by Jen Kocher | photography by Adriana McClausin and Adam Ritterbush | design by Infinity Builders

Gillette designer Erika Christensen knows every good house begins with good bones.  As a former forensic archeologist, the Infinity Builders CEO can tell a lot about a house by what’s underneath its surface.

Standing in the kitchen of her most recent project, a comfy five-bedroom on a quiet lot on the south edge of town within walking distance from the Rec Center, Erika points out the solid hickory cabinets and floors, granite countertops, and copper tile backsplash. A crate of wine sits on the counter next to a double oven and gas cooktop, and to the right, a dining table looks out onto a sprawling green lawn enclosed by a privacy fence.

All of the rooms and furnishings have been well thought out by Erika, who imagines the future owners of the house–maybe a young professional couple with small children or a couple of pre-retirement empty nesters looking for a little luxury before selling everything off and moving South.

In her mind, Erika can almost imagine the pair lounging on one of the sofas in the sunken living room, watching the snow fall from underneath the warmth of a cashmere throw, the flickering flames from the nearby gas fireplace casting shadows on the wall.

These aren’t just houses that she and her company design and build; these are personal spaces and refuges that she–and people like her–will appreciate and enjoy. Everything in them–from the maintenance-free exterior siding, triple-pane PELLA windows and R-55 insulated walls, high-tech bells whistles to the wooden tray and tea set–are chosen with quality and longevity in mind.

For her, it’s the personal connection that makes all the difference when it comes to developing land and building houses.  Many out-of-state developers blow through town content to throw up structures and cash out on the short-term profits, but Erika and her husband Mark take their time and have pride in everything they build. Both Wyoming natives, the Christensens have deep- roots in Gillette and the ranching community. This is their home and their future buyers are their neighbors and friends. This is a big deal to Erika.

“I want to be able to look the homebuyer in the eye when I run into them in the store or at school functions and the pool,” she said. “We live in this community and we have a stake in what happens here, both now and in the future.”

And though, admittedly, their high-end luxury houses are not for everyone given their higher price point, each and every one of their designs is uniquely crafted with the homeowner in mind.

“We don’t do cookie cutter,” Erika said, nor do they follow trends. Their houses are timeless and built to last, from the foundation up.

Erika also takes pride in the unique features that people might not necessarily think about until they see a home, like their recently completed project on Quarter House Avenue. Touches like the enormous his-and-her walk-in closets in the master bedroom and the extra sitting room outside of the master bath, complete with an ornate wall mirror sandwiched by comfy lounge chairs that look out onto the covered second-floor balcony that wraps the length of the massive bedroom, make the space unique.

The gourmet kitchen is outfitted with double ovens, gas cooktop, a large pantry and plenty of storage space with quality-grade materials like the hickory oak flooring and cabinetry, granite countertops and unique copper tile backsplash.

All of their houses are designed for comfort with luxury and quality materials that extend beyond the walls. Erika will sit down and design a house based on each customer’s budget and taste, and will also help the owner find the best land on which to build.

They offer a full-range of services, she noted, including design and furnishings, with an emphasis on quality. They’ll not only find the land for you, they’ll design a house based on the customer’s specifications and budget.

“You get what you pay for,”
she said. “Our houses are not cheap
but they’re worth every penny.”

Homes should be built to last, she added, and they need to have good bones.

By: Jennifer C. Kocher for 82717

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