An Enlightened Renovation in Beaver Creek

A Vail Valley condo is redesigned to suit three generations of a Texas family
Photography by Kimberly Gavin

A Texas family had been coming to the Vail Valley since the 1990s, so when they found a condominium with great views of the Beaver Creek ski area it looked like a perfect place for their vacation home. Featuring 2,300 square feet on two levels, it would be the ideal retreat for three generations: a father, his daughter and granddaughter.

But the 1980s property in Beaver Creek, Colorado, was dark, dated and in need of a major redesign. David R. Burns, AIA, of Gies Architects and Andrew Slaugh of Slaugh Construction, both based in nearby Eagle, were tasked with the job. “It didn’t really have a style,” Burns recalls, “and some of the spaces were chopped up and on different levels.”

He addressed the four main items on the homeowner’s priority list. The first was to open up the narrow, dark stairway to the residence’s second level. The second was to convert a loft that overlooked the living room into a space that could double as the granddaughter’s bedroom or a media room. The third was to reconfigure two bedroom suites for better space utilization, and the fourth was to add interest to the home’s ceilings with clear alder beams.

“If I had to do anything over, I wouldn’t change a thing,” says the homeowner, a Dallas-based lawyer. “I can’t tell you how well the builder, architect, designer and my daughter worked together,” he said. “We took it down to the studs. You wouldn’t recognize it in its earlier state.”

The homeowner’s daughter—also a lawyer as well as a writer—wanted the home to have a light, modern aesthetic but also reflect its mountain environment. Marilyn Smith Heaney of Slifer Designs in Edwards achieved that with white walls, hand-scraped hickory floors and Colorado buff sandstone for the living room fireplace.

Contemporary art came from Talley Dunn Gallery in Dallas, a favorite of the daughter’s. “We wanted art that didn’t depart completely from the feel of Colorado but was a little bit of a surprise,” she says. “I like natural materials, so we have pieces like the Terry Winters lithographs above the fireplace.”

We wanted art that didn’t depart completely from the feel of Colorado but was a little bit of a surprise.” — Homeowner’s daughter

Smith Heaney designed the bedroom suites for father and daughter in a similar style. “I like consistency, and the rooms are in a color palette that I love,” the daughter says of the cool grays and greens. Each suite also features a turret-style sitting room for reading and writing.

For the family’s youngest member, a pink rug, zebra-print ottoman and feather chandelier are bold and fun. Bunk beds accommodate guests, and the blue sofa is a great place to hang out and watch TV or play games.

While the family frequents Vail’s top restaurants, after a day on the slopes they like cooking at home and watching movies together. The kitchen, which was formerly cut off from the dining room and living room with just a window to the adjacent space, was opened up to improve traffic flow. Nicole Bradford of Elegant Cabinetry designed the gray-green cabinets for the kitchen, which features a farmhouse sink and granite countertops. A bar between the dining and living rooms was also removed, widening the space.

The homeowner, who likes to snowshoe in the winter and golf in the warm months, says he enjoys spending time at the condo because it is as livable as it is beautiful. And dog-friendly as well. “Our three puppies have the run of the place,” he says.

Vail Valley is the family’s second home, a prized destination, agrees his daughter. “Now we have a place of our own.”

A selection of lithographs from Terry Winters’ “Folio” hangs above the buff sandstone fireplace. The materials lend a Colorado feel to the residence, as do the Kevin Clark Originals antler chandelier, Taracea coffee table and rug from The Scarab.


Alder cabinets painted and dry-brushed in a warm gray-green complement the color palette used throughout the home. The farmhouse sink and Rohl faucet highlight an island topped with Bianco Antico granite. Counter stools are from Lexington Furniture.


In the dining room, chairs from Vanguard invite guests to linger at the trestle table under a chandelier from Currey & Co. Natasha Bowdoin’s “Running Script” is one of many original artworks in the home.


Bedding from Daniel Stuart Studio and Peacock Alley and a Zinc Textile faux-fur throw help make the main floor master suite a cozy respite. Art includes a Liz Ward aquatint, and above the Vanguard dresser, a Ted Kincaid photograph.


The cozy reading nook off the upstairs master bedroom features a Hickory Chair armchair and custom ottoman.


The custom wood-and-metal bed is from Bradshaw Design; the nightstand and lamp are by Arteriors.


The upholstered bed is from Bernhardt Furniture, with Romo Fabrics Euro shams and custom Ablyss nightstand.


ARCHITECTURE Gies Architects INTERIOR DESIGN Slifer Designs CONSTRUCTION Slaugh Construction KITCHEN DESIGN Elegant Cabinetry

Categories: Condos