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Omaha Magazine

Modern Treatments, Garages Make Arvada Stand Out: Silverthorn Plan Proves a Hit with 55-Plus Crowd

Dec 27, 2020 02:25PM ● By Linda Persigehl
front of side garage, Arvada home

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Most high-end residential properties with great curb appeal do not feature an oversized garage that juts out front and center. But Silverthorn Custom Homes' “Arvada” model fits this description to a T.

The builder’s four-bedroom,  3 1/2-bathroom, open-concept model home in Blue Sage Creek, completed summer 2019, has six garage spaces—a two-car, side-load garage that extends forward from the middle of the home, and another three-car-deep single garage with an additional storage area on one end. The unfinished spaces, totaling nearly 1,700 square feet, are accessible by three independent garage doors and two driveways. The garages also feature electric heaters, which make them inhabitable—even comfortable—during cold, Midwestern winters.

Silverthorn president Matt Caniglia said the Arvada plan was designed for a large segment of his clientele—affluent homebuyers age 55-plus who are looking to downsize their finished interior space but are still in need of room for all their stuff. One might define stuff as recreational vehicles, holiday decorations, collectibles, excess furniture, and the like.

“For years, storage facilities have been popping up all over town,” Caniglia said, “and we were finding [our customers] preferred to have their storage or collections housed at home…for
convenient access.”

Many buyers also expressed their desire to have a home workshop or hobby area housed in a garage space, rather than tucked away in a basement or spare room. Caniglia said Arvada’s numerous garage spaces fulfill these wish-list items. And while the larger total square footage raises the home’s purchase price, “I think the bigger price tag is offset by the advantages home storage offers and the cost savings of not having to pay storage [rental] fees,” he added.

Caniglia said the floor plan has drawn a lot of interest from homebuyers, especially since the pandemic began, as people are spending more time at home tackling projects and enjoying hobbies. “But [this model] does require an extra-deep lot,” he explained. “We have built different versions of this home to fit a standard-sized lot. Homeowners typically lose one garage space.”  

When choosing exterior architectural elements for the Arvada, Caniglia said he and his draftsman looked to create a retro feel to the home. “We went for a mix of industrial and prairie styles…a little less rustic, a bit more modern treatment.” The home’s  low-pitch roofline, tubular metal sconces and can lighting, and larger, stackable stone help it achieve that look, he said.

They also worked to camouflage the prominent garage and make it appear as part of the living space. Adding an overhang above the garage windows with heritage shingles, metal seam accents, and cedar supports help tie it in with the rustic front porch and make it an asset, rather than a drab appendage.

“We used stucco and multiple cedar accents on the exterior, and went with a stained and sealed cedar product,” Caniglia said. “It does require some maintenance, about every five years. We also went with a taller, 12-inch lap siding to give it a more modern feel.”

The rectangular windows in the front door and garage doors offer a midcentury touch, while also being practical. “The glass is tempered, insulated, and obscured. There are different styles for different privacy levels, depending on the homeowner’s preference.”

As a veteran homebuilder in Omaha, Caniglia said he’s glad to see homeowners being a bit more adventurous in their design choices. 

“Homeowners used to be very traditional,” he said. “In the last four to five years, people have felt more comfortable stepping up, expressing their style more openly. They’re not as worried about resale. There’s more variation in homes.”

And for custom builders like Silverthorn, that offers opportunities for creativity that Caniglia welcomes with enthusiasm.

For more on this home, visit   

This article first appeared in the January/February 2021 issue of Home Magazine. Click here to subscribe to the print edition.