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The understated exterior includes a mix of cedar siding, concrete pavers, and clean architectural lines that sets off the home’s mountain-modern aesthetic. Photo by Kimberly Gavin

Easy, Breezy Living in Eagle

How the owners of a design-build firm made a home for themselves that flawlessly suits their lifestyle and values—and the house's mountain environs.

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You might imagine that when Cody and Kellye O’Kelly—a construction manager and interior designer, respectively—were plotting out their own home, they were dreaming up over-the-top ideas. On the contrary, practicality and restraint guided the 2,800-square-foot project on an idyllic lot, situated between a golf course and a pocket park in Eagle, that Kellye discovered while on a bike ride. As outdoorsy recreationists who care about the environment, the couple prioritized sustainable materials and energy efficiency. As industry professionals (they now own their own design-build firm, OCG) who had seen clients’ budgets and project timelines balloon, they knew that sticking to predetermined limits was imperative. And as the parents of two young children, Cody and Kellye designed with comfort and durability in mind. The result is a warm, approachable, highly functional house where the O’Kelly family and guests alike always feel at home.

5280 Home: How much did the location influence your home’s design?
Cody O’Kelly: We really believe in designing to the site and not trying to force something that’s not natural to that place, whether that’s in the selection of materials, like the cedar siding we used, or the size or shape of the home.
Kellye O’Kelly: Inside, olive greens and rust colors reflect the nature where we live. I want to feel like we live in the mountains, to have that mountain-modern aesthetic—but not so harsh and modern that you’re uncomfortable.

The interiors definitely feel inviting.
KO: The greatest compliment when we’re entertaining friends is when they say, “We feel so comfortable and cozy here, and we’re not paranoid about our kids running around.” We knew our kids might want to come in with their scooters or whatever; we couldn’t overload the space with furniture and knickknacks that can get broken.

What were your biggest priorities at the outset?
CO: This is kinda nerdy, but there’s been a big push over the last few years to throw energy at everything: Put air-conditioning in, heat the floors. Instead, we designed a more passive house. We did not do air-conditioning, but we did a really nice insulation package and a whole-house fan, which pulls cold air in at night and lets the house slowly warm up during the day.
KO: We’re both from Texas, so we grew up in air-conditioning and can’t stand it. Living up in the mountains, we’re lucky to have those cooler evenings, and it’s nice to open the sliding doors by our dining table and embrace that.

Cody and Kellye O'Kelly
The O’Kellys in front of their home in Eagle. Photo by Kimberly Gavin

Were there any lessons you learned from clients’ projects that you applied to your own home?
CO: One of the main takeaways from working with clients is that there can be a lack of discipline [in designing and building homes]. So we took the time on the front end to outline our goals and objectives for design, budget, and schedule, and used them as our guidelines as we moved forward. An example of that was finding a way to afford the European white-oak floors; that was a nonnegotiable we were going to build around. Committing to the budget and schedule means that as the project evolves, you don’t get so emotional with every decision.
KO: We’re a good team in that way because, of course, as a designer, I have all kinds of ideas! But Cody would rope me in, saying, “This is more practical here,” or “We can tackle that later on.” He’s looking at all aspects of the project, I look at the pretty picture, and we come together and make it all work.

You were such a good team, in fact, that you decided to work together full time, right?
CO: We were about halfway through constructing this home when I decided to make the jump to start OCG, our construction management and interior design firm; Kellye followed about six months later.
KO: At the end of the project, we were still married! We survived the building process and working together—so why not do it for a living?

Design Pros

Architecture: Pavan Krueger, Krueger Architecture
Interior design: Kellye O’Kelly, OCG
Construction: Cody O’Kelly, OCG

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