A Colorado Mountain Home Makeover
An extensive renovation of a sprawling ranch results in a personal resort for a fun-loving Florida couple
When a Naples, Florida, couple purchased a 146-acre ranch and house in Colorado’s Vail Valley, a massive renovation project wasn’t what they had in mind.
Their daughter was on the equestrian circuit at the time, and they thought the property would be an ideal place to break ponies. As it turns out, they didn’t end up raising horses on the ranch, but the property did become a fun mountain getaway for the family, a spot where they could fish and hike in the summer and snowshoe and snowmobile in the winter.
About a dozen years after the couple bought the spread, however, their plans changed again. They visited an open house at a nearby property and saw the work of Tom Cole, a Vail architect known for his mountain home design. They wanted to turn the ranch into more of a resort, a playground of sorts for visiting friends and family, and they thought Cole could be the first piece of the puzzle.
“We were so taken by the house,” says the husband, “that we met with him within a couple of days after going through the home that he had designed.”
The meeting was a success, and the homeowners were eager to get going on the project, so Cole quickly came on board, even moving on-site throughout design and construction to help keep the process flowing as smoothly as possible.
The massive project included remodeling the 8,600-square-foot main house and adding several new buildings, including a guesthouse, an athletic center, an equestrian center and a pavilion. It was such a big project that the homeowners ended up hiring two builders: Patrick Barrett and Tom McCord. “They did an incredible job of distributing the labor and the resources,” says Cole. “They complemented each other really well.”
One of the team’s first steps was revamping the main house. “It was just a white stucco building, and it didn’t have any relationship to the natural environment,” says the homeowner. “I gave my architect three directives. I said give me a renovation that you can’t see. Give me views we don’t have. And where we can bring the outdoors in, do so.” The result is a modern take on a mountain retreat, with cedar, stone and steel creating a natural palette that nods to the surrounding meadows, rivers, ponds and aspen groves.
To ensure that the interiors were as spectacular as the new-and-improved exterior, the homeowners enlisted Denver-based designer Andrea Schumacher. The designer made it her mission to choose décor that celebrates the landscape. “We tried to soften everything on the inside so your eye was drawn to the outside,” she says. “Before, there was more color to it, so your eye was drawn inward.”
Schumacher also used some of the exterior materials as accents in the interior, including the rock surround on the living-room fireplace and the cedar-clad ceiling in the entry. “[We wanted] to integrate the interior and exterior vibe,” she says, “so there wasn’t a stark contrast from outside to inside.”
Though Schumacher relied on neutral hues and natural elements in the main house (“We just tried to play with the colors you find in nature,” she says), she kept things more playful in the guesthouse (think graphic wallpaper, red lacquered case goods and squirrel-adorned upholstery).
The playfulness continues in the pavilion, which is decked out with a bar and movie theater, as well as farther down the property, where the homeowners set up a furnished tent overlooking a creek. “We have attitude modification sessions down there on a regular basis,” the husband says of the tucked-away glampsite. When it comes to lifting the spirits, though, the tent is just one of many mood-altering spots that resulted from the ranch’s impressive reinvention.
Because formal dining rooms tend to sit unused most of the time, the homeowners opted for a dining-study combination. Here’s how their dream team of designers made the space possible.
ROLL WITH IT Interior designer Andrea Schumacher outfitted the room with three custom tables on casters. Most days, the pieces are the perfect place to catch up on work or page through a book. But if a dinner party is on the agenda, the homeowners can push them together to make one big dining table or roll them outside on the adjoining terrace for an al fresco dining experience. BRING THE INSIDE OUT The 20-foot-wide glass-and-steel garage door that separates the dining-study from the terrace can be rolled up for a seamless indoor-outdoor connection. “It comes up and parks above the suspended ceiling,” says architect Tom Cole. “You don’t even know it’s there when it’s open.” KEEP IT COZY In addition to the book-filled built-ins that line the walls, Schumacher created a reading nook with a comfy upholstered chair. She also added a jute rug, custom velvet draperies and a moss-colored her- ringbone wallcovering to make the space feel warm and welcoming.
