A Guest Cabin Filled With Rustic Comforts
Photos by James Ray Spahn
It’s just a seven-minute drive from the heart of Crested Butte, Colorado, but this rustic little guesthouse feels a world—and century—away from the popular ski resort town. Perched on a hill overlooking sweeping mountain vistas, the compact home evokes a vintage aesthetic despite its very modern roots.
Homeowners Steve and Vicki Weyel gave Crested Butte architect Daniel Murphy the charge of creating a stand-alone cabin with its own distinct character. “Our goal was to create a secluded retreat where our visitors would truly feel at home,” Steve says. “Dan exceeded our vision in every aspect of the design, from siting the structure so you don’t see the other buildings on the property to precisely framing the landscape through each window.”
But the architect’s primary aim was to play with the perception of age: “We wanted the guesthouse to look like it was the original cabin on the parcel,” Murphy says. “We took an additive architectural approach to the design, which conveys the feeling that the main, chinked-timber section of the house was the original structure. The porches appear to have been added later, and eventually closed in.”
The home’s 1,850-square-foot floor plan features an open living, dining and kitchen space with vaulted ceilings and three private bedrooms to accommodate six guests in luxurious style. “A hundred years ago many homes had only one bathroom, but we conceded to modern preferences and opted for two,” Murphy admits.
The interiors are rich with vintage and reclaimed materials found by the Weyels, including hand-hewn timbers from an old barn and wide-plank floors of reclaimed white oak that run throughout the main level. Many walls are clad in naturally weathered wood, but the space is sunny and bright thanks to Murphy’s strategic placement of large windows.
Crested Butte-based interior designer Carolina Fechino-Alling, of Interni Design Studio, created the cabin’s comfortable living spaces, blending traditional, homey furnishings with out-of-the-ordinary accessories. “The home is very simple, so we developed an eclectic mix of clean-lined furniture, unique custom pieces, unusual light fixtures and antiques,” she explains.
The stacked-stone hearth has built-in shelves and a wood-burning fireplace to warm the living area, where casual slipcovered couches, plush pillows and cozy blankets beckon guests to linger. West-facing windows frame skies that are often dramatic, with clouds rolling in over the appropriately named Oh-Be-Joyful Peak.
The kitchen is both charming and functional, with a generously proportioned butcher-block-topped island as the centerpiece. “Using furnishings that serve multiple purposes is essential in a smaller house,” Fechino-Alling says. “The island provides prep space, additional seating for dining, an impromptu bar and abundant storage.” Open shelving on upper walls showcases a collection of dishware, and custom cabinets below are crafted from reclaimed wood with faded paint that references the room’s bright red FiveStar range. “Vicki Weyel loves red, and it was the perfect accent color for the room,” Fechino-Alling says. She shopped the online retailer 1stdibs for a pair of vintage light fixtures; connected to the ceiling by pulleys, they can be raised, lowered and dimmed.
Placing a trestle-style dining table in the corner with built-in benches on two sides was another space-saving move that provides seating for eight. An iron chandelier overhead is an antique the designer found at Brown Lighting in Houston. “It’s old, but it has an urban, industrial feel,” she says. “I like things that are a little edgy.”
The home’s inviting bedrooms are outfitted with soft furnishings like fluffy duvets, textural window coverings and rugs that contrast with the rustic wood walls and floors. The main house may be just a short walk away, but with so many tempting amenities built into the snug little cabin, guests rarely find any reason to step outside its lost-in-time little world.
HOW TO GET A COZY CABIN KITCHEN:
Can vintage style coexist with modern functionality in a hardworking room like the kitchen? Interior designer Carolina Fechino-Alling says yes, and shares the harmonious design elements she incorporated in the space:
- MULTIPURPOSE ISLAND “Crafted from reclaimed wood and topped with a thick white-oak slab, a large custom work island offers storage, prep space and seating. A metal mesh door on one end conceals the ice-maker and beverage storage.”
- CUSTOM HOOD “Instead of a traditional hood over the stove, we had one fabricated from blackened steel that evokes an old cookstove pipe.”
- FLEXIBLE LIGHTING “The antique pulley light fixtures above the island are quite functional because you can move them up and down. We put them on a dimmer switch so the illumination level can be adjusted depending on mood or time of day.”
- EXPOSED SHELVING “In lieu of upper cabinets, we opted for thick, open shelves. They’re simple and old-fashioned, and having the dishware exposed makes it easy for guests to find things.”
- WEATHERED CABINETRY “The cabinets are custom-made of reclaimed wood with its original weathered red paint intact. The wood is sealed with a matte finish to preserve its wonderful patina.”
ARCHITECTURE Daniel J. Murphy, Crested Butte, CO 970-349-1200 INTERIOR DESIGN Interni Design Studio, Crested Butte, CO 970-596-4586 PLASTER WALLS Matt Berglund, Luxe Plaster, Crested Butte, CO 970-209-7696 KITCHEN ISLAND Crawford’s Custom Woodwork LLC, Crested Butte, CO 970-275-4002 STEEL WORK (pulls, fireplace door) Ben Eaton, Crested Butte, CO 970-275-5085 CONCRETE & METAL WORK (bathroom) Pete Peacock, Crested Butte, CO 970-209-3173 FRAMEWORK FOR PHOTOGRAPHY Lean Canty at Rendezvous Gallery, Crested Butte, CO 970-343-0680 ARTWORK FAUX EXTRY BENCH PAINT Sarah Anderson, Beauti-Faux Creations, Crested Butte, CO 970-596-3828 OLD PICTURES OF CRESTED BUTTE Crested Butte Heritage Museum, 970-349-1880 FURNISHINGS & ACCESSORIES AREA RUGS Artisan Rug Gallery, Crested Butte: 970-349-0116, Denver: 303-825-0064 ISLAND PULLEY SYSTEM LIGHTS, Manufacturer: Obsolete, Vendor: 1st Dibs, Culiver City, CA 310-399-0024 DINING ROOM LIGHT FIXTURE Brown Lighting, Houston, TX 713-522-2151 DINING TABLE Antique from Vieux Interiors Houston, TX 713-626-9500 BAR STOOLS Four Hands Marketplace DINING CHAIRS Sundance Catalog FABRICS Rose Tarlow, Kravet UPHOLSTERY Restoration Hardware & Pottery Barn