Engineering of a dream home
Grand County Homes and Properties
Balinese puppets, Chinese puzzle locks, engraved Ostrich eggs and an
Indonesian brass gong are just a few of the worldly artifacts that hint to
the adventures of a Grand County couple. When Mary and Brad Sinex decided to
build their dream home after 30-plus years of marriage, it made sense that
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its design would reflect their lives. “Our architect, Rick Mungeam, urged us
to reveal what we loved and felt connected to, and he planned our home
around these ideas.”
Space for family topped their list, with cooking, exercise and reading close
behind. Six months went into the planning, but the time spent was invaluable
to the home’s success.
“It was essential that the home engage us well into the future,” Mary said. “So everything crucial to daily living the kitchen, master bedroom, etc. needed to be on the main level.”
The location was secondary; as world travelers for most of their lives, they
asked their three grown children where they would like to spend family
holidays. “The Winter Park area was always a favorite with them, so that’s
where we focused on finding the perfect home site,” Mary said. Their 3-acre
parcel within Stagecoach Meadows more than captures the horizon; meadow and
mountains pour into every window.
“Per Rick’s request, we collected images we liked, no matter how mix-matched
or diverse,” Mary said. “We had a fun time, and in the end, we handed him a
thick compilation; from those, he was able to nail down a house design that
delighted both of us.”
“This home’s refined character is expressed with the use of high-quality
materials throughout ” masonry columns to frame timber elements, stone
flooring, and the list goes on,” said Rick, president of Richard G. Mungeam
Mary points out one example of Rick’s creativity: Her husband didn’t want a
fireplace in a typical corner location, so Rick conjured up the idea of a
custom four-sided masonry fireplace. This striking visual welcomes guests,
and its inviting ambiance resonates throughout the entire home.
An Oklahoman pizza parlor is where sparks first ignited for Brad and Mary,
so the wood-burning pizza oven in the gourmet kitchen adds more than just
festivity to everyday meals. The oven was imported from Italy, and a
built-in shelf underneath stores the firewood.
“I was a little concerned about how practical the wood-fired oven would be,
given the cost and space it required,” Brad said. “But now I’m pleased that
we made it part of our home we use it fairly frequently, for not only
pizza but for grilling and baking things. It turns out there is hardly
anything that you cannot cook, and it adds a nostalgic feel to the kitchen,
along with the wood-fired flavor to the food.”
The spacious expanse on the second floor is fully-equipped with cardio
equipment, resistance trainers and free weights, but the extra pizzazz comes
from the wet bar in one corner, a floating flat-screen television to
entertain exercisers, a wall of mirrors to check form and the private deck
coupled with numerous windows to let the natural light and mountain views
A funky fan system overhead catches attention; it has two fans on opposite
sides of a light that rotate to circulate air throughout the room. Mary
found it through Theresa Cinocco with Distinctive Design.
“She has an uncanny knack for finding just the right accents to complement
our home,” Mary said.
Theresa explains how she’s able to get inside her clients’ heads: “We
discuss goals, desires and lifestyle to understand the breadth of their
project, and then we comb through photos, visit homes and generally spend
time together to get a sense for their likes and dislikes. Personal
belongings and experiences are incorporated into our design concept as well;
our goals are to enhance our clients’ living and working environment.”
As she shows her home, Mary generously shares tidbits about herself; she
loves dumplings and “American Idol,” and she spent time in China developing
a deep respect and love for its people. An Indonesian wooden birdcage,
elaborately shaped like a mosque, sits empty because although she loved the
cage itself, she said, “Birds should never be confined.” An antique
engraved cabinet that once stored ancient scrolls stands mysteriously in one
hall, while Cambodian puppets and Asian clay figurines regularly appear
throughout the home.
She and Brad moved to Alaska shortly after their nuptials; two of their kids
were born there, with a third born in Texas. These two states alternated as
home for a decade. Brad is a petroleum engineer, and Mary’s a CPA. Both stem
from a long line of engineers in the oil business, so they are accustomed to
traveling and “following the oil.” Together, they spent significant time in
China, Indonesia and Africa, to name just a few of the exotic locales. In
fact, much of the home’s design is influenced by their Southeast Asia
Their love for reading manifested into a two-level library: A metal and wood
spiral staircase bursts through the ceiling, where tall bookshelves line the
walls, and wooden ladders roll along to aid in book retrieval. There’s an
airy opening to the room below, which invites readers to lounge in plush
armchairs with dual ottomans facing the fireplace. Classics, popular
fiction, dog-eared travel guides and thick reference materials line the
multiple shelves, and a well-preserved kids’ collection confirms that they
passed this love onto their kids; the most endearing is the Golden Book
series, their shiny bindings wrinkled with use.
Brad’s life as an engineer keeps him away from home more than he’d like;
last spring he worked for months near the Mediterranean Sea, in north
“I miss my wife the most, but what I miss about our home is the combination
of the mountain setting and the picturesque feel, with the colors, stone and
timbers,” Brad said, explaining what he yearns for when he’s homesick. “The
Asian furnishings add a subtle flair to the decor, and I like the fact that
our home doesn’t overwhelm you with its size.” The living area of the home
is 4,275 square feet.
Though they have lived in the house for almost three years, they
continuously marvel at how pleased they are. How do they attribute this
satisfaction? “Have a clear idea of what you want, and then bring the right
people in to help you turn your ideas into reality,” Brad said.
Boxwell Builders was instrumental to this end, helping the owners achieve a
realistic budget and scope of work, which adds fluidity to the entire
project. “We take extra time to educate the owner on the building process
and systems to eliminate any surprises, emphasizing quality and attention to
detail,” said Dave Clingman, project manager and designer for Boxwell
Construction. “It is so fun to share the excitement of dreams being built,
and becoming friends through it all.”
As far as design regrets, Brad doesn’t seem to have any serious ones. “I
gave my wife a bad time about the size of her closet and still do,” said
Brad, with a laugh. “But now I wish I had one that size.”
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