By Emily Kemme
When Crystal and Shawn Osthoff decided to build their new home in Harmony Club, a private golf community just minutes from Fort Collins offering a state-of-the-art clubhouse, resort-style saltwater pool, open air tennis pavilion, lush landscaping and breathtaking views of Colorado’s Front Range, choosing their builder was the easiest part of their homebuilding journey.
The Osthoffs had previously worked with Jerry Allen of J. Allen Construction on another home build and valued the easy-going relationship they developed with the longtime Colorado builder.
J. Allen’s commitment to constructing a high-quality home was reflected in a promise to be involved during all stages of construction.
“Homeowners choose me for my knowledge and industry experience,” Allen says, whose projects range from $1 million to $20 million. “But it’s also because of the quality products we use and how we keep much of the process in-house, from doing the majority of the excavation and backfill with our own equipment to having our own framing crews and trim carpenters.”
J. Allen brings together a skilled team of architects, designers and master craftsmen to bring a homeowner’s vision to fruition. The result is unsurpassed homes and remodeling projects where detail-oriented design is raised to an art form.
After receiving drawings from architect David Hueter, interior designer Sadie Leners got to work creating a living space that projected the Osthoff’s personalities.
“Shawn and Crystal live life to its fullest and we tried to make sure this house reflected that,” Leners says.
It was important that the new home pulled in elements from the couple’s travel experiences and favorite places alike, including a custom wood wall in the master bedroom and modeling their wine room on one they frequent at their favorite Denver restaurant, Guard and Grace.
“Their taste had evolved from the last home,” Leners notes, “and they wanted something to reflect that transition to a lighter, softer, brighter look.”
The result, which Leners classifies as modern American cottage, pulls in Colorado mountain design elements that showcase arches and stone fireplaces paired with modern components like custom railing and elegant light fixtures.
“As a living space, you enter it and feel like you’re being hugged,” Leners says. “Nothing feels incredibly formal. The beautifully tiled entry with an adjacent stone wall opens into a bright, sunny living, dining and kitchen area.”
Hueter’s skill at manipulating natural light and utilizing sub-light when situating a home on a lot yielded a living space that brings the outdoors in, another departure from their previous home.
“His use of glass makes the outdoors accessible, seamlessly extending the indoor living space into the outdoors,” Leners notes.
Her primary focus was coordinating contrasting yet complementary textures throughout the home, including warm and cool neutral hues with soft, inviting organic tones that balance the home’s large timbers.
Rich, warm browns are brightened with cabinetry and countertops, while a combination of tiles in mosaics, natural stone, hexagonal shapes and large format subway tiles provide interesting focal points.
Shiplap wood paneling was painted white throughout, as was white trim and paneling. Dark wood doors and espresso wooden columns create a contrast that pops.
The play of dark and light continues into the kitchen, which features a custom metal hood over a top-of-the line 48-inch Wolf Subzero gas range. Crisp white cabinets and quartzite countertops of soft gray natural stone with elegant veining are offset by striking black hardware and transitional custom lighting.
Floor surfaces throughout the home are laid with engineered, wide plank white oak that was wire-brushed to create a distressed look, taking into account Rocky, the Osthoff’s black lab. The textures work to camouflage day-to-day use—and the family dog’s dark fur.
J. Allen’s homes are sturdy and over-engineered. Details like 11/8-inch thick sub-flooring minimizes floor deflection, and timber strand studs throughout the house that won’t twist or warp aren’t overlooked.
The overarching goal to building a home to fit a lifestyle takes into consideration how the owners will use their homes and live in them daily. Allen’s team excels at building beautiful homes—but the key to longevity is incorporating materials that will withstand the test of time.