A Revival in Vail

A retro family condo receives a radical refresh for the next generation
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The kitchen’s wood ceiling wraps into the living room, providing warmth and connection between the spaces. Vertical wood slats create privacy between entry and living room. Custom pendant from La Belle Etoile. | Photography by David Lauer

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.

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A 1970s condominium was reconceived with five bedrooms, an office and ski storage within 2,500 square feet. In the living room, double-height space and sliding glass door, with custom game table by Rooster Socks Boulder.

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.

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HMH Architecture and Interiors designed the dark gray Basaltina fireplace surround framed by views of the mountains.

“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.”

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The contemporary kitchen is full of natural texture and richness, with wood floor and ceiling, Fenix cabinets and Taj Mahal stone on the island and backsplash.

“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.”

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Bedrooms are intimately scaled to maximize the condo’s efficiency. The primary bedroom features warm woods and soft textures against a neutral palate. The Lid Storage bed is from Blu Dot.

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.

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The existing spiral staircase was made wider and more functional by relocating the handrail and reworking the floor opening. Refinished treads and vertical picket railing lend a modernized look. Painting by Fernando Leal Audirac, clock artwork by Ari Kanerva.

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.

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In the office, the floor-to-ceiling slat wall, Caesarstone raw concrete countertop and European white oak built-ins combine warmth and function.

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.”

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The primary suite bathroom has treetop views and a floating oak vanity. The spa-like shower features slat-textured limestone and a marble bench.

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.”


Categories: Condos