A Home Built on a Historic Cattle Ranch
It was designed to take in geologic views as well as daily ranch life
When the homeowners built their ranch house in the heart of a working cattle ranch in Eagle County, Colorado, they wanted to pay tribute to the site’s long ranching history. At the center of the house, a great room offers a window into daily life. “You see the comings and goings of a working ranch, putting up hay, moving cattle, shoeing horses,” the homeowner says.
The site, situated at the base of two natural wonders—striated sandstone cliffs and the winding Colorado River—provided inspiration for architect Tom Cole, who let the special location dictate the home’s design. “There is no use trying to compete with the majestic scale of the cliffs beyond and the large bend in the Colorado River below,” he says. “Our biggest goal with the architecture was to not screw up such an awesome natural site.”
Big steel windows created the interior design language. “The windows were crucial,” interior designer Tracie Schumacher of Studio80 says. “What’s the point if you can’t see the landscape?”
The homeowner enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and children—horseback riding, fly-fishing and floating along the river. She gets excited when talking about the ranch animals, listing all the creatures at hand: chickens of various breeds, two African pygmy goats, three dogs, quarter horses, two Percherons, various barn cats—and the cattle, of course. “We have a miniature Jersey cow who is awesome,” she says. “Actually, when she was very little, we had a calf born that was rejected by its mother, so the two of them were raised together—Minnie and Mickey.”
Schumacher took these animals into account during the design process of this pet-friendly home. Rugged materials like metalwork, reclaimed Wyoming wind fence and cement floors give the house an industrial look—but they are also practical. “You don’t need to worry about the dogs running around, maybe a horse coming inside,” she says. “You never know what might wander into the house.” The cement floors are easy to clean, and metal touches throughout the house are strong. Schumacher had the contractor construct metal-clad interior doors and wrap drywall corners in metal. “I absolutely love the cement floors,” the homeowner says. “They’re bulletproof.”
Inside, the “bunkhouse” (as the homeowners call it) relies on balance: industrial materials with rustic touches, modern furniture with cozy textures, dark finishes with bright expanses of light. Schumacher created a neutral palette with organic materials. Tones of black and brown mingle with white and beige—and the landscape colors recede into the background as the setting become the house’s true focus.
Bedrooms are comfortable yet simple. “I feel like a bedroom needs only a bed and a chair,” the homeowner says. “If you’re on a ranch, you don’t need to spend much time in the bedroom.” Instead, she likes to relax in the great room, sitting in her favorite sheepskin lounge chair. “I turn on the fire, get my morning coffee and just sit there,” she says.
As seen in the May/June 2020 issue
CABINETRY KITCHEN/BATHS/BEDS/NIGHTSTANDS by Dave Arnold Interior Dimensions ARTWORK Carved Horse Head Wall Art by local Gypsum artist Luis Uribe ARTWORK “Wee Showdown” by Amy Carroll from Minted.com GREAT ROOM SOFA by Ferrel Mittman / Custom GREAT ROOM SOFA FABRIC Kravet Mohair / Zinc: Faux Cougar Back Cushions Sofa from Town Studio FIREPLACE RUG Cowhide Link from Restoration Hardware FIREPLACE LIVE EDGE COFFEE TABLE from Houzz.com GREAT ROOM CHANDELIER – Fulton by Hinkley from Neena’s Ligthing RUG from Restoration Hardware BRASS TABLES from Houzz.com FIREPLACE FUR CHAIRS Auckland Quention Chair from Anthropologie BEDROOM CHANDELIER – Jackson by Troy Lighting from Neena’s Ligthing NIGHSTANDS – Fulton by Hinkley from Neena’s Ligthing BED + NIGHTSTANDS Custom Designs by Studio 80 Manufacturer Dave Arnold of Interior Dimensions BEDDING – Duvet and White Furry Pillows from Restoration Hardware FURRY CHAIR from World Market BUNKROOM BED Custom Designs by Studio 80 Manufacturer Dave Arnold of Interior Dimensions CHANDELIER – Atelier Chandelier by Sonneman Lighting from Neena’s Lighting NIGHSTAND LIGHT – Tribeca by Sonneman Lighting from Neena’s Lighting FUZZY STOOL from Houzz.com BLANKET from School House Electric BEDDING – Duvet and White Furry Pillows by ADM from Restoration Hardware BATHROOM SINKS AND TUB by Adm Bath Design PLUMBING AND FIXTURES – Purist by Kohler from Kohler SCONCE – Chelsea by Sonneman Lighting from Neena’s Lighting COUNTERTOP – Raven by Caesarstone from Caesarstone HANDMADE GREY WALL TILE by Ken Mason + Black Porcelain Wood Floor Tile – Artistic Tile from Decorative Materials POWDER ROOM COUNTERTOP – Pebble by Caesarstone from Caesarstone MOSAIC BACKSPLASH TILE from Decorative Materials SCONCES – Mason by Hubbardton Forge from Neena’s Lighting KITCHEN BARSTOOLS – Oviedo from Restoration Hardware DINING ROOM CHAIRS – Directors from Restoration Hardware TABLE Russian Reclaimed Oak from Restoration Hardware ENTRY BENCH Walnut Slab from Kathy Kho Home RUG Black and White Indoor Outdoor by Surya from Houzz.com HALLWAY AND MUDROOM LIGHTS by Troy Lighting from Neena’s Lighting WINDOWS by Bromball