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ABD Transforms Mountain Cabin into Retirement Paradise

ABD Transforms Mountain Cabin into Retirement Paradise

By Associates in Building + Design
Published May 14, 2019

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Fort Collins remodelWe are particularly excited about the recent renovation we completed of a family’s retirement home here in Fort Collins. This remodel transformed a dark, older home into a light-filled, rustic modern home ideal for full-time retirement living.

The house was well-loved for its location and views, on a lake in mid-town but, typical of mid-20th century design, the home contained segmented living spaces an updates from the 1980’s left things old and tired. The many walls created odd angles, wasted space, and blocked views of the outdoors. Our goals were to open the space; install updated flooring, lighting, cabinetry and fixtures; and introduce plenty of natural light and scenic views.

Sometimes, when we work on an older home, we’ll discover underlying concerns along the way. In this case, previous owners had removed a beam in an upstairs remodel, and the ceiling was no longer properly supported. We called in an engineer to direct us in shoring up the ceiling and confirming the integrity of the home’s structure.

Fort Collins remodelThe most dramatic changes this renovation brought were to the downstairs living area. The kitchen was formerly a small, mostly-encased, walk-through space. A rectangle cut-out provided a tight dining counter for two. The cook could peer into the dining area and look through glass sliding door into the living area. A small window there gave a view of the outdoors.

The new kitchen anchors one corner of the living and dining space. White cabinets and beautiful Pental Quartz countertops provide a bright backdrop, punctuated by a square, charcoal grey center island with prep sink and seating for four. Pantry storage and additional counterspace and cabinets, which mimic the charcoal grey of the kitchen island, create an ideal butler pantry near the laundry room. The sleek lines of stainless appliances and mixed metal, industrial-style fixtures are softened by the natural wood floors and furnishings.

The corner kitchen opens to a full, beautiful sunroom sitting room, casual dining area and then into a freshly designed living area with a dramatic wall of geometric windows. Rather than an afterthought, the lake views now take center stage. An exposed wooden beam is now the only physical “barrier” in the wide-open space.

The homeowners selected leather furnishings from unique vendors found through the Miami Merchandise Mart for this showcase room. One wall is lined with industrial shelving, while we added smooth, recessed shelving to the lower section of the opposite wall. This allows for media storage below the large-screen tv.

Fort Collins remodelWe also refreshed the look of the split staircase, a prominent feature in the downstairs space. Rather than painted wooden spindles, the staircase now features contemporary, horizontal metal rails supported by wooden balusters.

The master bath in this new retreat also saw a dramatic shift. Like the home’s other spaces, this room was divided by walls. We shortened one wall and added a short counter and storage for extra space. The traditional bathtub, once supported by walls on three sides, is now a modern, free-standing tub. A half wall now separates the tub from other parts of the bathroom, visually increasing the size of the space and allowing the light from the overhead skylight to spread throughout the room. All fixtures, cabinetry and counter spaces were also updated, coordinating with the contrasting whites, charcoals and metals now used through the home.

Interior remodeling, especially a project of this magnitude, can be daunting. But with the right team in place, it’s easy to bring new life to an old home, even when surprises arise along the way. If you’re looking for a custom remodeler in Fort Collins or northern Colorado, visit us at You’ll find lots of ideas, complete with before-and-after pictures that show the true craftmanship and quality of our work.