This family treehouse can be used year round for a variety of activities. The upper deck, with stunning views, is perfect for summer picnics, while the side deck is more suited for a quiet spot to read or relax. The interior has a couch for napping, a desk for writing and working, a kitchenette and small dining area. The initial inspiration for the room was a cozy spot for hosting lunch and dinner parties… in a unique and rustic setting.
The tiny getaway is anchored to a 90 foot spruce tree on the owner’s property, and has been stabilized by several fallen/dead pine trees for extra support. The spiral stair case leads right to the front door, where guests are welcomed with an open living space. To combat the cold temperatures in Colorado, Missy installed an electrical baseboard that will help keep the timber tiny home warm.
Photos: David Patterson
This classic alpine home was designed as a getaway for a Florida couple and their family by Worth Interiors, located at Beaver Creek, in Avon, Colorado. The home is situated so perfectly that the couple can stand on their terrace and watch the skiers come down the slopes of the Beaver Creek Resort. In addition to their stellar views, they also enjoy the generous proportions of the rambling house that was previously remodeled by architect Eric Johnson. The house had a lot of dark wood, so in the brief the clients requested a design scheme that was lighter and brighter and more in keeping with who they are. They wanted to push the envelope and go as contemporary as they could within the building envelope. The designer employed unexpected materials such as grass cloth in the bathroom to embroidered vinyl in the guest room and a silver metallic sheen in the living room.
Also unexpected is the repeated use of cowhide the designer deftly employed with a modern twist. The living room is grounded with a patchwork cowhide rug, alder panels in the master suite’s sitting area were stained dark and fitted with brown cowhide inlays, and the bed is backed with white paneling filled with ivory cowhide. “When you go contemporary, you still have to be respectful of the location and the architecture,” states the designer of his innovative use of the iconic western material. “It also helps to have clients who are brave enough to try layers of dark and light woods, plaster, grass cloth and cowhide.”
“We salvaged a lot of the original building’s structural materials, popped it up and out in every direction and nearly doubled the square footage,” says Johnson, who also added more than 2,000 square feet of outdoor living areas. And according to builder Robert Kehr, those commodious rooms and outdoor spaces made a dramatic difference. “The house has three large suites all with spa bathrooms, and the master has a personal deck with a privacy fence and hot tub,” he says.
In the spacious living room of a Vail Valley home, the designer chose tactile materials that complement the wall’s stone detailing. A cowhide rug from Stark grounds a sitting area where a leather-covered Dunne daybed by Troscan Design Furnishings pairs with a custom tufted ottoman.
The designer gave the kitchen a contemporary feel by painting the island cabinetry black to play off the existing granite countertop and redid the perimeter counters in honed black granite. The Guy Chaddock hand-forged iron chandelier, which features natural burlap and leather lacing, was procured through Town.
Clean lines define the Ted Boerner dining table, purchased through Town, and Jiun Ho chairs, which are covered with durable Joseph Noble Great Fake leather. A Roll & Hill chandelier composed of 12 ceramic antlers lends a whimsical western accent.
The master suite’s sitting area is outfitted with a Kennedy sectional sofa by Edward Ferrell Lewis Mittman and a sturdy coffee table from Taracea. The Stark ikat rug, from Town, lends a punch of color and pattern to the space.
In the master bedroom, the headboard is upholstered with Joseph Noble fabric and stands against a wall custom paneled with hide, chrome and lacquer. The custom table is by Altura Furniture, and the Antoine Proulx chair combines a wood-and-copper frame with a metallic from Edelman Leather.
A lamp from Ralph Pucci International lights the Milo Baughman chairs and ottoman from Thayer Coggin that flank the master bedroom’s antique limestone fireplace. The linen drapes feature the same Romo fabric in two colors.
In the second master bath, an alder vanity topped with dark marble is paired with a chair from Arteriors Home. Crystal sconces by Barbara Barry for Kallista illuminate the Phillip Jeffries grass-cloth wallcovering.
In the game room, tufted patent- leather vinyl wraps around a bar, which is crowned with a glowing Caesarstone top from the Concetto Collection. Benches and bar stools from Four Hands offer comfortable seating.
Photos: Kimberly Gavin
The Syncline house was designed as a place of solitude for a professional couple by architecture studio Arch11, located near Boulder, Colorado. Situated at the fold between the Rocky Mountain foothills and the Great Plains, the house mediates horizons and peaks, city and alpine meadows. Conceived as a frame for viewing the landscape, Arch11 meticulously modeled the residence within the site to ensure that planes of glass capture ridgetop views while respecting the city’s height restrictions.
A Pre-Paleozoic fold creates a distinction between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountain Foothills. Geologically referred to as a syncline, a crease caused by uplift of an ancient sea bed, the fold distinguishes the inhabited plains from mountain park space. The upward plane of the fold presents a landscape described and observed moving sectionally through the house.
The wedge shaped site was bound by numerous restrictive land use limitations: a wetland buffer, height restrictions, a solar access restriction, and multiple setback and easement boundary requirements. A three-dimensional computer model was developed describing the limits of the buildable envelope.
