Homes for the Holidays

Our Home of the Year issue + the Editor's holiday picks

Each year, when judging the Home of the Year, our team enjoys seeing the best homes in the Mountain West submitted by architects and designers across the country. And each year we notice trends in mountain home design—bringing the outdoors in with bifold doors, the ancient technique of shou sugi ban, outrageous ski rooms an Olympic skier would envy and, recently, the resurgence in Scandinavian influence on design.

Scandi-modern, popular in Europe, has made its way to the U.S., and this year’s Home of the Year tempers Swiss chalet references with a modernist purity, simplicity and beauty. Architect Larry Pearson says, “We took something historic and gave it a modern overlay,” a concept echoed by interior designer Leisa Kolstad with the description, “rustic bones with a modern aesthetic.” The result is a home with heart. Interiors are airy, light-filled and modern, yet cozy, with amazing views—a design that will endure for generations. 

Continuing with both “cozy” and “Scandinavian” themes, we visit a new store in Avon, Colorado, Hygge Life (pronounced Hoo-ga), dedicated to the Danish practice of savoring the moment. For gift ideas or to create your own hygge at home, the husband-and-wife owners encourage you to stop, shop and take a moment for yourself in the screen-free coffee shop.

Colorado’s Gorsuch family, eponymous with their retail stores, shares their holiday traditions beginning with strapping on snowshoes to cut down a tree, while an artist tells the inspiration behind her line of hand-painted canoe paddles—a wonderful gift. And our holiday gift guide offers over 50 more fabulous items.

Whatever your family traditions, we at Mountain Living wish you a holiday surrounded by people and pets you love—there’s no greater gift.



My go-to stop for holiday shopping, Lana’s Shop—an amazing collection of wrapping papers and cards.

Fun holiday décor, the advent candle at Hygge Life.

New Americana by Holly Kuhn, a fabulous gift for anyone who loves rustic décor.

Categories: On Location