Rooms with a View
Fresh, modern interiors and a bold architectural design play well together at a Vail, Colorado, retreat
It’s no secret that in the mountains, we design around the views. We’re (rightfully) reluctant to sacrifice even the tiniest glimpse of a majestic peak or glimmering colony of aspens when placing our windows and walls. And our devotion pays off: Many high-country homes celebrate vistas so beautiful, they become the owners’ favorite part of mountain living.
But this house might top them all.
On a four-acre site in Vail’s secluded Mountain Star community, the 9,000-square-foot home was shaped by its surroundings. “Glass and light and connectivity to nature—those were our driving forces,” says architect Brian Judge, principal of VAg Architects & Planners in nearby Edwards. Instead of designing one hulking mass of a structure, Judge relied on a more romantic idea: “What if you had a compound of four or five agrarian forms, as if someone had built a homestead here? And what if you connected those structures with more contemporary elements?” he says. “That’s the philosophy behind the architecture.” The home’s layout allows expanses of glass to cover at least three walls in almost every room, ushering in abundant natural light and displaying grand views at every turn.
Designer Eddy Doumas, principal of Worth Interiors in Vail, embraced the combination of clean-lined and rustic architectural elements when he created the home’s luxurious interiors, where traditional and contemporary furnishings, fixtures and details mingle for that “mountain-modern” look. “We used very organic materials—wood, stone and steel as opposed to chrome—and detailed them in a more tailored way,” Doumas says.
The combination is captivating and unexpected. In the dining room, for instance, regal, turned-leg head chairs from Quatrine flank a traditional Spanish-style dining table. Hélène Aumont side chairs display sleek silhouettes, and the contemporary, arrow-like chandelier is sleeker still. “This chandelier and dining table were never meant to be together,” Doumas admits. “Pairing them breaks the rules, but that’s why they work.” The room also benefits from the addition of rich textures: Above the stone walls, a Phillip Jeffries grasscloth wall covering adds an earthy sophistication to the ceiling.
The design is as clever as it is handsome. In each room, subtle details and design elements guide the eye toward the views. In the master bedroom, the design team skipped the traditional fireplace and instead installed a fire pit just a few feet outside the floor-to-ceiling glass doors. “In the evenings, you still get the cozy feeling of the fire, but the room’s focal point is the view,” Doumas explains. Similarly, in the family room, the fireplace is positioned far to one side of the sleek, wood-clad wall for an asymmetrical effect that defers to the views through the glass doors on the adjacent wall. But perhaps the best example of this design philosophy is the “bird’s nest,” an office space accessed via a sculptural winding staircase. This second-story room is a “glass box,” Doumas says. “You really feel like you’re in the clouds.” The room’s design is clean, featuring minimal furnishings and columns of “cubbies” topped with old-fashioned pharmacy lights—yet another example of a small, unexpected detail to discover, if you can tear your eyes away from the mountain views.
Go Mod in the Mountains
Feeling inspired to add a few clean-lined elements to your mountain home? Start by shopping these sources:
WORTH (worth-home.myshopify.com): Interior designer Eddy Doumas’s shop in Vail—an extension of his design firm—offers a collection of furniture, lighting and accessories that reflect a sleeker interpretation of mountain living. Find pieces from high-quality design houses including Baker, Taracea, Ralph Lauren, Arteriors, Made Goods and more.
ORGANIC MODERNISM (organicmodernism.com): This Brooklyn-based store is one of Doumas’s favorites. It’ll be yours, too: The shop combines hip lodge-style art and accessories with midcentury charm and a few industrial elements. (Don’t miss the animal-inspired oil paintings that would feel right at home in the West.)
NUEVO (nuevoliving.com): Here you’ll find chic, contemporary furnishings with an industrial twist, and fixtures that feel inspired by abstract art. Choose from dining tables with reclaimed hardwood tops and cast-iron bases, quirky chrome clocks, sculptural crystal-and-chrome lamps and more.
ARCHITECTURE VAg Architects & Planners, 970-949-7034, vagarchitects.com INTERIOR DESIGN Worth Interiors, 970-949-9794, worthinteriors.com CONSTRUCTION Viele Construction, 970-476-3082, vieleconstruction.com