984, the home is located on eight beautiful acres in the North End of Estes Park. Its placement is oriented south to the wonderful view of Longs Peak and the peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park. Dramatic rocks of Lumpy Ridge create a spectacular backdrop to the west. The view is framed by several acres of meadow, resplendent with wildflowers spring through fall. Abundant wildlife, such as elk and deer, often graze on the native meadow flora.
But the original design of the house did not take full advantage of this fantastic view. The rooms were small and compartmentalized. A dark, wide hallway of closets had doors into the living room, and the den. A wall separated the kitchen and dining room from the living room. A bank of suspended cabinetry in the kitchen blocked the gorgeous view from the dining room, oriented to Long’s Peak. The original design situated the master bedroom in a room without any of the dramatic vistas available.
The owner/architect prioritized creating a studio space for his artist wife, Laura. Immediately he envisioned creating a new space on top of the existing, leaky flat roof of the attached garage. He transformed the single-story garage into an inspiring, roomy, and versatile 400 square foot studio space. The spectacular view of Long’s Peak is seen from this studio above the great room, in the new second story across from the expanded bank of south facing windows.
TW Beck created the great room, connecting kitchen, dining and living rooms, by removing and raising the roof in the center of the house. The two-story, sunny room, is vaulted using timber trusses, reminiscent of the old covered bridges the architect grew up with as a child in the mid-west. In keeping with the sustainable practices TW Beck is known for, the house was furred out, insulation added and new siding installed, in addition to extra roof insulation being added.
The architect transformed the den, complete with moss rock, wood burning fireplace, into the master bedroom. He turned the original master bedroom, adjacent to the new one, into a walk-in closet and master bathroom. He “flipped” the original master bathroom to open to the adjacent guest room, adding a guest bath. Beck turned the original walk-in closet into a master steam shower room, and added a jet tub where another beautiful view of Long’s Peak can be taken in. New in-floor heating keeps one’s feet warm in the master bath. The architect added two new doors, one from the bedroom to the new master bathroom, and one out to a new porch with wood burning fireplace. Now the owners can relax in privacy and still enjoy a wonderful view.
Beck’s house also includes a basement, which originally had two sets of windows with views of Long’s Peak. Beck converted one set of windows into a walk-out greenhouse/conservatory. In-floor heating keeps the plants toasty and a re-purposed dark room sink makes watering the plants convenient. Beck repurposed the original kitchen cabinets and laundry sink, installing them in the new basement laundry room.
This forever home for architect and wife is an impressive example of the ability of Thomas Beck to look at the bones of an existing house, and bring to fruition a transformation that much better addresses the needs of its occupants, a metamorphosis from house into home.