A Revival in Vail
A retro family condo receives a radical refresh for the next generation
A circa-1976 condominium in Vail, Colorado—owned by the same family since its construction—was well-loved but showing its age when the owners tasked HMH Architecture + Interiors to undergo a makeover to elevate the home to contemporary standards and transform its use of space.
Lead architect Lindsay Beukhof, principal architect Cherie Goff and principal interior designer Leah Civiok were able to create five bedrooms and a sleek office with en suite baths, a powder room and ski storage, all within 2,500 square feet over three levels. To achieve that while creating a light, bright, open, view-embracing home is nothing short of remarkable.
“They wanted a modern interpretation of a ski lodge without erasing its history,” Beukhof says of the Mexico-based clients. “It had undergone little renovation and was very closed off, with 7-foot, 10-inch ceilings, small windows and faux beams. It felt dark and disjointed; they wanted to brighten and modernize the space.”
“We went through the same process as when it was first built and all worked together to design the unit,” explains the owner. “We needed more open spaces we could share, more light inside, bigger windows we could open to connect to nature, and lighter and brighter finishes. We tore it apart; not a single wall was left. We wanted a clean slate so that we could redesign every single space and make it ours. We also wanted an efficient, simple, easy-to-live-in, healthy and tech-edgy place that would provide a great level of comfort. Finally, we were aiming for a big family space so we could share the daily experiences and generate a space where the whole family could sit around and share laughs, games and great conversations.”
The team first enlarged the windows to embrace sweeping mountain views to the north and brightened the palette with generous expanses of white European oak and a vaulted ceiling in the living room. By keeping bedrooms intimate, limiting closets and excess furniture and employing built-ins, they carved out generous public spaces, including a dining area with a round table to accommodate large groups—often as many as 10 people in residence for a month.
The spiral staircase was reimagined as a sculptural statement, bathrooms became spa-like retreats, and the ultra-efficient kitchen was interpreted as clean, balanced and minimal. “A lot of time was spent programming how that space would be used,” recalls Civiok.
Ultimately the changes, especially the large expanses of wood and light-reflecting walls, were transformative, inspired, says Beukhof, “by traditional ideas of the warmth of a retreat after a day out skiing.”
While the project has won multiple industry awards, “What we like best is the experience it provides for our family and guests,” says the owner. “It is full of details and surprises that enrich our experiences. We love every room, every corner, every detail.”