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Pour Your Personality into a Space

How to create a signature space in your mountain home design

This newly built pioneer ranch style home looks like it evolved over centuries thanks to a rustic stone fireplace and an abundance of reclaimed wood beams, shelves and floors. The design incorporates the homeowners’ eclectic collections of Native American art, African textiles and a Moroccan rug.

Mountain style is no longer a predictable look with stereotypical features; it has evolved over the years to encompass many styles—contemporary, arts and crafts, lodge look, modern, sophisticated, rustic, and more. There are numerous elements to today’s mountain home design, and so many ways to incorporate them, that no two “mountain homes” look alike.

While some homeowners may desire a particular designer’s signature look, most homeowners want a home geared to their own personal tastes. Lynne Barton Bier—Steamboat Springs interior designer and owner of Home on the Range Interiors—like many designers, is skilled in working with homeowners to bring out their personalities: “A home should be your haven, your cocoon,” Bier says. “You should walk in and completely feel happy, safe and at home. It’s my job to help you figure it out.”

Here are some of Bier’s suggestions for creating a signature space:

Local craftsmen created the look of an old kitchen with rustic wood finishes, antiqued zinc countertops and a reclaimed wood island. 

1. Start with pictures. Collect photos of homes that speak to you. Then analyze each one and decide exactly what it is you like in the photo.  It may be as all encompassing as the overall style or as specific as a light fixture.

Bier helped her clients meld their love of contemporary art and New Mexico territorial style in this new-built mountain home.


 It is important to communicate constantly with your designer and other professionals. 

Custom shelves house the homeowners’ collection of antique books and Native American pottery. Here, elements of New Mexico territorial style—reclaimed wood beams, plaster walls, a kiva style fireplace—are pulled together, without overdoing the look.


Beloved belongings, collections, art, antiques, books and other accessories create a place that feels like home.

Natural materials enhance the Western vibe in the master bedroom, where antique longhorns top a leather-and-carved-wood headboard made in Mexico.


Look to the materials (wood, metal, leather, stone) and colors (green trees, red fire, golden fields, blue skies) that surround you. “Everything from nature will go with any style,” Bier advises.

A timeworn saddle, hair-on-hide benches and cowboy art contribute to the distinctive Western style the owners desired. Reclaimed white oak floors add to the ambience.


Mountain towns tend to attract talented artists and craftspeople. Collaborate with them to come up with unique, custom products.

Another thing to consider is that mountain homes are often second homes, where you can go a little bigger and bolder than with an everyday house. For instance, one of Bier’s clients went all out for the Western cowboy look in a Steamboat Springs condo. “With a city dwelling in Manhattan and a beach house in the Hamptons, they wanted to wake up in the morning and know immediately that they were in the mountains,” Bier says.

Want more information on how to create a signature space? Contact Lynne Barton Bier at 970-870-677 ext. 4 or lynne@therangesteamboat.com.


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