Rooms with a view

Custom-home buyers want it their way, but one thing they agree on is fulsome fenestration
Open layouts are still the prevailing preference for home design (Photo: Beck Building Company)

Designing and building a high-end custom home starts with a different mentality from other custom building, according to Forrest Watson, project manager at Beck Building Company in Avon. In the ultra-luxury homes of affluent owners, it’s all about taking your time.

“The owner allows the architect and the contractor, a lot of times, to work together early on to allow the design to meander,” Watson said.

That lengthy preconstruction phase “allows us all to work toward owner goals, but also allows the design team to really go out and be creative.”

It also gives owners time to make sure the team of experts they’re recruiting for their home will be able to work well together.

“They’re really allowing a team to be built based on their likenesses,” Watson said. The vast range of experts involved in a high-end custom build—architects, interior design firms, electrical, lighting and even landscaping, to name just a few—means it’s important to ensure early that a team is aligned in goals and vision so that builders and owners can “minimize surprises and … have a clear direction to what we’re building to.”

Contemporary or Craftsman?

Watson said his clients are typically drawn to contemporary styles: “a lot of clean lines, structures that are very modern in appearance.”

He noted, “The details are what drive the look; the cleanliness of the places or the surroundings that you’re creating, this is the environment that they’re after.”

However, Drew Fairfield, outside sales manager at 84 Lumber, a national building supply company with a location in Grand Junction, noted that custom builders in his area have been interested in American Craftsman style for their clients.

“We’ve been seeing a lot of painted trims, doors, molding. We’ve been seeing a lot of shaker-style doors, a lot of eased edge bases, cases and headers instead of milled, a lot of shiplap,” Fairfield said. “The traditional Craftsman look has been [popular for] the upper-end homes.”

Travis Willmarth, kitchen sales manager at 84 Lumber, noted that he’s seeing more rustic designs among custom builders, with custom metal chandeliers and shiplap in rooms throughout the home.

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