Couple Settles into Retirement with Lifetime of Modern Collections

The bold strokes and vibrant geometric shapes of the Alexander Calder painting above the fireplace sums up this Parker home. 

The 20th-century abstract artist plays prominently here, as does op artist Victor Vasarely, whose works populate the walls throughout the 8,000-square-foot modern house.

“My dad had a couple of Calders, and he gave me one in my last year of college,” the homeowner says.

That gift many years ago inspired his love of all things modern.

The husband and wife, who worked together as a sales team before retirement, spent more than 20 years dreaming up every detail of this unique home finished in 2013. They even served as their own general contractor during construction on the 5-acre lot with sweeping Front Range views. But this is no stuffy modern art museum. These homeowners like to have fun.

The foyer features a round Plexiglas floor insert, where you can peer down into the basement bar and game room.

“It sometimes freaks people out to stand on,” the homeowner says.

Look up, and you’ll see a special light fixture hanging from the vaulted ceiling that the couple found at the Denver Art Museum gift shop. It’s not a real Chihuly, they say, but it fit their pop art vibe. The couple loves to tell the story about buying it for a discounted price and sweet-talking the store manager to come to their home to help them painstakingly put each glass bulb together like a puzzle before hanging it on an in-wall pulley system.

A wide metal staircase leads to a loft with a private living space and rooftop deck. From the staircase landing, you have a bird’s-eye view below of the great room and adjoining gourmet kitchen with butler pantry. The guest wing of the home is reserved for visiting friends and family. Here you’ll find artwork and notes from their granddaughter, who visits often with the couple’s daughter and son-in-law.

They have a shared love of scotch, with a packed tasting room to show for it. And a wine tasting room boasts hundreds of bottles of wine, “most of which are $10 a bottle,” the homeowner says, in a nod to his penchant for scoring deals. 

As a manufacturer’s representative in consumer electronics for 46 years, the homeowner says he spent decades traveling the West visiting customers’ luxury homes in places such as Aspen; Sun Valley, Idaho; Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Santa Fe, N.M. The couple’s dream home started to take shape in his head during those trips. He made note of what architecture and floor plans worked and what didn’t. He started to develop a sense of his own style.

“I’ve just always liked the contemporary style, with its clean lines,” he says. 

He also got design inspiration early on from the electronics company, which he says was always on the leading edge of in-home audio and visual systems.

“The first line we repped was from a company from Denmark called Bang & Olufsen,” he says. “Their hi-fi equipment was always interesting and modern. It looked like art.”

The homeowner got good at sniffing out closeout home decor fixtures, tile and artwork, and he stored his deals in his company’s warehouse to wait for the day construction on their dream home started.  

For this couple just starting their retirement, their forever home is more than a backdrop for their mid-mod art and furnishings. They created almost every aspect to be able to “age in place.” They love to take guests for a ride in the elevator that operates from the basement to the second-story loft. Their garage features pull-through doors, because, “old people hate to back up,” the homeowner says. The kitchen has bar-height appliances, such as the dishwasher, to eliminate the need to bend over while doing chores or cooking.

The homeowners laugh when they say their mid-mod passion, devotion to family and shared love of scotch has kept them together for more than 35 years. They met on a blind date, and when he arrived to pick her up, he immediately noticed the Glenlivet 12 on her kitchen counter.

“When he saw my bottle of scotch, that was it,” she says.