The project was conceived as a threshold between the city and the mountain park. The client, an entrepreneurial and professional rock climbing couple, requested the house to be “a place where town life can be left behind.” The house is a threshold between both the cultural and geologic creases: one between the domestic and the feral, the other between horizontal and vertical. Through a domestic grove of flowering trees, a solid wood wall, broken only by a perpendicular stone wall, opens to the house interior. Once inside, the stone wall becomes a thickened poche of mechanical and service elements leading through to the west wall of the house, a glazed wall framing the mountain parks.
The western wall phenomenally erodes, revealing the landscape with varying degrees of openness. At the entry, framed apertures provide controlled vignettes of the landscape from foreground meadow to high ground cliffs. As the entry opens to the living spaces the apertures transform in scale to reveal the expansive landscape in its entirety. At the southwest corner thirty feet of glass retracts into the walls, dissolving the boundary between the domestic and the wild; the living spaces are then bounded only by the uplifted cliffs beyond. Reciprocally, the native meadow to the west folds onto the garage roof providing easy outdoor access for visiting guests in the house’s guest suite.
A simple stair cantilevers from the stone wall. Climbing the stairs, the foreground, mid range, and ridge views are sequentially revealed. Experientially scissoring into the landscape and back into the house the stairs connect the mountain park with the house. The west wall of glazing extends the western room boundaries to the wall of rock and meadows beyond. The east wall remains closed, allowing only privileged, controlled views and light from the clerestory above.
Working within some of the strictest energy performance codes in the country, the house is designed to be self sustained utilizing a ground loop heat exchange system that taps into the very bedrock seen at the distant ridge. A ten kilovolt photo-voltaic electrical system powers pumps, compressors and the domestic electrical needs.
To support an envelope comprised of 50% glazing, a structural steel frame is used in place of traditional stick framing throughout the home. The western facade was challenged by height and wind exposure. The thickened wall is a steel brace frame that incorporates vertical vierendeel trusses to resist the 120 mile per hour winds coming down out of the mountains. Additionally, it accommodates the primary vertical mechanical chases.
Built with innovative renewable energy systems and materials crafted to last centuries, the house is a model of cutting-edge sustainable design and attains a LEED gold certification. Roof gardens allow the land to literally envelop the house, and expansive, retracting glass walls provide full views of the Flatirons to the west while connecting interiors with outdoor rooms. Executed with uncompromising detail, surfaces meet with quiet precision, creating a serene background for the landscape and mountains beyond.
Photos: Courtesy of Arch11
We just received images of this net zero home that was designed by HMH Architecture + Interiors in Boulder, Colorado, for two environmental attorneys. One of the attorneys works for the Environmental Protection Agency so maximum sustainability was the only option. However, the environment wasn’t the only design caveat. The owners—a small family with two dogs—also needed a showcase for their expansive art collection of two- and three-dimensional pieces, and requested casual living spaces to accommodate everyday living.
The house was designed in three zones: public, private and the garage. An entry that functions as an airlock separates the garage from the public zone defining the entry as well as help keeping pollutants from entering the main house.
After interviewing several firms in the area, the owners chose HMH Architecture + Interiors in Boulder, Colorado, a firm that specializes in art collection-driven home design, to create home that would be a work of art in its own right.
A seamless integration of the environment, art and family life, the home is a sculptural plan with long, uninterrupted walls throughout to accommodate and complement the art collection. Windows were carefully sized and located throughout to optimize daylight and art lighting while sheltering the works from direct sunlight.
A living room designed for living. This great room area includes the kitchen, dining area, an open office for homework and telecommuting, a living area for family interaction, and a covered porch for eating and playing outdoors.
To achieve an architectural balance between high-concept design and environmental efficiency, the home was built with sustainable materials throughout, including more cost-effective stucco and metal for the exterior.
“The main goal was to build a house that didn’t leave a carbon footprint,” says principal Harvey Hine, who conducted energy modeling prior to construction, which dictated that the house had to be built with fewer windows than originally intended.
The window design was a study of transparency and heat control optimizing the ideal amount of sunlight to keep the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. With a 10kW solar intake system on the roof and a hot water solar system, the home produces 140% of its energy every year, and the homeowners sell the excess back to Xcel Energy.
No matter how sustainable or sculptural, a home ultimately has to be comfortable and livable, which was the top priority for this small family who wanted the home to serve as a social center for guests and entertaining. The great room includes a kitchen, dining area and an open office for family interaction as well as a covered porch for eating and enjoying the legendary Colorado weather.
An open office for homework and telecommuting. The result is an integration of the environment, living and art, customized for a specific family.
The house is bright, airy and acts as a backdrop for the art, the landscape, and daily family activity. The result of the integration of the environment, art, and daily family activity which has been customized for a specific family and location.
Photos: Courtesy of HMH Architecture + Interiors
The Sunshine Canyon Residence has been designed by THA Architecture, nestled at an elevation of 7,000 feet in the mountains just west of Boulder, Colorado. Completed in 2013, this home was a replacement to a home that the owners had lost the Fourmile Canyon fire of Labor Day weekend in 2010. They sold their property and purchased a larger parcel of eight acres for $150,000 on a higher perch, seven miles above downtown. The new structure was more modest in size to their previous home, coming in at 2,200 square feet and costing $1.2 million to build. The dwelling is set on tall steel columns and encased in corrugated, fire-resistant steel siding that is quickly taking on the patina of an old mining shack. “With passive house features, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and a solar array out back, the house is practically net zero in terms of energy consumption”, states THA Architecture.
