CCA Wins Business Excellence Award for Marketing

We were recently awarded the 2011 Business Excellence Award by, the leading publisher of Residential and Design magazines.  The Business Excellence Award honors “the best in business management in the custom home industry.” Rebecca Richardson, Director of Business Development & Marketing for us here at Charles Cunniffe Architects has been a huge asset since she joined the firm over five years ago. It was with her guidance and assistance that we were able to rollout our social media programs earlier this year. Rebecca tells ForResidentialPros that “The main reason for the rollout was [Search Engine Optimization] to expand our reach. We do projects all over the U.S. and abroad, and we wanted to make sure we were reaching various markets.”

Through our blog, facebook page and Twitter account we are able to market our firm on a global level. “Because we design nationally and internationally, a client might not necessarily see our ad in a regional magazine. So if you’re searching ‘architecture’ and ‘Aspen’ and you’re in Rio de Janeiro, we will show up higher on the list. We want to reach anyone and everyone,” says Richardson.

At Charles Cunniffe we believe technology is always evolving and in order to stay relevant in this industry we have to not only embrace that change, but excel in it. And that is why we ventured into the realm of social media.

If you’d like to follow our blog go to the right of this post and enter your email in the field that says “Get Posts In Email!” To become our friend on facebook visit our facebook page. And to follow us on Twitter go to

We’d love to hear what you think about our blog. Is there any topics you’d like to see us cover?

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Have you Checked out Google Flights?

Will you be traveling this holiday season? If so Google’s new brainchild “Google Travel” might just be your ticket to a cheaper flight, that is if you are traveling by air in the United States only. Google, who purchased the airfare software company ITA back in April, has recently got the green light from the Department of Justice, it was being investigated for potential anti-competitive laws, to launch Google Travel.

If you are wondering what the difference is between air travel search engines like Kayak and Expedia, the answer might with Google Travel you’ll get faster results. According to TechCrunch “As stipulated by the Justice Department, Google is required to continue to license ITA’s airfare search software to airfare websites on commercially ‘reasonable terms’ and to continue to fund the development of ITA’s software at similar levels to what ITA has invested in recent years. Google is also mandated to further develop and offer ITA’s next generation InstaSearch product, which is currently in development, to travel websites, which will provide near instantaneous results to certain types of flexible airfare search queries.”

To see how Google Travel works head over to and select your city and destination of travel. Unfortunately Google Travel isn’t available for those of us traveling out of Aspen, Colorado. Let’s see if this takes off better than Google Plus.

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What are Baby Boomers Looking for in Home Design?

SmartMoney, a division of the Wall Street Journal, is reporting that baby boomers are wanting to retire to new homes that are equipped with universal design. Universal design, also referred to as aging in place, describes the concept of “designing  all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life.”

Homebuilders told SmartMoney that baby boomers want “fewer stories, step-less front entrances and showers, and doorways wide enough to one day easily accommodate wheelchairs.” They are also reporting that new retirees are looking for accessibility in the bathroom– grab bars and step-less showers. Stephen Melman, National Association of Home Builders’ director of economic services says “We found that 89 percent of older homebuyers want to be able to live in the house for as long as physically possible. As the sandwich generation they watched their own parents and learned how their needs will change.”

Courtesy of SmartMoney

To read about what baby boomers are looking for in a new home visit

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Little Cabin in the Woods

We had the great opportunity to design this idyllic cabin nestled into the tree-line with views overlooking open meadows and Lake Catamount–a large mountain lake–in the distance. As you enter the property, the cabin is sighted to appear as the original log homestead. The overall historical feel was created with large timber framing, exposed rafters, log slab siding with chinking, stone base, and rusted metal roofing.

The interior of the cabin establishes a warm, intimate feeling with open living space focused around the prominent stone hearth. The elevation of the great room ceilings open the room and create spaciousness to a modest floor plan.

Thoughtful placement of windows allows for natural light to fill the room from many angles, altering the experience throughout the day and throughout changing seasons of this high-mountain home. Well appointed rich tonal fabrics, rugs and finishes fill the space with a sense of Western flair while maintaining the warmth of a family home.

Outdoor spaces surrounding the cabin take advantage of varying outdoor (opportunities) throughout the day. The front porch accesses the morning and evening light. A screened porch, extending the living space from the great room, views fully the lake and nearby forest. The patio situated at the back of the house runs adjacent to the breezeway connecting the house to the garage. Enclosed by a natural-feeling boulder wall and surrounded by trees, the patio welcomes the entire living space to adjoin the outdoor experience.

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Builder Magazine features the Fullerton Residence

We are excited to share with you that our Fullerton Residence was recently featured in Builder Magazine. This award-winning residence was the subject of Builder Magazine’s Major Makeover.

Builder Magazine says of our Fullerton Residence that “Inside a McMonster, a handsome prince was found.” Built in the 1980s, the residence, located in Aspen, Colorado, needed to be brought into the 21st Century.

Before Photo of Fullerton Remodel Aspen, Colo. Photo Credit: David O. Marlow

After Exterior Shot. Photo Credit: James Ray Spahn

Before Hallway Shot. Photo Credit: David O. Marlow

After Hallway Shot. Credit: James Ray Spahn

Our Charles Cunniffe team worked diligently to turn this once eyesore into a beautiful mountain contemporary home complete with breathtaking mountain views.  To read the entire article please visit

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Sundman Residence

Thought we’d take a look back at one of our favorite projects, which started an enormous Mountain Zen trend. Our fantastic clients wanted a home for their site that would capture the spectacular views and at the same time convey a place of meditation and inspiration. What they got was exactly that.

The material palette was typical of a contemporary Colorado mountain Style home, however, the detailing is where the Asian influence was brought in. The Douglas fir timber columns and newel posts are slightly splayed and supported by steel knife plates. The columns reach up and touch the Cedar soffits with broad overhangs. A copper knife-edge detail was used rather than traditional fascias to add an Asian inspired quality to the exterior.

The interior detailing and furnishings further emphasize the overall desire to make the home a comfortable place of refuge. The use of the same exterior stone in the interior and large expanses of glass create a connection from the interior spaces to the gardens and views of the exterior. To further reinforce this connection, outdoor living areas were paired off of the major living spaces. The use of the soffit material re-manifests itself in the Barrel vault, which connects the Great Room to the upper level Library and then continues out above the exterior balcony.

The success of this project is apparent in its reference to a ‘Mountain Zen Sanctuary’. Our team at Charles Cunniffe Architects were able to capture the views with sensitivity to the spatial arrangements of the clients program, while detailing the project in a way that evokes intrinsic serenity.

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Protect Our Winters

With winter right around the corner, snow is on everyone’s mind. With that we’d like to turn our focus to one non-profit doing great work to protect our winters. Join locals Gretchen Bleiler (Olympic Silver Medalist, Four-time X-Game Champion), Penn Newhard (Backbone Media), and Auden Schendler (Aspen Ski Corporation) with Protect Our Winters’ common goal of reducing climate change’s effects on their sport and local mountain communities.

“POW was founded on the idea that if we harness our collective energy and put forth a focused effort, the winter sports community can have a direct influence on climate change and ensure that winters are here for generations behind us.” For more information on POW please visit their website:

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