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New Home Build at Painted Prairie Community Will Provide Opportunity and Hope for Individuals Living with Disabilities

Last month, nearly 100 people gathered under the pavilion at High Prairie Park at the Painted Prairie community in northeast Denver. They were there to learn more about the 2022 Inspiration House, a collaboration between KB Home, a Denver area homebuilder, and its trade partners, whose donations or discounted services and materials significantly reduce the cost of the home build. The proceeds from the sale of the new home are then donated to Home Builders Foundation (HBF), a nonprofit organization that completes free home modifications year-round to help elevate the lives of individuals with disabilities.

2022 Inspiration House association and trade partners break ground on the new KB Home at Painted Prairie.

The house being built by KB Home at Painted Prairie is the eighth Inspiration House undertaken since the program began in 2003. The previous seven homes have together raised more than $700,000, which has helped HBF complete home modifications for nearly 2,000 individuals living with physical disabilities.

Among the speakers was Chris Layne, Miss Wheelchair Colorado 2020–21. Layne, a former nurse who was paralyzed while hiking in Clear Creek Canyon, shared the importance of the work done by HBF. After undergoing months of rehabilitation and adjusting to life in a wheelchair, Layne experienced true anxiety when she learned she was about to be discharged from Craig Hospital. Picturing the steps that led into the home that she’d lived in for more than 20 years and the second-floor bathroom, Layne was concerned that she’d never be able to live independently again. Fortunately, her family contacted HBF, who built ramps leading into the house, installed a stair lift, replaced flooring and created an accessible bathroom so that the home was ready for Layne when she was discharged. Layne explained how the modifications elevated every aspect of her life, saying, “With Home Builders Foundation allowing me to get that independence with my disability, I am able to do so much. I look at it as not what I can’t do, but what I can still do with my independence and my life.”

Chris Layne addresses trade partners at the 2022 Inspiration House groundbreaking event.

Randy Carpenter, President of KB Home’s Colorado division, has been involved with HBF for years and shared that being the sponsoring homebuilder for the 2022 Inspiration House is the perfect fit for the company’s values.

Randy Carpenter, President of KB Home's Colorado Division, visits with an Inspiration House trade partner during the May 18 event at Painted Prairie.

“Through our KB Cares program, we strive to invest in the communities where we build, work and live. We believe that we can drive change and have a positive impact on the lives of others,” stated Carpenter. “Last year, we donated more than $1 million, and our employees volunteered over 1,200 hours in communities across the country. We are proud to partner with HBF and lead the efforts to make a real difference for individuals and families living with long-term disabilities.”

The 2022 Inspiration House, which has already been sold, is expected to be completed in late fall. The new home blends attractive design features and includes three bedrooms, a loft, spacious den and large great room that flows seamlessly into the open kitchen. The 2,300-square-foot, two-story home sits on a corner homesite and offers breathtaking mountain views.

As with all KB homes, the Inspiration House will be ENERGY STAR® certified and include WaterSense® labeled fixtures, which will help to deliver significant savings on utility bills. Additionally, the home will be designed to deliver an enhanced indoor environment and include high-performance ventilation systems, low- or zero-VOC products and other features guided by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Indoor airPLUS standards.

During the gathering, the Developers of Painted Prairie generously announced that they would be donating the entire cost of the homesite to the 2022 Inspiration House. Other trade partners in attendance eagerly joined in; to date, more than 20 partners have already signed on to donate or discount their labor and/or materials for this year’s Inspiration House.

Dave Highfield, Principal of Fortress Framing, announced his company’s commitment and encouraged others to join by saying, “Because we’re all in this together, our donations and contributions multiply. By the end of the project, we’re not just helping one family, we’re helping scores of families living with a disability.”

HBF has seen a significant rise in demand as more people with long-term physical disabilities are requesting services. The funds raised from this year’s Inspiration House will help HBF complete an estimated 280 projects this year — all of which will enable individuals with disabilities to live more comfortably, safely and independently.

Local real estate professionals were the focus on May 17 at the Second Annual Painted Prairie Spirit of Excellence Awards. More than a recognition event, the Spirit of Excellence Awards celebrated the spirit, dedication, and achievements of the members of the Prairie Partners Program, Painted Prairie’s national award-winning broker recognition program.

The night featured several recognition categories for our Prairie Partners. Congratulations to the nominees and winners in each category: Kearns Team, Realty ONE Group Five Star, Leaderboard Club; Kari Cummings, TJC Real Estate, High Five Club; Angie Hunt, McStain Neighborhoods, Broker’s Choice; Liz Thompson, eXp Realty | Art of Home Team, Social Advocate; Kari Cummings, TJC Real Estate, Million Dollar Club; and Ashley Faller, Focus Real Estate, Builder’s Choice.


