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A Perfectly Personal Red Rock Retreat

Geologist homeowners held onto this property for over 30 years before finally building the retirement home of their dreams



Photos by David Patterson Photography

Surrounded by red rock in an area near White Deer Valley in Littleton, Colorado, sits a uniquely personal piece of residential architecture and interior design. The homeowners, both geologists, purchased the pristine, untouched property more than 30 years ago before their children were grown, with plans to eventually build the retirement home of their dreams.

They subsequently spent the next three decades camping on and hiking the land—surveying every rock, plant, and vantage point, falling ever more in love with the striking red rock views.

When the time was right and with design team in tow, an entry point was thoughtfully chosen between an existing large, white boulder and some mature gambel oak plants they hoped to preserve. 

An enclosed bridge between the garage and the house ensures that the gambel oak roots go undisturbed.

The architectural vision was for the home to feel part and parcel of the beloved property, gently camouflaged into its landscape—it was important to them that the design not feel intrusive but rather like it had emerged from the land itself. 

Shallow-pitched roofs with tapered-prow ends appear as if they reach out to the horizon's, much like the red rock formations beyond. The home’s stone base matches the rust colors of the land, and natural-stained siding allows the wood grain to peek through—the streaks of gray and pale blue echo the early-morning and late-evening sky.

The careful attention to the home’s surroundings continues to the interiors, with ample glass in every room ensuring a red rock vantage point from any angle. Upon entering the home, one's attention is drawn directly into the view and the majesty of the extraordinary rock formations. 

A large panty and built-in storage spaces throughout the home create uncluttered surfaces and a minimal, midcentury modern-informed style. 

Floating shelves in the kitchen display the homeowners’ favorite pieces—a theme present in every room.

The dining space boasts a stunning picture-framed view, wood-stained windows that match the tone of the flooring, and a live-edge table that speaks to the natural elements found on the site.

Beloved finds from the homeowners’ geological surveys, as well as prized family heirloom furniture, were carefully taken into consideration when designing every nook and cranny of the home. 

Displayed along the stone hearth of the living room fireplace are special collected pieces of stone, skulls, and other meaningful treasures. 

A wrap-around shelf closely hugs the freestanding tub in the master bath, displaying more of the homeowners’ favorite things—in this case, potted cactus plants.

While the home is beautiful and truly designed with its site in mind, the homeowners’ meticulous thought and eclectic personal touches are what make this mountain retreat a sight to be seen and a story to be heard.

Karen Keating is a principal at TKP Architects, an award-winning architecture and interior design firm based in Golden, Colorado. View TKP's profile or contact Karen at (303) 278-8840.

Content for this article provided by TKP Architects.

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