“This is us.”
That is the phrase Phil Parker and Vanessa Johnson choose to characterize their recently completed 5,479-square-foot dream home in the picturesque Upper Skyway neighborhood of southwest Colorado Springs.
“It’s just a comfortable place to live and to entertain,” Phil says. “It’s perfect for our lifestyle.”
The home, which its owners have dubbed Bella Découvre (loosely translated, “beautiful discovery” in French), is perched atop the foothills with an aesthetic unique to the architectural landscape of Colorado Springs.
At first glance, it appears more befitting to the ski-villages that adorn the slopes of Summit County, with its multicolored facade, extreme angles and 1.64-acre lot peppered with pines. And that was precisely the intent of Colorado Springs-based Solid Rock Custom Homes when they set out to build Bella Découvre last year.
“We like that mountain feel,” Vanessa says. “But we also like the industrial and the modern. We didn’t want it to look like every other house around here—and it doesn’t.”
The four-bedroom, four-bath home serves as the flagship of “Rustic Industrial Modern” (R.I.M.) style, which was developed through a partnership between the builders at Solid Rock and the architects at RemWhirl. Lain Chappell, owner and president of Solid Rock, explains that the style developed organically while working to incorporate interior design elements sought after by the Johnsons: exposed steel, a variety of rich woods, large banks of windows and high, asymmetrical ceilings.
“There was a lot of interest [in R.I.M.] during the Parade of Homes, and I think people have really latched on to it, so we’re hoping it takes,” Chappell says. “It’s comfortable and natural with lots of woods and stone, but the lines of the house are so dynamic. Those angles are really what give it the modern look.”
Guests enter the $1.865-million home through a beautiful 4-foot-wide pivot door, which opens to the grand open-concept living area, dining area and kitchen. A wall of windows to the east overlooks the city with a spectacular panorama. The centerpiece of the living room is a fireplace covered with metallic-look ceramic tile that ascends toward a towering asymmetrical ceiling that stands 19 feet at its highest point.
The upper and the lower levels are connected by a floating steel staircase. Both levels feature corresponding north and south wings outfitted with their own bathroom and bedroom, which does much to add to the layout’s functionality and privacy.
“There really isn’t much wasted space,” Phil says. “We tried to create the most efficient flow possible—and I think we did.”
Although it features an abundance of rich woods and black steel, the home’s lightly colored walls, luxury vinyl flooring, countertops and abundance of natural light help to balance its natural tones.
The RIM aesthetic also bleeds outward, with an exterior design featuring siding crafted from red corrugated steel, muted green and yellow pressed concrete, and stone accents. Gray corrugated steel composes the roof and does much to increase its industrial aesthetic. City code pertaining to fire prevention inspired the builder to choose these low-maintenance, noncombustible materials, but necessity to meet those codes also helped to invent the home’s unique look.
The crown jewel of Bella Découvre’s outdoor living space is a 1,000-square-foot covered patio that boasts a chef-inspired kitchen equipped with stainless appliances and granite countertops. The outdoor kitchen is second only to an award-winning main kitchen, which features an island topped with Patagonian granite, chef-inspired industrial appliances and a layout that connects seamlessly to the main living space.
The home’s lower level includes a personal gym, movie theater and full wet bar that houses a “wine train,” rolling climate-controlled cases with capacity for 240 bottles.
“That’s definitely my favorite feature of the house,” Vanessa says with a laugh.
Behind the home is a smaller, yet architecturally cohesive, structure that houses a small garage, office and three-quarter bath. The building, which the owners’ call their “independent-living facility,” serves as a luxury man-cave, with space for Phil to brew beer, practice guitar and process the spoils of hunting trips.
Chappell says the six-month building process set a new speed record for Solid Rock, and Bella Découvre passed its final inspection one day before last summer’s Parade of Homes. But the effort definitely paid off for the Johnsons, who say they wouldn’t make a single alteration to their dream home.
“This is exactly what we wanted,” Vanessa says.