Designing a New History

A Denver architect redesigned this historic Tudor-style home to fit her young family

by Kimberly Field | Photography by Mark Osler

The hand of architect Anne Quallick is everywhere in this historic Tudor in Denver’s Country Club neighborhood, but her light touch is barely felt. Rather, it maintains the character of the gracious, 1928 home once owned by a storied Denver family—just somehow more open and inviting. Quallick, a principal architect with Hagan Quallick Architects of Denver, and her husband Matt purchased the home in 2012 and started construction immediately. “From the moment we went under contract, I was sketching and designing as quickly as possible,” she says, “I was drawing on the walls and designing during construction. I had a clear vision of what we wanted in a home with two young boys.”

The thoughtful remodel made the elegant home and its Tudor details a comfortable setting for a modern family. The owners preserved the unique poured-concrete and flagstone main stairway and stone entry but eliminated a secondary stairway in favor of a small hall closet downstairs and an expanded bathroom in the children’s area upstairs. The game changer came in the kitchen. “There was more definition between public and private spaces in the 1920s,” Quallick says. They moved the kitchen to the south side of the house and opened it up to the living areas. Quallick popped the kitchen roof with a clerestory window that floods the space with light. A banquette fills a bay window for comfortable family dining.

The old kitchen space on the north side of the house became a much-needed mudroom with open storage, a sink and a happy surprise pro- vided by hand-painted fish tiles from the former kitchen lining the back of a coat closet.

UNCOVERED DETAILS
Sometimes there are good surprises in home renovation. Removing pink carpeting revealed beautiful flagstone stairs framed by a concrete column.

 

Hidden beneath wall-to-wall pink carpet were beautiful parquet floors, which were sanded and stained in the home’s office, living room and in the dining room, which now does double duty as a game room. “I realized that the dining room had the perfect proportions for a pool table,” Quallick says. Custom tabletops for ping pong and dining that accommodates 12 expand the room’s purpose. Quallick used hardwoods in a herringbone pattern in the new kitchen to complement, but not copy, the parquet.

Quallick raised the ceiling in the master suite 30 inches. It was quite the endeavor although the high gables of the attic accommodated it with no change to the exterior elevation. She added structural beams of pine in the newly raised ceil- ing of the master to mimic the beams downstairs.

“As they heated up, they started releasing sap,” Quallick says. “They’re acclimated now, but sometimes you forget what natural materials will do.”

The boys’ living space has a magical feel, but it is far from childish. A stone countertop embedded with fossil sea creatures anchors a sophisticated bathroom that the boys, ages six and five, share. Their bedrooms are joined by a whimsical “secret” room, accessed via false-front doorways. “The boys never tire of showing their friends the hidden doorways,” Quallick says, “They always react with delight as if it’s the first time they’ve discovered it.”

If the mystery room is Quallick’s favorite surprise of the house, the most practical is the granite-topped peninsula in the master closet. “It is so useful for folding and for packing,” she says. “I recommend this to my clients now.” The closet also boasts natural light from the original leaded windows.

Gothic arches that Quallick believes were part of the home’s horse stables reveal a backyard living space with an expansive, flagstone patio installed by past owners to accommodate dancing on warm summer nights. Somehow fitting for an elegant home that has learned new steps for a new generation.

FAMILY LIFE
The 11-foot opening in the wall between the new kitchen and living area required lifting a 600-pound steel beam that took eight men to install. The homeowner/architect designed bookcases to display family photos and mementos as well as soften the scale of the living room.

 

CLASSIC GOURMET
An arresting abstract painting on a neutral wall and the herringbone pattern in the hardwood floor that echoes the original parquet floors throughout the house, add interest to the classically white gourmet kitchen.

 

GAME PLAY
The original dining room, perfectly proportioned for a pool table, now does double duty as a dining and game room. Arhaus banquette bench seating pulls up to the table, which has a custom tabletop for elegant dining. Quallick added grasscloth wallcoverings and a chair rail. The structural wood beams are original.

 

LIGHT-FILLED NOOK
This sunny spot, which once served as the card room for the original homeowners, called for a built-in bench covered with fabric from Schumacher called Summer Palace Fret in Smoke. Light from the EF Chapman Square Tube Light collection by Visual Comfort.

 

KID ‘N’ PLAY
Every kid’s dream: A secret room accessed through a faux armoire that slides into a pocket door configuration.

 

OUTDOOR LIVING
When the home was first built, guests danced in the moonlight at elegant summer parties. Now, the family entertains and plays with the kids in this spacious backyard.

Resources

Architect: Hagan Quallick Architects, hqarchitects.com
Builder: Doug Canady, Canady Construction, 1111 W. Evans, 303.771.3837
Interiors: Lindsey Kennedy, Grayling Concepts, 454 N. High St., 303.718.7266
Kitchen: Kitchen Art of Colorado, 146 Madison, 303.327.8210