A Light-Filled Retreat in Crested Butte
A design-minded Texas couple tones down the darkness in their Colorado vacation home to create a bright and updated haven
Whether it’s winter or summer, Austinites Lauren and Kyle Gauthreaux count Crested Butte, Colorado, as a favorite spot for family vacations. “Crested Butte is a special place for my husband originally,” says Lauren. “I have three bonus sons who are older, and they grew up skiing there. They’re all excellent skiers and mountain bikers.” In addition to James, 23; Reeves, 21; and Hayes, 18, the couple have a 4-year-old daughter named Cecily, who is already hitting the slopes. “She is a daredevil,” says Lauren. “Her first year was last year, and she just barreled down the mountain.”
So when the family decided to purchase a vacation home a few years ago, the location was a no-brainer. “We love going to Crested Butte,” says Lauren, “and we spent so much time there that we wanted to have a place where our kids could always have a home base and bring their kids.” They settled on a three-story house situated about two blocks from the town’s popular Rainbow Park. The location was great, and the house had the space they needed, but the place was dark inside and out, and much of it was outdated. So, after spending their first Christmas in the house and getting a feel for what they wanted to change, the couple embarked on a seven-month renovation led by Lauren, who works part time as an interior designer.
“The main thing was making it functional,” she says of the house. “I wanted to make sure that it was conducive not only for three boys but also a baby and grandparents, with a goal of not making it so specific to us that it wouldn’t work if we had friends come over.” They also wanted to tone down the darkness—dark browns and greens were prevalent throughout the house—but they didn’t want the home to feel stark. “We wanted it to be cozy and casual and not feel too modern,” says Lauren, “but we wanted to lighten everything up.”
“We wanted to lighten everything up.”
— Interior Designer Lauren Gauthreaux
Lauren’s first step was painting the walls and ceilings white, then adding whitewashed shiplap in various rooms. She also replaced all of the flooring and added new lighting throughout. To keep the white background from feeling too cool, she warmed up the spaces with elements such as reclaimed wood and pops of green and blue.
In the kitchen, which was taken down to the studs, Lauren removed the upper cabinets and replaced them with open shelving, then added white ceramic tile as the backsplash and coated the island in Benjamin Moore’s Tarrytown Green. “The kitchen was smaller and felt dark with built-ins,” she says. “So I thought if I had open shelving, it would open up the space.” Now the room is a favorite spot for the Gauthreaux family to gather, especially when Kyle, a Louisiana native, cooks his signature jambalaya, gumbo or red beans and rice.
Other favorite spaces include the living room, where rustic touches such as the reclaimed wood ceiling beams and fireplace surround mingle with whimsical artwork and floral-print throw pillows. Reclaimed wood makes an appearance in the master bedroom as well, framing the custom built-in upholstered headboard. Oversize pillows in a soothing shade of blue paired with plush white bedding create a serene scene. “You can just fall into bed,” says Lauren, “and it’s incredibly cozy, feels like a cloud. Perfect after a day full of skiing or hiking.”
The entire house, in fact, has a coziness that makes all who enter feel welcome—from the front porch and its beckoning couch swing to the breakfast nook and its built-in banquette. At the Gauthreaux house, whether it’s kids, friends, grandparents or the couple’s 150-pound Great Pyrenees, Willie, there’s a comfy spot for everyone to perch.
“There is a common misconception that in order to modernize a house you must paint everything white and take out anything old,” says Lauren Gauthreaux. “In fact, it’s quite the opposite.” Here, the homeowner and designer shares her tips for making modern spaces feel warm and cozy.
DON’T THROW AWAY THOSE OLDER ITEMS They give your house character, warmth and a story. “I love going to the Round Top antiques show [in Texas] every year and have collected many antiques over the years.” Selecting a few well-appointed vintage items adds warmth to any room. IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE WHITE AS YOUR BASE COLOR, CHOOSE THREE ACCENT COLORS TO CARRY THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE At least one of those colors should be a natural texture. “For example, in this home, I used reclaimed wood throughout to counteract the white base.” INCORPORATE A VARIETY OF TEXTURES Layer multiple textures with fabrics and other materials. “Although we have a modernized white kitchen as a base, we used concrete countertops and a green accent island with reclaimed wood for the shelving and vent hood.”
INTERIOR DESIGN CeCeG Design 214-914-5905 CONSTRUCTION Garcia Construction 970-275-3271
As seen in the May/June 2020 issue
ALL CABINETRY, CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS AND KITCHEN NOOK TABLE by Pete Peacock at Peacock Designs PAINT WHITE THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE Collingwood KITCHEN ISLAND Tarrytown Green in high gloss by Benjamin Moore EXTERIOR Sherwood Green BACKHOUSE Inchyra Blue number 289 by Farrow and Ball LIVING ROOM ARTWORK “Grand Canyon Picnic” by David Parise COUCH Cloud Couch in Perennials textured linen weave RUG Perennials pinstripe outdoor rug in Sand from Restoration Hardware FLORAL ACCENT PILLOWS Hellow Yarrow Natural Fabric by Abigail Borg from Supply Showroom LEATHER CHAIR & OTTOMAN Callan Chair and Ottoman in Portofino Leather – color Cognac, wood – Walnut from Room & Board SCONCE Bit Wall Sconce from The Urban Electric Co. KITCHEN ISLAND PENDANT Calypso Antigua Pendant by Contardi from Page Home Design SINK PENDANT Calypso Guadalupe Pendant by Contardi from Page Home Design ARTWORK “San Jose” by Ashley Woodson Bailey BACKSPLASH TILE Savoy Ceramic Standard in Rice Paper Field by Anna Bevel from Ann Sacks BAR STOOLS Makan Mahogany from CB2 (no longer available) BREAKFAST NOOK BANQUET Fiji in Straw Hut by Rose Tarlow from John Brooks Incorporated PENDANT Darlana Medium Lantern by Chapman & Myers from Circa Lighting MASTER BEDROOM HEADBOARD FABRIC Perennials Rough n Rowdy in Sea Salt from John Brooks Incorporated BED ACCENT PILLOWS Custom- Fabric: Marbled Stripe in Lagoon by Rebecca Atwood from James Showroom HEADBOARD SCONCES Dorchester Double Backplate Swing Arm by Chapman & Myers from Circa Lighting MASTER BATHROOM SHOWER TILE Thassos Marble 12 x 24 from Arizona Tile FLOOR TILE Pamplona Design Cement tile: Pacific White, Pacific Navy, Peridot, Spearmint from The Cement Tile Shop BLUE BATHROOM WALLPAPER Grande Check in French Blue from Caitlin Wilson BACK HOUSE LEAF ACCENT PILLOWS Fiddle Leaf Fig- Green Mist Blue by Ferrick Mason from James Showroom LAMP Stem Table Lamp in White Linen from Rejuvenation