Brenda Cutler and Tom Douglis were not looking for a new home, happy in their dreamy downtown loft.
That is, until Cutler was flipping through a real estate magazine and saw a photo of a dome residence in Centennial. She called her husband and said, “I found our future home.”
They bought the property — which features an indoor pool, and is at 6681 S. Abilene Way — in 2009 for $470,000.
“It has brought us joy every single day,” Cutler said. “It’s exactly what we thought it would be; even after 10 years, it’s still thrilling to walk through the door and see the incredible spaciousness and see the pool shimmering. It’s just been a joy.”
Now, the couple are looking for someone who will have a similar reaction. They’re putting the two-story dome up for sale, asking price $935,000.
Aeronautical engineer Chris Barnes designed the home in the early 1980s. Barnes had a fascination with domes, the couple said, and traveled throughout Europe visiting dome structures and seeking inspiration.
While some domes are built by assembling triangular shapes that fit together, Barnes constructed the home using a method the current owners said was revolutionary at the time. He used a balloon to create the shape of the dome, then used material mixed with concrete to mold around the shape of the balloon, Cutler and Douglis said.
The couple said part of Barnes’ motivation was to conserve energy in the house. The result, however, created a much more memorable experience for them as well as the guests they frequently entertained.
“No matter how much (architecture) people have seen, they can’t help it but pull out their cellphones and take a picture,” Cutler said.
Besides the indoor pool, the home features 23-foot-high ceilings and a spiral staircase circling a rock column. For the uninitiated, the couple said the acoustics of the home can be surprising. While the dome shape and concrete walls keep out the noise of nearby Arapahoe Road, Cutler and Douglis said indoor noise can feel much closer than it actually is.
“When you’re used to loft living, you get used to the spaciousness of it and you never feel constrained,” Douglis said. “For a creative person who doesn’t like being hemmed in by eight-foot ceilings, it’s a feeling of optimism and that, I think, inspires both of us.”
The couple, who own their own branding firm, completed a kitchen renovation, added a hot tub, and redid the guest bathroom and laundry.
“It’s all been passed down as if it’s a work of art and this is part of the provenance of the house,” Cutler said. “Over the last 10 years, we’ve tried to update certain aspects of it while still keeping the retro elements.”
Address: 6681 S. Abilene Way
Listing price: $935,000
Stats: 4,500 square feet with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The property includes a three-car garage and patio, and sits on a 0.8-acre lot.
Sellers: Brenda Cutler and Tom Douglis
Listing agents: Christian Mulhern and Peter Blank with MileHiModern