MAIN HOUSE LIVING ROOM CEILING WALL COVERING Ajiro Diamonds in Natural by Maya Romanoff from John Brooks SOFAS Custom SOFA FABRIC Montemarte Chenille from F Schumacher SLIPPER CHAIRS Custom CHAIR FABRIC 42820 in Pewter from F Schumacher COFFEE TABLE Custom COFFEE TABLE LEATHER Suede in Irish Cream SSU-012 from Rothman Associates LAMPS Brompton Lamps from Mr. Brown MAIN HOUSE SITTING ROOM GOLD CHAIRS Antique CHARM ARM FABRIC The Wild Ones in Camel from Wall Resource CHAIR BACK FABRIC de Le Cuona in Baroque Straw from Town Studio LOUNGE CHAIRS Custom LOUNGE CHAIR FABRIC Erba in Chocolat (velvet) by Castel from John Brooks TAN LEATHER/METAL LOUNGE CHAIR/ARMAND CHAIR WITH FAWN COWHIDE from Jayson Home MAIN HOUSE DINING ROOM TABLES Custom Oak Staind Natural Wang in Dark Expresso Finish from Acorn Woodworking STOOLS Bullseye ottoman from Ivystone RUGS IvystJute Rugs – Diamonds in Chocolate/Cream Diamond by Saxony from Shanahan Collection CHAIRS Custom CHAIR FABRIC Arizona-Forest from Kravet DRAPERIES Custom DRAPERY FABRIC Flying Ducks in Camel/G by Lee Jofa / Mulberry Home from Kravet ACCENT WALLCOVERING Pearce Herringbone in Moss from Schumacher MIRROR Blake Mirror in Young Pen Shell from Made Goods FIREPLACE MANTEL LEATHER Luxe Calf Caramel LU44 from Edelman Leather LAMPS Elk lamps from CAI Design VINTAGE ASIAN STATUE from Wesco Fabrics ENTRY RUG Bakara Cream and Brown Rug from Floor Coverings by CPA TUFTED BENCH FABRIC Royal Suede in Chocolate RS13 from Edelman Leather WALLCOVERING LEATHER Free Range in Color: Desert Sand from Edelman Leather SCONCES Xhosa Light Sconce from Khaya Collection MASTER BEDROOM FIREPLACE WALLCOVERING Weathered Walls – lacquered bark by Maya Romanoff from John Brooks FIREPLACE WALLCOVERING Georgetown Beige Diamond Weave #4454 from Phillip Jeffries DUVET FABRIC M333/01 Breaker Seashell by Mark Alexander from ROMO Fabric & Wallcovering BED SHAM FABRIC Louvered Maze in Grey by Groundworks from Kravet ORANGE BOLSTER PILLOW FABRIC Kit Kat in Matelasse by Donghia from John Brooks BED Custom HEADBOARD FABRIC Baloo by Sahco from John Brooks MIRROR OVER BED Biba Mirror from Khaya Collection CHAISE LOUNGE AND OTTOMAN Custom FABRIC Cassia by Sahco from John Brooks DECORATEIVE BOOK WALL ART from Century Showroom NIGHTSTAND PENDANTS Savoy Polished Brass Pendant with Copper Plated Interior from Arteriors CHAIR Lucca Arm Chair by Jean de Merry from John Brooks FLOOR LAMP Sabine Iron/Glass Floor Lamp from Arteriors TUFTED BENCH Custom BENCH FABRIC Gainsborough Velvet in Moss 77 from Schumacher DRAPERIES Custom FABRIC Huckleberry Nougat by de Le Cuona from Town Studio RETRO SHAG RUG Hand KnottedTurkish Rug in Mozaic Green from David Adler MASTER ENTRY CHINESE CABINET from Silk Road Collection GUEST HOUSE LIVING ROOM SOFA FABRIC Tatum in Natural form Room and Board CHAIR 1 Custom FABRIC 1 K5058/43 Orion Panacotta by Kirkby Design from Romo Town CHAIR 2 FABRIC Squirrel & Dove DVIPSQ301 from Sanderson COFFEE TABLE Eclipse Oval Coffee Table from Objet SIDE TABLE Freud Croc Embossed Leather/Antique Brass Table from Arteriors WALLCOVERING Lumberjack Beech by Andrew Martin Wallpaper from Etoile Decor CUSTOM DRAPERY FABRIC Dune in Bamboo from Arabel AREA RUG Distressed wool rug in chocolate from Restoration Hardware PENDANT Osgood iron pendant, painted iron / gold from Arteriors GUEST HOUSE MASTER BATHROOM WALL TILE New Ravenna in Tortoise Shell by Decorative Materials PENDANTS Piquito High Black Pendant Light from Lamps Plus VANITY Chinese Console Table from Decorasian SINK Copper Vessel Sink with Hammered Design from The Copper Depot MIRROR Round Leather Mirror by Jamie Young Co. from Candelabra