Leaderboard Club: Monthly top five ranked brokers featured on Painted Prairie's social media channels

High Five Club: Brokers who sold five or more homes

Broker's Choice: The only non-broker category, this recognition goes to goes to the top Painted Prairie onsite sales team member as selected by the Prairie Partners.

Social Advocate: The broker most engaged with Painted Prairie on social media and events.

Million Dollar Club: Top performance of brokers who closed homes totaling more than one million dollars.

Builder's Choice: Top Leaderboard broker, as selected by Painted Prairie builder sales team members.

Each year, Painted Prairie selects one broker who stands out in our community. This broker has consistently engaged and goes above and beyond to support Painted Prairie’s programs and the community’s success. This real estate professional is also well represented in numerous Spirit of Excellence recognition categories. The 2022 Prairie Partner of the Year award was awarded to April Denmon of Denmon Realty.

Denmon received a custom Prairie Hawk sculpture by world-renowned wildlife artist, Stephen LeBlanc. LeBlanc’s work can be seen throughout the United States and Colorado, and in Painted Prairie’s own High Prairie Park.

Held at the prestigious Schlessman Lobby at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the Spirt of Excellence awards reception was sponsored by several industry partners. We thank the following sponsors for their support of the Spirit of Excellence Awards and the Prairie Partners Program: Heritage Title Company, Denmon Realty, Closet Factory, New American Funding, and 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty.

About the Prairie Partners Program

The Prairie Partners Program is Painted Prairie’s national award-winning broker recognition program. The program rewards and recognizes area real estate brokers for their dedication and support of Painted Prairie and the development of the community. To learn more about the program, visit:

Want to live in a place where you have the opportunity to enjoy ample and open green spaces, AND enjoy an easy commute?

Our editors found future and current residents who fell in love with the quality of life that living at Painted Prairie affords. Take a moment and learn why they chose the nation’s best master-planned community to build a home and a life.

We are sure you will agree that loving where you live makes all the difference in the world for a happy, balanced life.

Enjoying the Views and the Commutes

Taylor and her fiancé, Joshua, are future Painted Prairie residents who chose the community after spending a year hanging out with their best friends who are early residents. The couple fell in love with the neighborhood, its parks, the views, and the variety of house options.

“My favorite part of Painted Prairie is definitely the mountain views,” she said. “I feel like you can see them from almost anywhere in the neighborhood! We have always wanted to live in a neighborhood we could grow into and really feel like we are a part of, and we’ve definitely found that at Painted Prairie.”

The couple are under contract for a KB Home Villas model. The home is the perfect fit for the young couple who are busy planning their wedding and working. It was important for Taylor to grow into a community as they begin their lives together.

“We just knew we wanted to be a part of the community,” said Taylor. “We quickly fell in love with the beauty of the neighborhood, and the location, as it’s not too far from my job at Children’s Hospital. My fiance works from home, which allows him to get out and enjoy the parks on his breaks. We love and believe in Painted Prairie’s vision. We can’t wait to watch it come to life and be a part of all the fun to come!”

Finding a Home That Checks All the Boxes

Was it love at first sight at Painted Prairie? For Liz and her husband, Paul, well, actually yes! 

As a former Central Park resident and Realtor, Liz was already familiar with the community. As she researched Painted Prairie’s location, amenities, and builders, for her real estate clients, Liz began to daydream about living in Painted Prairie herself. 

On a whim, Liz and her husband Paul, a Southwest Airlines employee, walked into the Washburn model at David Weekley Homes to ask about current inventory. The couple instantly fell in love with the layout and the surrounding amenities in the neighborhood. A day later, they learned a Washburn home was up for grabs after the original buyers canceled their contract. 

“We were under contract the next morning,” said Liz. “We had no plans to move, but when the home became available, we knew it was a good decision. The floor plan checked so many boxes for our family, including a larger kitchen, dedicated office, larger bedrooms and closets, with the opportunity to design the basement in the future. With two teenage girls, we needed more space!”

The family loves the current parks and future amenities such as the dog park and Town Center – which will all be within walking distance. The added bonus? Paul’s commute is less than 15 minutes to DIA. The location, current and future amenities, and the design of the neighborhood all solidify Liz’s decision to move to Painted Prairie.

“We lived in Central Park for eight years and experienced firsthand the excitement of new parks, builders, building a home from dirt, and the idea of a community coming to fruition,” said Liz. “We were able to visualize the future of Painted Prairie and knew it was the right place for our next move.”

