Sense of place inspires the Modern American Classics Collection

LEFT: The open plan, lots of natural light and contemporary standard finishes give the cottages at Silver Creek in central Lafayette a crisp, clean look. RIGHT: Ten-foot ceilings and large windows create bright and cheerful living, dining and kitchen areas in the 1500 Modern Farmhouse.
A variety of exterior textures and materials plus huge windows puts a contemporary spin on the two-story Modern Prairie.

Ask a friend or colleague about his childhood and he’ll tell you where he grew up and what it was like to live there. You’ll hear about his family’s home, the neighborhood, the kids he hung out with and the year his mom decided the family would climb fourteen 14ers over summer vacation. Decades later, the sense of place still resonates. Images and memories come alive with the telling, some so keen they could have happened yesterday. If you’re a homebuilder committed to innovative design, sense of place is a seed for new ideas, or the inspiration behind making old ideas better.

Two years ago the design team at Markel Homes identified a half-dozen favorite home styles in the lore of American architecture and went to work. The result is a series of updated, modern homes whose architecture is reflective of an earlier, simpler time. The first single-family homes, contemporary cottages and town homes from the Markel Homes Modern American Classics Collection are going up now at West Grange in Longmont and at Silver Creek and Blue Sage in Lafayette.

Contemporary features bring classic home styles into the 21st century

The Butterfly Cottage features three beds, two baths, open living, dining and kitchen, upper deck and attached garage from $399,900.

The homes in the collection are exactly what the name implies: updated versions of architectural favorites. Large windows, outdoor living areas, and modern standard features put a contemporary spin on original farmhouse, prairie and craftsman styles. Open floor plans bring an ease and flow to daily life. Ten-foot ceilings and lots of natural light create bright and airy interiors. Modern, inviting kitchens feature stainless steel appliances, quartz tops, and high-quality cabinetry with soft-close drawers and doors. Markel’s reputation for stylish, tasteful living is reflected in the collection in homes large and small, all energy-savvy and built to last. 

Variety of home styles and types in three locations

The collection features several ranch-style and two-story single-family homes and contemporary cottages as well as multi-family duplexes and condo-style town homes. Markel is building single-level and two-story single-family homes and duplexes in multiple elevations at West Grange in Longmont. The new community offers a semi-country feel with nearby schools, trails and city amenities. West Grange is conveniently located at 75th Street and Nelson Road in west Longmont, less than 20 minutes from Boulder. 

The first contemporary cottages are under construction now at Silver Creek in central Lafayette, east of Hwy. 287 and north of Baseline Road. Silver Creek is minutes from shops and restaurants, with a stellar park and playground, trail connectivity, and nearby library, schools, rec center and dog park.

Construction is also under way on the first condo-style triplex town homes at Blue Sage, an intimate neighborhood with a community garden and trails to Hecla Lake, Coal Creek Trail and Waneka Lake Park. Residents are minutes from shops and restaurants in Lafayette and Louisville and commuting routes to Boulder, Denver and DIA. 

Homes Under $400K in Lafayette

“Too many Boulder County buyers have been priced out of the marketplace. We put our heads together to create a single-family home (cottage) and a condo-style town home product that deliver our brand of quality and design but at a lower, more obtainable price point.”

– Michael Markel, Founder and President of Markel Homes

Markel Homes designed the contemporary cottages and town homes in response to escalating home prices and the resulting housing crisis in Boulder County. Pricing starts in the high $300s. The first releases of both products sold out in less than a month. The second round of pre-sales for cottages and town homes is currently under way. 

High performance means a healthier, more comfortable home for you and your family

The homebuilding industry has undergone massive change in the decades since the collection’s original designs gained popularity. Thanks to advanced technology and Markel’s commitment to sustainability, the homes in the collectionoutperform most homes being built today, and buyers reap the benefits: healthful, more comfortable living environments, cleaner indoor air, and ultra efficiency for greater energy savings. Because the homes are built to high standards, they’re exceptionally durable and require less maintenance. Markel’s single-family homes and contemporary cottages meet the standards of the Zero Energy Ready Home program from the U.S. Dept. of Energy. The homes are also certified by LEED, Energy Star and Indoor airPLUS. The multi-family duplexes and town homes are Energy Star certified to provide greater efficiency and cost savings, comfort, and long-lasting quality. Each of the four certifications requires that every home pass inspection by outside third-party experts.


Interested buyers will find renderings, plans and pricing for the Modern American Classics Collection on the West Grange, Silver Creek and Blue Sage community pages at An interactive site map for each community features lot locations, specs and home plans. Sales center locations and hours are also available at

LEFT: Each unit has its own entrance plus outdoor living in the triplex town home design at Blue Sage in west Lafayette. RIGHT: The ranch-style Modern Craftsman offers the most sought-after feature in today’s home designs: a main floor master suite.

By Rebecca Lee,Photos courtesy of Markel Homes