A Colorful Colorado Guesthouse With Rustic Touches
Visitors to this small guesthouse live large in rooms that are big on style
Decorating smaller homes is a fine balance. It’s an opportunity to downsize on excess and get smart about storage solutions. At the same time, smaller spaces shouldn’t skimp on style.
Ready for this unique design challenge, lead interior designers Lindsey Jamison and Sierra Fallon of Rumor Designs made the most of an 800-square-foot guesthouse in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Jamison and Fallon had lofty ideas for this small house and methodically curated a fusion of traditional and contemporary looks.
The homeowners, a husband and wife, each had their own take on what the abode’s interiors should look like. “Her style is eclectic and funky, while her husband admires rustic touches, so we tried combining the two inside the home. It can be a challenge, but in this case, it was just fun,” laughs Fallon. “We squeezed it all in.”
Another layer of complexity was ensuring the guesthouse was handicap accessible for the homeowners’ aging parents.
The owners had worked with Mountain Architecture Design Group and Dobell Contracting Company to make their new build complement their existing two-story home sitting adjacent on the same property.
But for the interiors, it was up to Jamison and Fallon to bring everything together. “We had to make sure a wheelchair could get around the dining table and through the kitchen while still affording enough space for a sleeper sofa,” says Fallon. Even up until the day they moved in all the furniture, “we kept wondering, ‘how do we get all this stuff in here?’”
The designers had several small-space tricks ready for action. A lightweight coffee table, for example, made accommodating the sleeper sofa easier, while smaller appliances were selected so as not to “weigh down the kitchen.”
The lone bedroom offers a bed with a headboard intended to anchor the piece of furniture to the room, but concealed underneath is a freestanding bedframe. “This gave the visual effect of having a full bed without taking up any more space,” explains Jamison.
For readers wanting to achieve a comparable look in their small space, Fallon advises, “Don’t be afraid to mix styles.” Modern takes blend well with classic or vintage pieces “as long as everything is balanced.” One way to strike a balance is to narrow your color palette. “Once you pick a color, you kind of stick with it and select different shades from the color family.”
Hence, the bathroom’s tile from Morocco appears in white and teal, while the kitchen’s cabinets are a vivid splash of brilliant blue that seems to shift colors depending on the time of day. “The wife really gravitated to blue hues, and so the selection was easy.”
For a true marriage of styles, the husband’s love of rustic touches runs the length of the home, too. The bedroom’s ceiling is clad in engineered white oak, heralding a beloved natural material. “The wood is more of that classic mountain feel and brings warmth back into the room,” says Jamison. “When you have cool colors, like the blue kitchen cabinets or the gray floor tiles, it’s always nice to bring in warmer elements to break up the stark feeling of the space,” she says.
Helping embody the couple’s fusion of styles, the elegant fireplace spares little in the way of charm. The marble tile is laid in a herringbone pattern for a striking modern vibe, while the mantelpiece is made of walnut, selected by Jamison and Fallon for its no-fuss aesthetic that showcases the natural beauty of mountain living. “Walnut is a gorgeous species with such character and richness of depth. We wanted to bring that warm color into the living room,” says Fallon.
From the exterior to the home’s inner rooms, the guesthouse weds the two styles perfectly. “They really got a modern feel in the home’s shape with a rustic exterior,” says Fallon of the reclaimed barnwood she and Jamison helped select.
“But when you walk inside, the home is way more modern than the exterior’s appearance would suggest.”