Painted Prairie is located near many of the major employment centers in the area, with more coming as employers move to the area. Only 17 minutes from downtown Denver, nine minutes from Anschutz Hospital, and eight minutes from DIA, the community is approximately a 15 to 20 minute drive from anywhere in the north and central Denver Metro area. 

When neighbors become friends, Kristin Walter knows she did a great job. In fact, that IS Kristin’s job. Beginning March 2022, she joins the team at Advance HOA as the Lifestyle Director at Painted Prairie. Her role is to coordinate curated, resident-focused activities that make Painted Prairie a special place to call home.

Picture of Kristin Walter, Lifestyle Director at Painted Prairie

“Painted Prairie is not a come home, lock the door, and “hide inside” type of community,” says Kristin. “It’s a place where you are excited to come home after work, drop off your stuff and head out to meet up with your neighbors and friends. It’s my job to make sure that you have those opportunities to meet new friends and connect as a community.”

Kristin has worked for other communities where she has seen neighborhood connections thrive and relationships flourish when people get together under a common interest. She wants to bring that same spirit to Painted Prairie.

“We already have a vibrant events calendar that draws our residents and future neighbors to the community,” says Kristin. “Book clubs and game nights are definitely on the list. I want to challenge the Painted Prairie residents into thinking about broadening our interests and forming charter clubs that take us out of the neighborhood and into the mountains, or out on the trails.”

Painted Prairie is already home to a few different meetups and hobby-based clubs. From gardening to wine nights, and the list is growing. If you are interested in starting a club, new activity, or a neighborhood meetup, contact Kristin at 303-482-2213 ext. 240, or for assistance.

First it was Denver Metro’s Community of the Year – Now, it’s the NATIONAL Community of the Year. Painted Prairie takes the Gold for Community of the Year, Best Landscape of a Community, and Best Signage at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)’s The Nationals awards competition.

Painted Prairie Named Community of the Year

Well, It’s official! Painted Prairie is the national Community of the Year. The neighborhood won seven awards at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)’s “The Nationals.” The gold awards were presented at the International Builder Show on February 8, 2022, in Orlando, Florida.

“To be recognized locally, and now nationally as the Community of the Year is a tremendous honor,” says Chris Fellows, President of Painted Prairie. “Out of nearly 1,200 entries a mere 12% earn Silver Awards and less than 6% earn Gold Awards. To take home seven awards at a competition of this caliber is incredible. We are extremely honored and humbled to be named Community of the Year and to bring this best-in-class community to the City of Aurora – and the state of Colorado for our current and future residents.”

As part of the selection process, The Nationals Silver Award winners are the top vote recipients in each category and are the finalists for the Gold Awards. In total, Painted Prairie received three Gold Awards – Community of the Year, Best Landscape of a Community, and Best Signage; and four Silver Awards – Best Brochure, Best Realtor/Broker Program, Best Special Promotion (Event Series); and Best Use of Technology (Painted Prairie App). 

In 2021, Painted Prairie took top honors as Community of the Year at the Denver Marketing and Merchandising Excellence Awards (MAME) awards ceremony. As a finalist in 10 of the 11 categories entered at MAME, Painted Prairie took home Best Innovative Use of Technology (Painted Prairie App) and Best Signage. The MAME Awards are typically seen as the precursor to the NAHB’s The Nationals, the largest and most prestigious awards competition in the home building industry.

The Nationals showcases the most exciting trends in New Homes Sales and Marketing throughout North America. The competition honors the best in the building industry – including home builders, developers, associates, and consultants – for their determination, integrity, creativity, and endurance. A diverse panel of industry professionals selected the 2022 Gold Award winners from almost 1,200 entries.

These wins at The Nationals competition solidify Painted Prairie’s reputation as the best-of-the-best communities in the nation. With eight world-class builders and hundreds of residents happily calling Painted Prairie home, and with more residential options and a state-of-the-art Town Center coming soon, this community is taking the Northeast Market to new heights. 

We invite you to stop by and see what makes us the Community of Year – locally AND nationally.

The weather may have been frightful, but the company was delightful! A cold front couldn’t stop the holiday cheer on December 5 when neighbors came together to celebrate the start of the holiday season. 

Residents enjoyed hot cocoa and coffee drinks, smores by the fire, The Original Dickens Carolers, and a special guest who stole the show -- Santa! 

From all of us at Painted Prairie, we wish you holidays filled with laughter, love, and treasured memories. 

Painted Prairie also takes top honors for Best Innovative Use of Technology and Best Signage  

AURORA, COLO., Dec. 6, 2021 — Earlier this year, Colorado’s home building community came together at the MAME Awards on November 6 to celebrate the accomplishments of their peers and colleagues throughout the state. Painted Prairie took top honors in three categories to solidify its position as one of the best neighborhoods in Colorado.