The panoramic views are ever-changing and offer their own form of entertainment. Where others may have cleared away the expanse of burned trees, the couple saw beauty and left them standing.
Farr Residence is a mountain contemporary home designed by Studio 80 Interior Design with a warm, inviting and elegant appeal in Colorado.
This double volume foyer has been transformed into a cylinder of rustic contemporary appeal that boasts a textural story of mountain life complete with random flagstone flooring that suggests the natural stone of the mountain side itself; walls clad in rough wood boards held together with metal strapping as though the room was the inside of a wine barrel; exposed ceiling beams that wrap the round room and come together in the center to form a turret with square clerestory windows repeated around the walls above the strapping. A stunning light fixture that is suspended at the same level as the metal strapping and tells the tale of a wagon wheel referencing the strapping as the wheel itself; and finally a round faux pony skin covered bench with shoe shelving that is reminiscent of a coin operated bull ride. This foyer is a fantasy come true for anyone with an imagination and a taste for whimsy.
After entering the home and passing through the foyer, the social zone continues to impress. Exposed hand hewn post, beams and window surrounds are balanced with the weight of the stone wall and fireplace facing of 12×24″ patina’d steel sheets. A second light fixture identical to the one in the foyer hangs above the seating arrangement, which just happens to include a fun bamboo accent chair suspended from the ceiling by rope.
A walkway is created behind the sectional for ease of movement around the room and the walkway is kept wide enough to allow for a nostalgic vignette of gears and wheels to be mounted on the wall. The gears continue the theme of naturally aged materials and rustic appeal while at the same time adding in an industrial flavour that is further enhanced by the choice of floor lamp.
The bamboo on the swinging chair has been sprayed to match the finish of the aged steel, creating a tone on tone effect that is further emphasized by their opposing textures, the seat is then emphasized with the selection of colour pops employed within its pillows.
The kitchen boasts all the modern essentials, complete with a commercial grade stove and center island. The island picks up on the dining room angles by being narrower at its base then the counter and this is further emphasized by the bar over hang. The bar stools bring in a vintage flare while the faux skin rug on the floor has a country appeal.
Beside the kitchen is a small niche that supports a private dining space just for the family. The glass-topped table features a contemporary metal base that is repeated in the benches on either side for a picnic table reference while vintage chairs are tucked in at the ends for extra seating. In the distance a hall travels to the private zones of the residence.
The hall is a cozy transition that features a magazine rack mounted on the wall, a window niche complete with bench and industrial lighting suspended from the fantastic detailing within the ceiling beams.
Much like the living room, the dining room features exposed posts, beams and window surrounds, but here they are featured in a room of angular dimensions. Narrower at the floor line then the ceiling, it is as though the pitched ceiling is pushing the walls outward with the only thing holding it together being a metal rod crossing the center section of the room. This metal rod is part of another wheel reference; only this time the visual is within the support detail rather then in the two simple pendants that are suspended from it. Creating additional flare within the room is a vintage china bureau and a contemporary table that is paired with modern chairs, all three creating a purposely-neutral color story that allows the fuchsia area rug to be the soprano within the room.
The country rustic elements are strengthened within this bedroom via the large folksy print of tree branches on the bedspread, the cobalt blue bed frame and the “found” boards that create the headboard.
The kids bedroom continues the country rustic decor via the patchwork quilt and found board bed frame. The small desk, floor lamp and safety rail on the suspended bed bring in an industrial flavor while the Lucite chair reminds us that this is a contemporary home.
The bathroom is accessed via a pivoting wood door and when opened offers a view of a freestanding tub with a metallic finish for an industrial makeover on a country element.
The counter on the vanity continues the color story of the tub and the contemporary faucet and mirror supports reinforce the industrial aesthetic.
The details within the vanity vignette are subtle but exquisite. First there is the mirror that slides on metal rods hiding a medicine cabinet recessed into the wall. Then there is the faucet of hot and cold pipes meeting together to create a waterfall spout that spews forth into the rectangular sink, which is part of the solid surface counter. Just these three items create a feeling of luxury within a tiny footprint. Adding to this luxury is the heated towel rack reflected in the mirror.
In the bathroom, each coin nickle has been glued individually, then grouted and sealed. It’s a lot of work but well worth the effort!
The bench tucks quietly below a large window, creating the perfect place to enjoy reading one of the magazines featured on the rack next to it. Uncharacteristically finished in a powder coating of rose red, the bench and the area rug add in a layer of liveliness to an otherwise utilitarian space.
The shelving unit is a contained vignette of wooden cubes supported by square metal tubing with exposed welding on corner seams. The boxes are of varying sizes and while some feature a red stain on the interior sides others do not. The piece is a work of art and would be just as beautiful empty as it is filled with personal items.
Photos: Courtesy of Studio 80 Interior Design
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