Home Design Secrets: The Architect

Inspiration and advice from local pros for your abode. Home designer and architect Larry Gilland of LGA Studios talks about design trends, tips for small spaces and architectural tricks for homeowners.

Windows and expansive glass were a major focus in designing this Colorado contemporary custom home. Photo by Joel Strayer.

Harboring visions of building that dream home? Longing for some stylish upgrades to your current space? Desperately seeking creative tips on a budget? We’ve got you covered—or at least the pros we talked with do. Here are insights, trends and tricks of the trade from local experts in architecture, building, landscaping and interior design.

The Architect

Springs: How have you seen architecture change in Colorado Springs during your 35-year career?
Larry Gilland, LGA Studios: When I first started in the industry, there was a demand for more rapid suburban growth. We’re now seeing a shift back to the city centers and older neighborhoods; many people—boomers to millennials—are looking for homes that fit that engaged lifestyle. Homes may be smaller, but they are low maintenance, energy efficient and connected to the community.

broadmoor bluffs home interior fireplace
Natural materials, forms and light blend to root this Broadmoor Bluffs home to its natural environment and give it warmth. Photo by Joel Strayer.

What architectural tips and tricks can homeowners use?
Websites like Houzz, Pinterest and others are great visual tools to help each client communicate their ideas into images. In our business of design, a picture communicates a thousand words. Take the time to find the style, or combination of styles, that speaks to you.

LGA Broadmoor Bluffs Home bathtub view
Photo by Joel Strayer

Any design tips for small spaces?
Look for ways to make the space feel twice as large. Use windows and mirrors to draw in the outside while expanding the visual space. Open the area by using half-walls, or openings to adjacent spaces. Raise the ceilings in proportion to the space. Add clerestory or upper windows to expand the visual eye.

LGA Broadmoor Bluffs Home staircase
Photo by Joel Strayer

What design element can be incorporated by most anyone to make a more dynamic living space?
Look for ways to bring as much flow and openness as you can. One great way is to incorporate outdoor living space: a patio that extends from your family room for entertaining, a courtyard for meals, a tiny deck with a single chair for reading. Even a window can serve as a focal point.

Insider Tip

Home shapes life. Find or build a home that aligns with your priorities and lifestyle.

What noteworthy trends are you seeing now?
Currently we’re seeing an increasing interest in modern and contemporary architectural styles, both locally and nationally. We enjoy putting our own Colorado contemporary spin on that—using organic lines and local, natural materials and plenty of glass to bring in sunlight and Rocky Mountain views. Lifestyle drives trends too. We’re working with quite a few boomers looking toward retirement or transitioning to smaller one-level homes where they can age in place seamlessly. Many new buyers also love the older central neighborhoods, where they can add an accessory dwelling unit or a “granny flat” over the garage to use for guests, aging parents or Air B&Bs.

LGA Broadmoor Bluffs Home open living room and kitchen
Photo by Joel Strayer

More Home Design Secrets

Read more from other local home professionals in this series:

The Builder

The Landscape Architect

The Interior Designer

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