During the event, Painted Prairie was awarded the coveted 2021 Community of the Year Award along with the Best innovative Use of Technology for its app, and Best Signage. In total, Painted Prairie walked away as a finalist in 10 categories. The MAME Awards are typically seen as the precursor to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) The Nationals Awards. The Nationals Awards event is the largest and most prestigious awards competition in the home building industry. Last year, Painted Prairie brought home two Silver Awards from The Nationals for its Prairie Partner Broker Program and its socially distanced Grand Opening Event.

“The Community of The Year recognition is one of the most sought-after awards for new communities in Colorado. These recognitions represent a year of passionate commitment from the Painted Prairie team to continue to deliver a best-in-class community for the City of Aurora and current and future residents here,” says Chris Fellows, President of Painted Prairie. “Our team works tirelessly throughout the year to create this amazing neo-traditional community and to offer a unique and captivating experience for homebuyers.”

About Painted Prairie

Painted Prairie is a neo-traditional master-planned community in the Denver Metro area featuring eight world-class builders. Hundreds of residents are already happily calling Painted Prairie home and with more residential options and a state-of-the-art Town Center coming soon, this community is taking the northeast market to new heights. Painted Prairie is situated across the street from the Gaylord Rockies Resort and located halfway between Anschutz-Fitzsimmons and Denver International Airport, with easy access to the A-Line rail, E470, DIA, 56th Avenue, I-70, Downtown Denver, and I-225. To learn more about Painted Prairie, visit


Media Contact:

Michelle Tripp


Painted Prairie is proud to be located within the Adams-Arapahoe 28j School District boundary. The district offers terrific educational opportunities to meet the needs of each student’s learning style and educational interests. Open Enrollment opportunities are available for families wishing to attend any Adams-Arapahoe 28j school, Aurora Public School, a school in the Denver Public Schools district, an independent charter school, or nearby private schools. Painted Prairie has a dedicated school site for a potential future APS P-8 school located near the future Pioneer Park. Families in Painted Prairie are sure to find a school to match the specific needs and interests of their children.

There are three schools within a close proximity of Painted Prairie -- Harmony Ridge P-8, Vista Peak Preparatory P-20, and High Point Academy. All three schools offer different educational choices and programs designed to help families create the perfect fit for their students. 

One of our Prairie Partners, Ashley Faller of Focus Real Estate, has a wonderful in-depth article on our local schools on her blog, Painted Prairie Living.

Our new interactive map helps you learn more about each school and map out the best route on those busy school mornings.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Find the school on the map.
  2. Click the location icon.
  3. When the listing pops up in the sidebar, click “View in Google Maps.”

From here, you will see Google reviews, Street Views, and other information such as contact information and website. 

When you click the “Send to Your Phone” option, open the text and it will open a Google Map for you to get directions to your selected school. 

Take a drive or a bike ride to figure out how long it will take you to get to school each day. That’s it! 

More about Aurora Public Schools

Aurora Public Schools

Aurora Public Schools prides itself on its diversity. The district’s students are from 130+ countries and speak 160+ languages. It is also one of a handful of school districts in the nation to offer digital badges as micro credentials for P-12 students. Micro credentials are short, competency-based recognitions that allow students to take small courses to add to their skill sets.

There are 63 schools in APS: 4 child development centers, 25 elementary schools, 7 P-8 / K-8 schools, 6 middle schools, 1 Grades 6-12 academy, 6 high schools, 1 vocational/technical college, 1 gifted and talented K-8 school, 11 charter schools and 1 home school support program. Several of the district’s schools are within driving distance of Painted Prairie. 

To learn more about APS, visit:

The first annual Spirit of Excellence Awards ceremony was a huge success thanks to our hundreds of dedicated real estate brokers and builder sales community. The purpose of this yearly ceremony is to acknowledge, thank, and show our support and dedication to these incredible people helping to make Painted Prairie the best community near Denver!

Now, let's highlight our winners!

Prairie Partner of the Year Award: The Kearns Team, Realty ONE Group Five Star - Michael and Diana Kearns

• Million Dollar Club (Highest Closed Volume): Michael Kearns, Realty ONE Group Five Star

Leaderboard Club (Most Points): Michael Kearns, Realty ONE Group Five Star

• High Five Award (Five or More Home Sales): TIE for The Lassen Team – Metro Brokers & Kari Cummings – TJC Real Estate

• Brokers' Choice (Top Builder Sales Associate): Linda Casey, Meritage Homes

• Builders' Choice (Top Prairie Partner): AJ Moreno, Keller Williams Realty

• Social Director Award: Ashley Faller, Focus Real Estate

Congratulations to these individuals for all of your hard work and continued support for the community.

