olsen residence









Photo Credit | Dan O’Connor


Architect | Joseph Vigil
Interior Designer | Brandy LeMae

After years of use as a rental, this complete remodel transformed a typical South Boulder 1960s split-level into a modern, energy efficient home the Owner could be proud of. No square footage was added, yet the home has plenty of room for a family of three. Two upper floor bedrooms were combined into a master suite with stackable laundry, walk-in closet, and built-in desk. The lower bedroom and family room were combined into two bedrooms and the lower level bathroom and laundry closet combined into new full bath. The kitchen was completely remodeled with IKEA cabinetry and a front porch added. This original home was ugly, but the recycled house one of our favorite projects and we are very proud of the outcome. In May 2009 the home was included on the Historic Boulder Landmarks of the Future Tour.

exterior changes covered entry roof; fiberglass windows; stucco and metal siding; CMU porch; chain down spout; custom metal mail box; custom garage door

The yellow brick on the exterior is original material. The wood siding on the second story element was replaced with a combination of powder-coated, low maintenance, metal and stucco. The new overhanging roof above the entry provides a contemporary element. The garage door features a custom, asymmetrical window arrangement, which echoes the pattern in the living room windows.

The low-maintenance, high-performing windows were custom made by local window manufacturer Serious Material (formerly Alpen Energy Products). Fiberglass is superior to vinyl for several reasons. They come in a variety of colors rather than just white or almond and fiberglass expands and contracts at the same rate as the glazing giving them a longer life span. We try to avoid vinyl products because it is very toxic to produce.

The front porch is constructed of wide CMU blocks so the tops of the walls serve as additional seating. The original concrete walk from the driveway to the front door was relocated to join the sidewalk instead. This created more of a welcoming gesture for guests. The large vertical chain off the front entry takes the place of a traditional downspout and serves to direct water into a basin.

interior changes new wiring and light fixtures; icynene insulation; smooth finish drywall; IKEA cabinets; refinished oak floors; new stair treads; custom metal handrail; natural linoleum flooring; mosaic tile; wool carpet; low VOC paints and coatings; new plumbing fixtures; heat recovery ventilation system

The house was taken down to the studs and rebuilt using “green” practices. The area between the living room and kitchen used to be a solid wall. The stainless bar top between the two rooms is both functional and decorative. The flooring in the kitchen and downstairs bath is Marmoleum, a linseed oil-based product. The bedroom/den features all wool carpeting and padding, which eliminates off-gassing. All the doors are solid birch.

A heat recovery ventilator was installed, required to ensure sufficient air replacement because the house is sealed so tightly. Winter electric bill only $60. The house also features Energy Star appliances and dual flush toilets.

Although not formaldehyde free, IKEA cabinetry is made to the European standard of formaldehyde content which is lower parts per million than the American standard for cabinets of the same price range. The kitchen sink and faucet are IKEA as well as the bathroom sinks, faucets and light fixtures. The Master Bathroom has a minimalist look with its clean straight lines and its simple color selection of white and brown. The mosaic tile and linoleum flooring in the downstairs bath are done in a refreshing color palette of blues and greens which compliment one another and help give this space a bright and cheery feel.

The downstairs bedroom features a built-in bed surround which adds interest to the room, as well as providing storage in the very deep pull out drawers below the bed.

1,591 gross square feet; 1,311 finished square feet

$168,000 Total Costs; $149,000 Construction Costs; $106.60/SF Total; $93.65/SF Construction

2655 Stephens Road, Boulder CO 80305

Olsen Residence on Houzz