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Plains Geometry: A Colorado Timber Home

A Colorado home mixes straight lines and curves to acheive a contemporary look.

Free-of-heart Douglas fir timbers greet visitors at the home's main entrance, in front of a knotty alder paneled door with a dental shelf detail. The home's zero-scaping layout leaves space for plantings, but avoids a water-thirsty lawn in the arid West.

Challenged to create a home worthy of its rugged setting at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, its designers chose traditional timber-frame construction, plenty of stone and ample glass to frame the majestic peaks that loom in the distance. The result is a home that is both sturdy and beautiful, and whose elegant profile combines straight lines and curves. "We wanted a house that represented its surroundings and took in this vast expanse of land around it," says David Rechberger, a partner in Brant Point Design with timber framer Jim Leemon and designer Dick Mayo. "But we also wanted to have all the updated, modern features you'd expect in a custom-built home."

The U-shaped stairwells provide seamless access to each level of the home without interrupting the main living areas.

The dynamic home certainly stands up to the scale of the terrain. Highlighted by a two-tier hammerbeam frame, it boasts massive, 12-inch-square, free-of-heart Douglas fir posts and beams that unite in half- and full-lap dovetail joints and are held together with maple pegs. Surrounding the joinery, soaring, 21-foot-high windows take in the home's sweeping views and seem to reach out to the peaks of the Rockies themselves. Built as a spec home, it serves as Brant Point's most awe-inspiring model. The home sits on a sweeping plot of land just west of Boulder, Colorado, next to a 1,100-acre farm. Indeed, its rounded, turret-like wings mimic the silos that dot the area. The home's flat, roaming lot means it gets plenty of sun, conveying an open, airy interior and cathedral-like presence that suit its name and address. Because the home is located on Sunlight Drive, the partners christened it the "Sunlight Home." [gallery exclude="323,5424,5423"] With its stacked, faux-stone facade, exposed exterior timbers and stamped-concrete decking, the home inspires a mood usually reserved for higher elevations. "We're down on the plains here, but we also wanted this to have a mountain-like feel," Rechberger says. "We've got some of the rustic characteristics you'd expect in a mountain house, but this is also a fully automated smart home, capable of just about anything you can think of."

The ceiling of the great room is reclaimed Douglas fir that had been covered with dirt and tar and stored outdoors for years. Sandy and a friend spent a day in the driveway sanding and oiling the wood.

Those capabilities include wiring for a whole-house control system, which allows music and rustic lighting to be set from anywhere in the home through a panel or voice-activated commands. Other high-efficiency attributes are three on-demand water heaters, foam-insulated wall panels to retain heat and air conditioning, and oversized eaves that help reduce the sunlight captured by those huge, towering windows. And with just the flip of a switch, those windows can be shaded with louvered, automatic blinds. "This really is a very efficient home," Rechberger says. "At 6,200 square feet, the heating and cooling bill is about half of my older, 2,500-square-foot home in Denver." Other amenities include wide-plank, white oak hardwood floors, Verde Maritaka granite counters and custom-made alder cabinets in the kitchen; rough-hewn granite tile in the master bath; and heated travertine floors in the kitchen and baths. The Sunlight Home's many contemporary and traditional features combine to provide an uplifting experience inspired by the grandeur of the surrounding plains and mountains. "When people come into the home and look up at the timbers in those soaring ceilings, their first reaction is awe," Rechberger says. "It really is breathtaking.

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