Any real estate brokers looking to get more involved in Painted Prairie, please visit the Brokers page for more information.

Here are just a handful of photos from this incredible event!

Congratulations! Your new home is under contract, and you can’t wait to dig in and start planning how you will decorate. Will your old couch fit into your new living room? Does your design style reflect the former single you, not the new coupled you? Feeling a tad bit overwhelmed with thoughts of shiplap and baseboard heights?

Well, we have you covered. The editors at Painted Prairie’s blog team spoke with local interior design experts, Alex Whitman and Jocelyn Verano of Ellis Design Studio. The studio has been creating and designing spaces in and around Colorado for more than 25 years.

Here’s what Alex and Jocelyn say you should do to plan and prep for your big day with your builder’s Design Center team.

1. Go on Tour

Chances are if you bought a house in the Painted Prairie neighborhood, you visited the model homes and made your decision based off your visits. You are one step ahead of the game in terms of space planning, design inspiration and figuring out what hard surfaces you want in your new home.

Sometimes, though, that may not be enough to spark your creativity. Alex and Jocelyn say, it’s time to get out and go on a tour. Visit other model homes in your area. All designers and builders showcase different materials and suppliers, which give you new ideas for materials and finishes that you may or may not have previously considered.

Another great place to draw design inspiration is in the homes of your friends, family and others. If you simply love the style of their home, then snap some photos of their countertops and cabinet faces. Ask them about the manufacturers and brands that they have purchased over the years. Pay attention to how their hard surfaces flow into their furniture and lighting choices. It’s a great way to narrow down the aesthetic for your new home.

2. Build a Vision Board

According to Alex Whitman of Ellis Design Studio, your home can be as eclectic and funky, or as simple and traditional as you want to make it, but if you’re not telling a consistent story through your design center selections, then your home will feel choppy and unfinished. 

Home design is a creative and collaborative process. You may draw inspiration from a model home, a Pinterest board, an issue of Better Homes & Garden, or a website like Houzz. All of these places give you ideas for your design style and help you envision what you want your home to look like when you move in.

PRO TIP #1: Take pictures, cut out images from catalogs, print out your Pinterest picks, and create your own vision and mood boards for different rooms in your home.

PRO TIP #2: Order or pick up samples from your local big box store, boutique design gallery, or internet sites such as Wayfair. Use these samples to build a collection of textures, tiles, fabrics, and color selections.

Believe or not, this will help your new Design Center BFF or designer, hone in on your hard surfaces, countertops, and even the bathroom towel racks that suit your individual style.

Don’t worry if your design tastes tend to be a mix of conflicting styles. As you work through the process, you will discover your tastes and preferences are more similar than you think. If you find your selections wavering in style, work to streamline your choices. Rank them, prioritize them, then create your top three collections from all your choices.

3. Live With Your Vision

Once you’ve curated samples and have created your vision boards, now take a step back and live with what you’ve selected. Put your samples and boards in a place where you will see them everyday. Move them around to different rooms to see how your choices affect your mood. Natural and artificial light play a big part in how your style changes throughout the day, so make sure that you take time to make note of how the colors, finishes and designs make you feel.

Soon, you will begin to fine tune your own unique design style. These foundational items will be the basis from which you layer in textures, seasonal decor, throw pillows, draperies, and lighting. From here, you have a plan to guide you through the any future design choices. Once you hone in on your vision, the rest will easily follow.

“Curate it, sit with it, and then live with it.”

— Alex Whitman, Ellis Design Studio

4. Share Your Vision

You found your inspiration, collected samples, created boards, narrowed down your style choices, and now it is time for your Design Center appointment. Before you head out the door, grab your vision boards and samples and take them with you! The design professionals at your appointment are highly-trained to take your vision, and help you select the finishes, surfaces, and options to turn your signature style into a reality.

Click below to explore Painted Prairie’s builders:

Berkeley Homes

David Weekley Homes

Epic Homes

KB Home

McStain Neighborhoods

Parkwood Homes

Remington Homes

5. Partner With a Designer

Remember, you don’t have to do everything on your own. If you need assistance or feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and choices, you can partner with a designer to help you curate your vision, go with you to your Design Center appointment, and be a guide in all aspects of your interior design. 

“Most of our job entails being a resource for our clients. When you partner with a design professional, we can help you hone in on the things you value the most by just listening to you and your style.”

— Jocelyn Verano, Ellis Design Studio
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