A Telluride Transformation in Prime Real Estate

A historic Telluride home in a perfectly positioned location receives a refreshed, updated look

Corners and spaces previously unused were reimagined for aesthetics and functionality. A curated bookcase at the main stairway is accentuated by a Katherine Lott aspen triptych. | Photography by Joshua Johnson

“Location, location, location” might seem a hackneyed phrase, but for this historic Telluride residence, affectionately referred to by locals as a “miner’s shack,” location is everything. Situated in the heart of the remote Colorado ski village, it is the closest residence to the gondola, one of the area’s favorite attractions for its breathtaking views of the surrounding alpine terrain. During the summertime, the Oak Street Farmer’s Market bustles outside the front lawn, allowing the gregarious homeowners to interact with the frequent pedestrian traffic wandering the main corridor.


“Trying to execute demolition and installation during a farmer’s market day or a powder day, on a one-way street right next to the gondola, offered lots of fun challenges,” recalls CC Rocque, co-owner of Zinque Design. The interior space now matches the residence’s spectacular location.

While the location of the home offers immediate access to the best of mountain living, the town’s deep box canyon prevents sunlight from reaching the south side of the street for much of the winter. “The shady side of town gets an hour of daylight,” explains CC Rocque of Zinque Design. Rocque and her business partner, Aura Zink, were tasked with taking this home from a darker and heavier look toward a lighter and brighter contemporary mountain feel.


Zinque lightened the kitchen by painting the cabinetry Benjamin Moore “Fog Mist” and using translucent stone slabs for countertops. As a contrast, they retained the flamed-and-brushed marble island top.

In addition to a lack of natural light, a remodel in 2006 merged the 120-year-old structure with a new addition— linked to the original form via separate stairwells, creating a ship-like layout—with a large antique bar as a centralizing focal point. The bar’s removal inspired an open design with clear sightlines from the front living room to the kitchen in the back. “During our initial walk-through, we immediately recognized a benefit in removing the dominating bar area,” explains Zink. To connect the spaces, the team fitted the narrow dining space with an elegant table and a custom tête-à-tête chaise that moves easily when the homeowners need to stretch the dining space to accommodate larger gatherings.


To unify the two wings of the main floor, the design team selected dining furnishings that move easily to create a linear circulation space that feels both elegant and modern.

“Our initial scope for the home was to brighten the interiors with new lighting and to minimize the bulky design of the dated stairwells, along with refreshed furnishings and finishes for living spaces,” says Zink. A simple fix—replacing light bulbs with 3,000 Kelvin or brighter bulbs and repainting the dated plaster walls with a matte, level-five white paint—delivered the largest impact. To keep the look cohesive, the same hue (Blue Heron by Benjamin Moore) was brushed on millwork and doors in a satin sheen.


To update the primary bedroom, the team layered cashmere-blend Restoration Hardware bedding with Belgian flax pillows and an ultra-soft throw from Uniq’uity. The homeowners enjoy purchasing art from local artists at a favorite Telluride gallery, Mixx.

To maintain privacy and maximize reflective light, the duo installed floor-to-ceiling, locally made, custom glass-and-steel walls at each of the two stairs. “Who doesn’t love a staircase as an architectural feature? The more stairs, the better—from a design standpoint any- way,” says Rocque. Steel accents throughout the home nod to the industrial history of the community as a mining area. Local art and Colorado gold rock veneer on the fireplaces pay homage to the community and further enhance the juxtaposition of the historic home in its contemporary “urban” location.


The team used an Italian laminate cabinetry prolifically throughout the home. In the primary bath they paired it with an Ann Sacks tile feature wall to create visual interest and balance natural materials with the man-made finishes. Restoration Hardware mirrors and lighting pair nicely with Newport Brass fixtures.


In downtown Telluride, Colorado, just steps from the gondola, sits a unique heritage home with a stunning transformation. The original structure, built in 1900, features a series of additions and renovations done throughout the years. As this “add-on” style of home can often feel disjointed, and the existing finishes felt dark and dated, the homeowners engaged CC Rocque and Aura Zink of Zinque Design to bring cohesion to the spaces by brightening the interior and creating continuity in this perfectly positioned mountain home.


LOCATION Telluride, Colorado SIZE 3,600 sq. ft., 4 bedrooms, 5 baths INTERIOR DESIGN ZINQUE DESIGN Aura Zink & CC Rocque

Categories: Contemporary Homes