A Family Oasis in the Desert

Photography by  Kaylan Robinson

Photography by Kaylan Robinson

When you walk in, you feel home — and that’s the exact feeling Grand Junction residents Andreya and Mike Krieves wanted to achieve when they purchased their residence four years ago. The couple had lived in larger cities like Denver and Portland for a majority of their 14-year partnership, but they felt the need to settle down once they began a family. “We were nervous at first to buy a house, because we couldn’t move once we did,” says Andreya. “But this house felt good. We fell in love with being in Grand Junction. It is the right size city to feel a part of, and not feel like you get lost.” 

    Their 3,000 square-foot home, built in 1978, sits on nearly two acres of land at the base of the Colorado National Monument. With four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, it was the perfect place to settle with their two children. “We wanted a space to play,” says Andreya. “We also want a space we can grow into and enjoy living in once the boys do grow up.”

    “We looked at a lot of houses that people put time into, but they just weren’t our style,” adds Mike. “We saw we could work with this house.” And some work was needed: Originally, the dwelling was dark and drab, with an outdated exterior and a big wall closing off the kitchen and living spaces. 

    The Krieves began remodeling immediately. They chose Shane Burton with SRB Construction, who had previously been their landlord, as their general contractor. “It helps having a good relationship with your contractor,” Mike says. “You have them to get advice from, and you trust them to do good work.”

    While the Krieves wanted to be hands-on with the project, doing most of the demolition and building themselves, Burton helped bring their vision to life and guide them along the way. He made sure they weren’t missing important details, like unifying trim styles or smoothing the ceilings. He also created custom touches, such as the sliding barn-style doors in the playroom and master bedroom.

    After six months of major renovation and several years of smaller projects, the house is nearly fully remodeled throughout. Visitors are welcomed by a modern red door and high-vaulted ceilings with exposed wood. The large, open kitchen connects to two living spaces and a dining area, making it perfect for get-togethers the family enjoys hosting. A fireplace warms things up, while gray and white walls lend cool contrast throughout
the home.

    Touches of personalization, including modern furniture and family-friendly finishes, have made the house a home. Comfort was key for the Krieves, from the boys’ playfully decorated spaces to the couple’s large master bedroom with a custom, Ikea-inspired walk-in closet. Many pieces were inspired by or come from Ikea, not only for its design element, but also for its affordability. “It’s casual,” says Andreya. “Nothing is sacred, where the kids can’t be. We wanted it to be easy and comfy.”

    The house came with a large barn, which is now home to four goats and dozens of chickens for fresh eggs. The backyard also features several seating areas with pergolas, fireplaces for relaxing by once the boys go to bed, and even a barn-side screen for watching movies. Irrigation keeps the land green in the summers, creating a lush landscape against the red desert. 

    The yard also boasts several peach and cherry trees that helped sell Mike on the house. “With two little boys, a tree house was one of those things to add to the list of wants. The land is what got us,” he says.

    Both Andreya and Mike agree the remodel has been a fun project to do together, thanks to their similar taste and their ability to geek out over choosing all the design elements in the home. “We didn’t get a divorce doing a remodel together,” Andreya jokes. “It’s part of our coupleness.”

    Their shared style — “industrial, streamlined, and contemporary” — comes from a variety of places they have visited throughout their lives, like a restaurant in Portland or their previous homes in Denver. While Andreya notes that every place you live in you make a home, she recognizes their home now as something special. “We lived in a lot of places and have never been so excited to come home as in this house. I’m happy being here, because I love to say we made this what it is.”