Open Air

By Harper Rae
Photos by Tim Murphy/

For a young family in Boulder, creating a place for entertaining and outdoor living was critical in the remodel of their home. While the original layout allowed access to the ample backyard, the kitchen and dining spaces were dark and closed off.

“The new owners of this canyon residence sought to transform the main living area of the dated home into a contemporary, light-filled dream home with an open floor plan,” says Architect Tom Cattany of Melton Design Build.

Above: The home’s boundary between the indoors and outdoors is nearly invisible. The open floor plan flows one room into the next, and the folding wall systems allow the indoors and outdoors to become one. Upper cabinets with clear glass doors allow light to infuse the space. The transparency lets the eye to travel through, supporting the open feel.

To accomplish this goal, Cattany teamed up with Architect Tim Stone of Kelly & Stone Architects in Steamboat Springs, and created a plan for removing walls and opening the entire back of the home to the outdoors. Several techniques were used; Wall openings between spaces were widened and some walls removed. Low-hanging steel beams were raised flush with the ceiling to create an uninterrupted ceiling throughout the dining, kitchen and living spaces.

Left: Although this space originally accessed the yard, there was no deck to accommodate outdoor dining. The dining room was only open to the rest of the house with two small doors. Now the dining area is a part of the first floor’s open layout, with easy access to additional outdoor seating.

To accentuate the indoor/outdoor connection, a raised Ipe wood deck was built with a concrete fire pit and built-in grill. Aligning the top of the deck with the interior hardwood floor creates a seamless indoor/ outdoor connection.

“A series of NanaWall door and window systems opens the house to the outdoors, further dissolving the boundaries between interior and exterior space,” says Cattany. “The pass-through exterior bar at the kitchen highlights the indoor/outdoor connection.”

Above: The adjoining great room becomes twice as large when the folding doors are open. The expanses create an open-air feel on the entire main floor of the home.

Right : For the ultimate outdoor entertaining, the kitchen opens to an outdoor bar so guests can relax with a drink and chat with others in the kitchen. It makes passing drinks and hors d’oeuvres a breeze.

Below: For the chef in the family, cooking and entertaining don’t have to take place separately. With the kitchen wide-open to the great room, dining room and outdoor living space, it’s easy to entertain and keep cups and plates full.

Design-Build Firm, Architect:
Melton Design Build, Boulder
303.473.9542 |

Kelly & Stone Architects, Steamboat Springs
970.875.0590 |