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Western Elegance

An East Coast couple builds a mountain home that celebrates summer sunshine and Colorado's blue skies



Emily Minton Redfield

Not everyone who owns a second home in the Vail Valley goes there to ski. The owners of this dwelling in the Red Sky Ranch golf community prefer the summer months—and a home that embraces the kind of indoor/outdoor lifestyle most people don’t associate with ski resorts.

“They never said the words ‘warm and cozy’ even once,” interior designer Eddy Doumas of Vail-based Worth Interiors says of his clients, who intended to live with the doors and windows thrown wide open.

The couple also wanted their getaway to reflect their modern sensibility. “They didn’t give me too many parameters, but they were clear about not wanting the big beams and timbers that often typify mountain architecture,” he adds.

This directive turned out to be more challenging for architect Brian Judge of VAg, Inc., Architects & Planners, who had to find a way to put a contemporary twist on the 7,000-square-foot house while complying with Red Sky’s design regulations. “I deviated from the rustic interpretation and added classic details that were harmonious with the landscape, but applied them in a more simplified way,” says Judge, who selected refined exterior materials like white cedar shingles and indigenous stone, the latter dry stacked with less variation to create a cleaner look.

For his part, Doumas established the indoor/outdoor theme by continuing the cathedral gray sandstone flooring used outside into the entry, living room, dining room and kitchen.

Next, he kicked off the interior palette in his signature way, with a piece of fabric. “Often our launching point is a busy, patterned swatch that we might use to cover a pillow. But in this case it was a quieter, soft steel blue and burnished-gold stripe that established the color scheme,” he says of the silk that tops the living room chaise.

The blue repeats on the mohair sofa and in the floral rug, and the fabric’s sheen is reflected in the bronze table lamps and porcelain fireplace tiles. “The porcelain is meant to read like gunmetal,” Doumas says of the contemporary material choice that, on a practical level, doesn’t heat up despite its proximity to the fire. A suede leather chair, leather ottoman and an unexpected zebra-stripe armchair round out the space. “Without that chair, everything is a little too pulled together, a little too subtle,” he explains.

Another surprise occurs in the formal dining room, where the deep red walls and ceiling are a total departure from the home’s established palette. “A red dining room was the only color request from the owner,” says Doumas, who dressed up the ceiling with a trimwork pattern stained dark espresso to match the windows and doors.

That same finish reappears in the kitchen, where white oak cabinets sport the dark stain. The backsplash is clad in custom-colored porcelain tile in a geometric pattern, and a soft limestone fireplace and generous 15 feet of floor space separate the food-preparation area from the breakfast nook. “We thought about making a sitting area by the fireplace but decided to leave it open for entertaining,” Doumas says. To create yet another connection between rooms, the designer piled the nook banquette high with accent pillows in the same soothing blue and brown hues established in the living room.

The entry point to the master suite wing is a circular dressing room with handcrafted cerused oak cabinetry flanked by relatively small sleeping quarters and a grand master bath. In the latter, white oak cabinets wear an espresso stain, and crema marfil marble in a variety of patterns defines the floor and climbs the walls. “It’s the most standard material out there,” Doumas says of the marble, “but by doing a mosaic design on the walls and a herringbone pattern on the floor, we took an ordinary material and made it special.”

 

THE COLLECTED LOOK

While most people want the rooms in their house to have a common thread that ties everything together, going too “matchy-matchy” can result in rooms that lack spontaneity and feel boring. But achieving that coveted collected look requires both skill and a little bit of chutzpah.

“The tendency even among designers is to have everything jibe; that’s what we’re trained to do. But it’s cool to throw something into the mix that makes no sense,” says interior designer Eddy Doumas, who injected a zebra-stripe chair into a living room defined by calm blues and browns, just for the fun of it. “Otherwise, it will end up looking like a showroom.”

According to Doumas, having an established style or color scheme makes it easier to incorporate an accent pillow in a wild fabric or a light fixture totally out of sync with the rest of the room. “In this house, the pagoda-shaped silk chandelier is a total anomaly,” he says. “And if you’re looking for something to try at home, there’s nothing quite like adding a lacquered Asian piece to a traditional room to make it look less decorated.”

 

ARCHITECTURE Brian Judge, VAg, Inc., Architects & Planners, Avon, Colorado, 970-949-7034, vagarchitects.com INTERIOR DESIGN Eddy Doumas and Olivia Grayson, Worth Interiors, Avon, Colorado, 970-949-9794, worthhome.net FURNISHINGS: ENTRY CHAIRS Ralph Lauren, available at TOWN, Denver Design District, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com; upholstered in fabric by Glant, available at Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver Design District, 303-744-7474, denverdesign.com COFFEE TABLE Helene Aumont, available at Carter, Inc., Denver Design District, 303-794-4722, denverdesign.com RUG Carini Lang, available at TOWN, Denver Design District, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com CHANDELIER Formations, formationsusa.com LIVING ROOM CHAISE Holly Hunt, available at Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver Design District, 303-744-7474, denverdesign.com; upholstered in fabric by Jim Thompson, available at Egg & Dart, Denver, 303-744-1676, egg-and-dart.com DRAPERY FABRIC Romo, available at TOWN, Denver Design District, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com WOOD-FRAME CHAIR Oly Studio, available at TOWN, Denver Design District, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com ZEBRA FABRIC Clarence House, available at Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver Design District, 303-744-7474, denverdesign.com OTTOMAN Thayer Coggin, available at TOWN, Denver Design District, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com; leather by Edelman Leather, Denver, 303-825-1277, edelmanleather.com SOFA Baker, available at TOWN, Denver Design District, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com; mohair by Rogers & Goffigon, also available at TOWN SUEDE CHAIR Baker, available at TOWN, Denver Design District, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com RUG Carini Lang, available at TOWN, Denver Design District, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com CHANDELIER Visual Comfort, available at JJ&S Lighting Company, Denver, 303-777-1007, jjslighting.com DINING ROOM TABLE Holly Hunt, available at Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver Design District, 303-744-7474, denverdesign.com CHAIRS A. Rudin, available at Egg & Dart, Denver, 303-744-1676, egg-and-dart.com RUG Carini Lang, available at TOWN, Denver Design District, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com CHANDELIER Dessin Fournier, available at TOWN, Denver Design District, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com BREAKFAST NOOK TABLE Altura, available at TOWN, Denver Design District, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com CHAIRS A. Rudin, available at Egg & Dart, Denver, 303-744-1676, egg-and-dart.com STOOLS Client’s collection KITCHEN BARSTOOLS A. Rudin, available at Egg & Dart, Denver, 303-744-1676, egg-and-dart.com

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