Modern in the Old North End

How a couple took their cues from Frank Lloyd Wright to bring Transitional architecture to one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.

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Frank Lloyd Wright never worked directly in Colorado, but if he had designed a home in Colorado Springs, it would likely have resembled 1704 Culebra Place—and that was precisely the intention of homeowners Nolan and Sharon Schriner.

After raising their children in a large Craftsman in the Old North End, the Schriners put their old house on the market and began designing their dream home.

“I had been playing around with house plans and design for some time, anticipating building a house,” Nolan Schriner says. “We had looked at homes all over the place and really liked the Frank Lloyd Wright style.”

Due to the lack of vacant lots in the neighborhood, the Schriners purchased a home on a large parcel of land at 314 W. Del Norte St. in 2007 and had it subdivided into two lots, selling the home and keeping the leftover 14,000 square feet of land for their new build.

transitional home dining room
Photo by Cameron Moix

It was during that time that Nolan reached out to Tom Hoover, a principal at Oz Architecture who works in a commercial building Schriner owns at 619 N. Cascade Ave. (perhaps one of the city’s leading examples of International style).

For months the Schriners exchanged photos and ideas with Hoover and shared their mandatory specs: It had to be a low-profile, modern home that could blend in with its surroundings in a neighborhood filled with older homes.

In 2011, Signature Homes by Steve Scott completed construction on the 4,000-square-foot home—2,600 on the main level and 1,400 on the basement level—which Hoover describes as “Transitional” and that Nolan sometimes refers to as “Contemporary Prairie.”

“I would call it Transitional, because it incorporates some of the principles of Prairie, some of the principles of Craftsman, but it also transitions to some modern bends,” Hoover says.

transitional home design kitchen
The spacious living room (left) flows openly into the entryway and dining room (far right) and features a fireplace-lit reading area. The home’s modern kitchen (center) is themed in gray scale, with swaths of red providing bursts of color, and spills out through glass sliding doors onto a large southwest-facing patio. High ceilings and skylights flood the dining room—the epicenter of the home’s common areas—with airy sunlight from both east and west. Photo by Cameron Moix.

The result was an airy home flooded with natural light and a wide-open floor plan that flaunts its implementation of natural materials and organic sensibilities. Both the dining room and kitchen spill out through glass French doors onto a large, pergola-covered patio and private wraparound yard.

The home also utilizes a variety of unique materials, including limestone, gray maple flooring, metallic wallpaper and composite countertops made with hop stems. But above all, Nolan says, it looks as if it belongs.

transitional style home living room
Photo by Cameron Moix

“I think the house ended up fitting into the neighborhood very well,” he says. “We get more compliments than anything.”

The Schriner Home

Address: 1704 Culebra Pl.
Owners: Nolan and Sharon Schriner
Beds: 4
Baths: 3.5
Architect: Tom Hoover
Builder: Steve Scott
Completed: 2011
Style: Transitional

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