Hilltop Home Brings the Outside In with Beautiful Organic Materials

Simple interiors and organic materials highlight the natural beauty surrounding this northwestern mountain home
Design Ext Copy

Multiple slanted roofs give the home less overall mass, a technique that focuses on the landscape rather than the architecture itself. The roof doesn’t compete with the peaks of the nearby mountain range. | Photography by Tony Roslund

Sometimes, you must ask for what you want. The owners of this Colbert, Washington, house were not planning on moving—unless they found the perfect spot. “A catalyst to get us to move would be a captivating, beautiful view,” says the husband. One day while out for a run, he found a 10-acre lot “nestled on top of a hill with a view of Saddle Mountain.” But it wasn’t for sale. After some creative sleuthing, he ascertained the lot’s owner and called out of the blue to see if the owner was willing to sell. And voila!

Design Bed Copy

A custom bed with built-in side tables is integrated into the wooden headboard/feature wall, which climbs up the ceiling. Corner windows make the room feel as if it’s floating above the landscape.

Before breaking ground, the husband got to know the lay of the land. “I spent hours, if not days, literally with my arms out, figuring out all the angles,” he explains. “It was all about maximizing the view.” Then they worked with Uptic Studios to design a home that would honor the natural beauty of the site.

“From a philosophical standpoint, I really wanted to bring the outside in,” the husband says. Organic mate- rials—mostly stone, cedar and steel—were used for the exterior and interior of the house. “This combination called back to natural materials, materials of the earth and of the region,” explains architect Matt Melcher.

Design Kit Copy

In the kitchen, organic materials like oak, cement and stone emphasize the natural world. Windows offer great views, and doors make the outdoor patio part of the kitchen.

Melcher worked as part of the project team, alongside architect Matthew Collins and interior designer Julie Collins. Rock walls made of stone quarried in Washington give the house texture and blur the line between outside and inside. In the kitchen, the rock wall contains wine storage. “You’re taking a material like stone that’s massive and solid and wrapping the wine, which is a precious object. It feels as if the stone protects the delicate wine and the glass,” Matthew Collins says.

Design Living Copy

An impressive steel-and-rock fireplace with a cement ledge anchors the great room.

In the great room, rift-sawn white oak cabinets, stone counters, steel beams and a custom cement dining table add more natural elements. It’s a wonderful place for the family of five to gather. “It’s about flow,” the husband says. “We wanted that for spending time with the family, but at the same time, it’s a wonderful house for entertaining.” Guests will usually circulate inside and out to admire the view.

Design Dine Copy

Painted black cabinets complement the structural steel beams in the home and keep the palette cohesive. A custom cement dining table and neutral leather dining chairs add other natural materials without sacrificing the simplicity of the space.

For the main bedroom, the homeowners wanted to create their own sanctuary. A hallway leads to the primary suite, which is set apart from the rest of the house. The husband worked with Uptic Studios to design an accent alcove. Oak flooring climbs up the wall, across the ceiling and back down another wall. “We worked as a team to create some design moves that stand out,” Julie Collins says. “The intention was to create a room within a room,” adds Matt Melcher.

Design Patio Copy

Outdoor spaces broaden the home’s living areas. Decks and patios with tables and lounge furniture invite the family to enjoy the surrounding views. Wood and steel, as well as rock in the landscaping, emphasize the natural materials used inside.

Large windows everywhere emphasize views of the valley and mountains. The husband is especially happy he chose the east-facing lot. “Everyone wants west-facing lots; they want sunsets,” he says. “I’ve been so grateful for the sunrises, which are absolutely fantastic. I walk my dog and get a chance to see the sunrise—it’s a wonderful way to start the day.”

Categories: Contemporary Homes