“I bought the most expensive house in the neighborhood, which is the biggest real estate no-no, but that didn’t matter to me,” says Peter Blank, a Realtor with Mile Hi Modern. The house in question is a 1956 A-frame built by H.B. Wolff, one of only five such designs among the 100 or so Modernist residences in the Lynwood neighborhood of Denver. “I’ve always been a loft guy. I wasn’t really looking for a house and I don’t like yard work, but now I’m into bamboo and water features—a total 180° change from where I was two years ago,” the 50-something bachelor says. “This neighborhood is five minutes from downtown and the neighbors are artsy, so it wasn’t like I was moving to suburbia.”
The 1,630-square-foot A-frame home had been altered by a previous owner—the original carport is now an entry hall and an office, and the garage is a later add-on as well. Blank took that idea further and pushed out one wall of the A-frame section, adding square footage to his living room and kitchen. It gives him a striking, in-your-face space that’s definitely not meant for the toddler crowd.
There’s a small table for two in the kitchen, but no dining table in the house. That’s intentional, as he prefers to have sit-down dinners outside and keeps his indoor entertaining limited to cocktail parties or drinks downstairs at the intimate basement bar. Between the ballsy wood support beams and cement footings in the living room, the code-busting stair handrail, the original art, the wood sculptures and the pristine surfaces—including a cherry wall that took a month to stain—it’s likely there won’t be too many sippy cups cluttering his coffee table.
“I took my time choosing each panel; I wanted the wall to have almost a wood mosaic feel,” Blank explains about the living room’s cherry pony wall. “The corners were particularly challenging: two pieces meeting at the corners wasn’t a very clean look, so I ended up creating a corner piece that finishes it off. This is not your father’s wood paneling!”
A similar attention to detail was brought to the green accent walls in the remodeled kitchen, which were added when white proved too stark. Eight different glazes over a chartreuse base tested his painter’s stamina and patience. “People might argue that some of what I’ve done isn’t good for resale, but I chose to do this for my own personal enjoyment. The next person will probably paint the kitchen walls white again, but while I’m here I want to enjoy it,” he explains.
Adding to an A+ A-Frame
Blank’s appealingly unconventional designs extend to the outdoor spaces of the home. Tune in for Part 2 to find out how he made the garden his own.