Steamboat’s Dimension Fine Homes garners statewide attention for custom projects
September 14, 2013
Steamboat Springs — After having a home featured in the August issue of Colorado Homes & Lifestyles magazine, Susse Budde got a call from a woman in Denver asking about a specific couch, citing the page number on which she saw it.
The couch was a custom job from Los Angeles, and the woman had her husband and daughter travel to Steamboat, where the family has a home, to test how comfortable it was.
Budde and Corey Larsen make up Dimension Fine Homes, a home design and building team that has been on a roll lately with extending its business beyond word of mouth to glossy pages and unexpected phone calls.
"It was sort of their best-of-the-best issue, so it was really exciting for us," Budde said about Colorado Homes & Lifestyles' August issue.
The home featured in the magazine was a two-year project for Budde and Larsen with clients who were based in Dubai.
"The house we did for the Dubai couple is like dream house," Budde said, adding that they had the resources and were passionate about design.
Budde and Larsen work mainly with second-home owners such as the Dubai couple, she said, and that presents its own set of challenges. Both members of the couple travel constantly, and the time difference between Dubai and Steamboat is 10 hours. There were plenty of Skype calls, Budde said, where she would be holding drawings or materials up to the camera.
"They showed up to a fully readied house," she said. "That was the fun part.
"It was like entering a five-star hotel, and they showed up with 18 people the day after Christmas. It was a very dramatic reveal."
Budde said the opportunity to feature the house in a magazine came when she asked David Patterson, a Steamboat photographer, to take some photos of the place for her own use. Patterson saw the potential in the house and took some test shots to send to magazines, which lead to the August feature.
Budde's own home in Strawberry Park also will be featured in Colorado Homes & Lifestyles in January.
She calls the home a cabin but admits friends question that label with its modern interior.
"I think they just like that transformation from extreme rustic to extreme modern," she said about the upcoming feature.
Another Steamboat home from Budde and Larsen on Bear Drive is expected to be featured in Luxe Magazine in the near future.
"I feel like we're just lucky," Budde said about the recent highlighting of their work.
Budde moved to Steamboat in 2007 from Los Angeles and met Larsen on a blind date. Larsen happened to already have a contracting business, and before they knew it, they were on the same job together. Eventually, they because a full-time team and formed their own company.
"This is a good mix," Budde said. "It works out for clients when you have a designer and contractor."
"One of the biggest challenges on high-end, custom homes is access to materials," she said about their work in Steamboat.
Although there are great shops in Steamboat, she said, the variety of a major city with design districts and large showrooms means she travels to Los Angeles frequently.
"Everybody is visual," Budde said. For the house on Bear Drive, she said, she took three trips to Denver with the client, who's from Massachusetts, to tour showrooms.
"We just love to get to be creative and collaborate with people and really tap into what their taste is and open their eyes to expanding that," Budde said. "They don’t know what's out there. They don't have time for everything."
In addition to design and building, Budde and Larsen also do architectural work and landscaping.
"We love getting to be in right at the onset," she said. "Whether working with an architect or doing it ourselves, it just makes for a much more seamless project."
And the projects speak for themselves.
Before the recent press, Budde and Larsen's business mainly came from word of mouth.
"We've been so fortunate with the type of people that contact us," she said. "They do their homework and research. It's surprising how much information people come to us with."
Budde said the relationship with a client is like a marriage: You want to feel like you have a good fit. Fortunately, she said, she and Larsen are flexible and work well with most types.
"It's usually by far the biggest investment they make," she said. "We hold their hand through that process."