Contemporary forms and walls of glass embrace the high-country landscape surrounding a young family’s Steamboat Springs home
“When you walk through this house, it feels like you’re walking outside,” homeowner Charly Rotermund says of her family’s contemporary mountain dwelling situated in a grove of aspens not far from the ski mountain in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. From the living room, views stretch to the southeast, through the trees and over a creek that flows in spring and summer, toward the mountain. In the kitchen, two-story windows frame views of a large ridge. And behind the freestanding bathtub in the master bathroom, windows face northeast toward the property’s in-ground swimming pool.
The home’s connection with its surroundings is no accident. Rather, it’s the result of careful planning on the part of Rotermund, her husband Scott, and architects Brandt Vanderbosch and Rob Nadolny, of Steamboat Springs-based Vertical Arts Architecture, who collaborated closely with the homeowners to envision the 5,900-square-foot timber-frame home made of wood, stone and dramatic walls of glass.
The family fell in love with Steamboat Springs back in 2005, when the then-Denver residents vacationed in the area. So they decided to purchase a 2.6-acre parcel of land in Steamboat’s Elkin Meadows development—just a few minutes from the ski slopes and a short drive from town—and build their own mountain home. “When we found this piece of property here in this meadow, we knew it would be a great place to raise our kids. It was a perfect fit for us,” Rotermund says.
To create a home that celebrates its owners’ love for the mountains, the design team at Vertical Arts made views a priority. Throughout the house, fine-mullioned windows and doors from Hope’s Windows frame views of the landscape from every room. “The home is stunning, but the landscape is equally spectacular and we wanted to see it all,” Rotermund says. “The only thing separating us from the outdoors is these glass doors.”
The indoor-outdoor connection is strengthened by a continuity of building materials. “The exterior patio’s bluestone floor flows into the home’s entryway and screened porch, and the same material is used around the pool,” explains Vanderbosch, principal at Vertical Arts.
The screened porch was a special request from the homeowners. “My husband is from Connecticut and I’m from New York; they’re really popular where we come from,” Rotermund says. Doors lead to the porch from the covered exterior entry, the inside entryway and the covered patio, so traffic flows smoothly when the Rotermunds entertain. A built-in grill lets them barbecue outside year-round, and screens on three sides let cross breezes blow through even on the hottest days. “It’s really an extension of the house,” Rotermund says.
Between the porch, the pool, the patios and decks, and the lawn on the south side of the house, the property offers plenty of opportunity for the family to get outdoors. “We never run out of places to go. In summer, we’re outside all the time—we eat out there, play out there. We only come inside to sleep,” Rotermund laughs.
For the home’s interiors, Rotermund wanted to keep things sophisticated. “I just don’t like that ‘rustic mountain’ look,” she admits. “I didn’t want the house to be out of place, but I wanted it to have a modern flair.” The living spaces also had to be kid-friendly. “It was built for the children, but we also wanted it to be refined,” says Rotermund. “We didn’t want a fussy house where they felt they couldn’t go in certain rooms.”
Working with Steamboat Springs-based designer Kim Romick, of Romick’s Into the West, Rotermund chose furnishings and finishes that are comfortable yet elegant. For the kitchen, she selected honed white Carrara marble slabs for the countertops, polished marble subway tile for the backsplash, all-white Shaker-style cabinets, and espresso-stained wood for the base of the center island. Floors throughout are wide-plank stained walnut. The adjacent dining space features comfortable chairs and banquettes in a style Rotermund calls “upstate New York meets the mountains of Colorado.”
“It’s eclectic,” Rotermund says of the mix. “The Ralph Lauren fabric on the banquettes feels a little bit coastal, and the leather wing chairs are a little bit Western—but still sophisticated. Each space in the house has a strong mountain feel, but it’s also a reflection of our personality: a little more refined, but still casual.”
ARCHITECTURE Brandt Vanderbosch, principal, Vertical Arts Architecture, Steamboat Springs, CO, 970-871-0056, vertical-arts.com TIMBER FRAMING Eric Seelig, Three Elements Timberworks, Lafayette, CO, 303-664-1946, threeelements.com SPACE PLANNING/FURNISHINGS Kim Romick, Romick’s Into the West, Steamboat Springs, CO, 970-879-8366, romicksintothewest.com WINDOWS & DOORS Hope's Windows, Jamestown, NY, 716-665-5124, hopeswindows.com