A 1930 Wash Park Tudor with beautiful bones gets a light & airy update
Exposed brick walls. Big, vaulted ceilings. The bones of a beautiful 1930 Tudor home. Take one step inside this year’s 2016 Denver Life Magazine Designer Showhouse, and it’s easy to see why Brad Liber, owner of Caliber Construction, was so drawn to the Washington Park property.
Liber collaborated with the magazine, Alvarez Morris Architecture and 14 design firms to reimagine and update the four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath, 3,800-square-foot home, which sits at the corner of South Race Street and East Center Avenue. The house will be open to the public September 10-18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. And for the second year in a row, a $20 admission fee directly benefits Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.
Caliber Construction lead designer Caylin Engle says the interior designers added a modern spin to the space, focusing on clean lines and detail work. Carlos Alvarez, co-owner of Alvarez Morris Architecture, says that while Tudors are traditionally dark and heavy, he worked to achieve the exact opposite architecturally with this year’s Showhouse. “The challenge for us was to take a dark house and make it a light house,” he says. “It has the shapes of old-school houses, and it’s got a beautiful comfort to the eye, yet it feels really nice and clean inside.”
Liber and Engle agree that working with an older home had its challenges. The basement and garage, for example, did not go to plan—they required more structural work than expected. But the widely experienced team, including several alums from last year’s Showhouse project, made all the difference, creating a lot of “good synergy,” Engle says.
Liber says the project turned out “amazing—it flows really well and represents exactly what we want it to be.” That includes what Engle calls “thoughtful” design elements. “We spent a lot of time tweaking plans to make the space how we would want to live in it, which is what we try to do on most of our projects,” she says.
One such detail is the placement and accessibility of the laundry room, which was moved to the second floor, close to all the bedrooms, and is connected to the closet in the master bedroom. She also points to the home’s kitchen, outdoor space and stairwell, calling the latter a “unique space and one of those that people overlook a little bit. I think it’s a really cool area.”
Heather Lafferty, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, says the admission donation will be used to further the organization’s homeownership program, in which the nonprofit partners with low-income families nationally and internationally to help them become homeowners. “We recognize support for the Showhouse is coming from all over the metro area and we wanted to re-invest that back into projects that we have going on here,” she says.
Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver has helped about 700 families in the area to date. By the end of this year, 80 additional homes are expected to have been built, renovated or repaired. “I think what’s really unique and wonderful in the Showhouse project is the ability to work with a talented group of builders and designers who not only know how to build and create beautiful spaces, but also really understand the value of creating healthy and affordable housing options and the importance they place on giving back to the community,” Lafferty says.
We asked this year’s design team to walk us through their inspiration and favorite features for each room, plus their best tips for getting the looks in your own homes. Please, come on in.