Simple elegance

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— Six years after building his home, Dan Howard has a hard time thinking of anything he might have done differently.

That's because Dan and his wife, Sally, took no decision lightly during construction -- from the wide, roomy hallways to varied spaces between the floor and windows.

The overall goal was to create an open and airy home that made their family feel anything but confined while indoors.

"We thought about every little feature from all angles," Dan said.

After raising three children in the home off Fish Creek Falls Road, the couple is downsizing to a smaller house.

Their former home is available to the discriminating buyer or family looking for comfortable, stylish living in a location offering country and urban benefits.

The 4,600-square-foot home sits on a cul-de-sac on Mauna Kea Drive, less than a minute from downtown Steamboat Springs.

Several hiking and biking trails skirt the boundaries of the 0.63-acre lot, connecting to more trails leading to schools, Spring Creek and Fish Creek Falls.

Tucked away from Fish Creek Falls Road, the home offers peace and quiet from traffic and is situated for privacy within the neighborhood.

Its unpretentious exterior barely hints at the simple elegance inside.

Visitors are welcomed into a travertine tile entrance with a wall-mounted water feature. From there, the home opens into a bright living room/dining area with maple floors and a gas fireplace.

Floor-to-ceiling windows emphasize expansive 20-foot ceilings, as do several skylights.

The home has a mountain-contemporary flair, softened by gentle curves where there could be stark corners. Balconies and nautical wire railings complete the modern, spacious feel.

"I think that's what makes it feel cozy, unusual," listing broker Evlyn Berge said.

The living/dining area is ideal for entertaining, flowing easily into a sun-warmed sitting area and gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances and maple cabinets.

A well-thought-out lighting scheme creates perfect evening ambiance, Dan said.

"It is one of the best features of the whole house," he said.

The master suite, also on the main floor, features vaulted ceilings, a gas fireplace and large windows with views of downtown. Deep green marble accentuates a roomy and bright master bath.

A secluded patio with a pond and waterfall sits off the northeast end of the home near the master suite.

Upstairs, there is a private guest room or second master suite with French doors that open into a sitting area overlooking the main floor.

A walkout basement offers a large recreation room, as well as two additional bedrooms and a bathroom. Generous windows let in plenty of light and views.

The home also offers 500 square feet of unfinished space on the first floor -- easily accommodating storage or another bedroom.

A three-car garage, mudroom and large laundry area round out practical spaces in the home.

The Howards are offering their home at $1,179,000.

For more information, call Berge at Axis West Realty at 879-8171.

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