Creating the Ideal Master Suite

Working with a client to design their master suite is often one of our favorite design exercises. To start, we talk about how the client lives. Do they prefer the master suite to be central to the home, or perhaps in a wing or “pod” on its own. Some other topics we discuss are:

  • Does the client wish for an office space or sitting room in conjunction?
  • Is there an opportunity for an outdoor terrace or garden?
  • Does the client want one common bath area, or two separate spaces?
  • Where are the views?
  • How does the light filter in at various times of day?
  • How lighting, ventilation and technology come into play.
  • Does the client want a television – and if so, should it be concealed?
  • What type of furnishings do they wish to have in the room?
  • Does the client want one central closet or his & her closets?
  • Would the client like to include a washer/dryer in the closet?
  • How much storage should we plan for?
  • Does the client have any art pieces or antiques that should be worked into the space?

As designers we want to carefully design master suites, since its where our clients are able to retreat, to rejuvenate, and to rest. Lets face it – we can always use more sleep! Here are some of our favorite designs. For more master suite ideas, visit our Spaces page and come see us when you’re ready to design your personal retreat.







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Happy Earth Day!

As our team celebrates Earth Day and completes two LEED for Homes residences, we reflect on our mission to design structures that respect and honor our environment.

Environmentally responsive design is a process of making informed choices to create healthy, comfortable buildings that are in harmony with the environment and ourselves. Utilizing a sustainable design philosophy encourages decisions at each phase of the design process that will reduce negative impacts on the environment and the health of the occupants, without compromising the bottom line. Such an integrated approach positively influences all phases of a building’s life-cycle, including design, construction, and operation.

Charles Cunniffe Architects is dedicated to a humanistic, socially responsible and technologically sophisticated vision of design. Every project, whether residential, commercial, municipal or a resort facility, is thoughtfully designed with an emphasis on reduced energy consumption, project footprint and sustainability.


By designing structures with the environmentally friendly building materials accessible in today’s market, green building is not only essential to our environment but is easily attainable. The result is an optimal balance of cost, environmental and societal benefits, while meeting the mission and function of the intended facility. Building design through environmental response, functionalism, cost effectiveness and a commitment to LEED have remained critical issues in developing sustainable buildings. Charles Cunniffe Architects brings this commitment to your project.

With a historic office in downtown Aspen, we do our best to reduce our consumption and carbon footprint.  CCA’s Green Office Methods include: Recycled paper used for all stationery, copy paper, envelopes, brochures, business cards; Stationery package printed with soy-based inks; Recycled toilet paper and paper towels; Rigorous office-wide recycling program; Energy Star printers; New and efficient furnaces and boilers; On-demand water faucet and dual flush toilet; Donation and recycling program for office equipment; “Green” cleaning supplies; Passive ventilation, etc.

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Fourteen Sixty

We are in the final stages of an incredible new project in Aspen, that we cannot wait to show you. Until then a little sneak peek…


Anchoring the home it its site, a sandstone wall parallels the Rio Grande River and beautifully intersects the entire length of the home. No maintenance materials and glass form the exterior, allowing the sights and sound of the river to be experienced from every room. The bold forms, floating staircase, sculpture gardens, clerestory windows and 900 sq ft outdoor living spaces, make this home enjoyable during all four seasons in Aspen. We look forward to sharing this project with you this summer.

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Connecting Space, Behavior & Health – Inspiring Presentation at USGBC’s Rocky Mountain Green

Reporting back from USGBC Rocky Mountain Green Conference! David Rosenfeld represented CCA at the conference, and came back with a wealth of knowledge. When asked what his favorite seminar was, he told us about the presentation titled: Connecting space, behavior and health by Austin Kane (Unico Properties), Greg Dekker (Teknion) and Jeff Hohensee (Alliance for Sustainable Colorado).


Photo by: USGBC

The focus of this seminar was on the impact of the workplace environment on productivity and performance. The Alliance Center is intended to create a range of environments within a single workplace. They experimented with the concept that people utilize different environments for different functions. Individuals have distinct requirements for productivity, as every person is designed differently. The example given was how people will change locations within their home when working remotely. Some like moving when making phone calls or standing outside. Some need absolute silence to focus, others need music or white noise. Some can tune out conversations, others can’t. Sometimes a coffee shop is the best place for a meeting, other times it’s a formal conference room.

Photo by: The Alliance Center

Photo by: The Alliance Center

The presenters acknowledged that this concept is fairly new to commercial workplace design and is constantly developing. The Alliance center was able to increase the number of employees within the building using this strategy, which was one major advantage from a tenant standpoint. The fixed desks in the quiet, acoustically controlled area were smaller than typical, but other spaces were created to allow employees locational options (coffee shop, “living room”, etc).

These concepts gleaned from the conference, and all of the continuing education we do at CCA, fosters not only our internal conversations but the design strategies for our varied types of projects. Thanks to the USGBC for another outstanding conference!

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We are Hiring!

Named one of Outside Magazine’s “Best Places to Work 2014”, Charles Cunniffe Architects, an award-winning Aspen Architectural Firm seeks design-minded, detail- oriented, talented and motivated full-time persons for the following positions: Job Captain with 3-5 years of experience; Project Manager with 5+ years of experience. Both positions must be proficient with Revit, Sketch-Up, Photoshop, & Microsoft Office Suite.  We are searching for passionate, organized team players with good verbal and written skills, strong technical proficiency, and who enjoy working as part of a creative team in a collaborative studio environment. Great opportunity to join a thriving team with a 34+ year history of exciting design projects. Excellent salary/benefits package, and options for professional advancement. Please email cover letter, resume, portfolio and references to For more information our firm: 


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