As Seen In WSJ | European Home With Hidden Passageways in Cherry Hills Villagelivxmin
High Design and Intrigue in Colorado | By Stefanos Chen, The Wall Street Journal A European-influenced home hides a secret passageway to a private balcony.—Stefanos Chen. (Featured in WSJ House of the Day, Monday July 28, 2013)
The owners, Darrell Weakland, 61, and Mary Weakland, 56, purchased this property in the village of Cherry Hills, a suburb of Denver, for $4.95 million in 2010. Built in 2004, this stone, brick and stucco home is inspired by Italian villas, Mr. Weakland said, and, in some unconventional ways, by author Dan Brown’s novel ‘The Da Vinci Code.’
The roughly 2.5-acre property is located in Cherry Hills, a quiet, high-end community lined with sizable lots for owners looking for proximity to Denver without sacrificing open spaces. There are no public street lamps in the area, and some dirt roads, said the listing agent.
Mr. Weakland bought the home from the first owners, K.C. Jones, a custom-home builder, and his wife Janice Jones, who is a home designer. Mr. Jones said he ‘wanted to do something over the top’ with this home Mr. Jones, who is a big fan of ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ created a trap door in this room, which opens up to a small enclosure that leads, by a ladder, to a private terrace. The opening cannot be seen in this photo. A photo of the trap door, which is behind a stone wall in the far corner on the left side of the room, is shown.
Mr. Weakland said he and his wife Mary put about $1.1 million into improving the home. Part of their upgrades included installing this marble fireplace that Mr. Weakland says was built in the 18th century. A train station clock from Paris, shown left in the grand foyer, greets visitors as they walk in the 25-foot-tall room.
‘The furnishings aren’t included, but the fireplaces unfortunately are,’ Mr. Weakland joked. He said one of the things he’ll miss most about the home is his collection of large and antique fireplaces. There are a total of seven fireplaces in the home, including two double-sided ones.
Mr. Weakland has worked in the oil trading business for the better part of 35 years, he said. He retired, briefly, but is now a consultant for a large oil refiner in the Midwest. The home includes his and her office spaces. One of the offices, shown here, includes a fireplace, and a full suit of armor that the previous owner included in the sale, he said. The home measures 14,636 square feet and includes eight bedrooms and eight full bathrooms and two partial baths, according to the listing agent. A double-sided fireplace opens to this sitting room, which is connected to the kitchen.
The couple replaced the kitchen counters, redid some tile work, and added a rope trim around the wood ceiling and other accents, Mr. Weakland said. An inscription they wrote above one of the windows says, ‘Laugh often, love much, live well.’ The couple also replaced all of the light fixtures in the home, and installed chandeliers like the one shown here.
Read the full WSJ article here. The home is listed for $7.5 million with Jeff Hendley of Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty. For more information visit fullersothebysrealty.com or call 303.877.6767.