East Coast charm meets Castle Pines
By Lisa Nicklanovich; photos courtesy of Erica Aizenman
The Village at Castle Pines resident Erica Aizenman and her husband Matt have long-time ties to the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and never thought they would leave. Erica grew up in New Jersey. They both attended college in New York and both worked in financial services in Manhattan. When Matt’s job had a location open in the Denver Tech Center four years ago, the couple and their three young children headed to Colorado.
Erica grew up in an 1800s farmhouse on 50 acres that was mostly on swampland in northern New Jersey. Her family converted the property into a sprawling and beautiful horse farm. Erica has fond memories of a barn raising, antics with her sister, and annual fox hunts.
“As a kid, I spent more time with animals than people – show ponies, fox hunting horses, barn cats who aspired to be house cats, foxhounds and litters of puppies and kittens,” Erica shared.
The farm was later sold by Erica’s mother, to the “Great Swamp,” a government division that protects public land and the old house was converted into the Great Swamp Visitor Center.
In 2011, the Aizenmans bought a dilapidated historic home built in 1907 in Summit, New Jersey. “The banisters were hanging off, there was old plaster and sheetrock dust; it was a mess but I loved it and thought it was the most beautiful thing,” Erica said. Erica and her stepdad partnered on a complete first-floor remodel, finding creative ways to not lose the original charm such as keeping the original lead-glass windows.
Upon moving to Colorado, the couple chose a home in The Village at Castle Pines surrounded by trees with views of the mountains from the deck. Despite the home being much newer than the previous homes Erica has lived in, some changes needed to be made (see related story page 21). Erica, a real estate agent, brought her experience in reimagining and remodeling homes as well as her talent for making a house a home to Colorado.
Erica commented that it can be more of a challenge to bring character to a newer home. “A picture that was hanging in your grandma’s bathroom, a rug from a relative, or tokens from travels all bring a piece of history into a house,” Erica said. A farm table came with her to Castle Pines. “It was an antique my mother purchased for the farm. We ate at it as a family every night until I was 18. Now my family does the same. I like having pieces with history in the house. To me, that feels authentic and rooted,” Erica shared.