Spotlight on Steamboat

Expert Q&A's from this high-country destination
Emeraldext 12

Photo courtesy Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty

Nestled in the heart of the Yampa Valley, Steamboat Springs is a magical mix of high-country sunshine, authentic cowboy culture and friendly locals. Steeped in natural beauty, history and culture, yet full of modern amenities, the laid-back atmosphere of this distinctive Colorado resort town is where western heritage meets outdoor adventure.

Perfect for quiet mountain getaways or action-packed escapades, Steamboat is a four-season paradise offering healing natural mineral springs, a world class ski resort, hiking and biking trails, dining, retail and more.

It’s no wonder then that Steamboat is home base to a talented community of professionals—some with decades of experience, some newcomers looking to make their mark—dedicated to creating timeless designs that honor the area’s stunning landscapes and rich legacy.

Here, you’ll meet architects and interior designers, property realtors, purveyors of home furnishings and an artist whose varied backgrounds and aesthetic influences are merging to capture the inimitable Steamboat style with a reverence for the past and an eye to the future.


Winter Environment Updated

Building a custom mountain home can be a daunting endeavor, but the private, luxury ranch community ALPINE MOUNTAIN RANCH & CLUB, located just minutes from the chairlifts at Steamboat ski resort, aims to change that with a new design + build program engineered to make creating your dream home as effortless as living in it.

What’s hot and what’s not as it relates to design + build in Steamboat Springs?

More than ever before, luxury buyers are viewing Steamboat as ‘the’ resort community to design and build a home. Buyers seek wide open spaces combined with the luxuries and amenities of that of a world-class ski area. What’s hot is communities offering in-house design + build services, and what’s not is waiting years+ to build custom homes with back-logged builders. Authentic luxury is the name of the game.

For buyers, what is the benefit of Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club’s Design + Build program?

Our buyers receive A-Z, custom home design and building services- all in house. We make building a home easy.

What are the hottest amenities at Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club?

Bordered by Steamboat Resort and connected by cart path to Catamount golf club, the ranch features 63, five-acre homesites, and is set in a wildlife preserve. Ski-in/ski-out access at our private social club at the base of the mountain and fly fishing on the Yampa, are our favorite amenities.

What is the architectural style at Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club?

Our residents are building with a contemporary style in mind. Mountain-contemporary and mountain-transitional are our top two design trends.

What homes and homesites are available today?

Three custom market homes, priced at $5.695 million+, and a limited number of 5-acre homesites, priced from $1.75 million+ are currently available.



Suzanne Schlicht, SVP + Director of Sales, licensed broker with Ski Realty

970-846-0817 |

Steamboat Springs, CO


Screen Shot 2022 02 08 At 95954 Am

Architect MICHAEL J.K. OLSEN focuses on innovative designs that mesh with their high country surroundings and the people who call them home.

What approach does your firm take to creating unique homes in the Steamboat area?

We always start with the client’s goals. We then take those goals and apply them to the site and develop a design that fits within the environmental constraints. Because of our unique contextual approach, we have a wide variety of designs and vernaculars, from mountain modern to lodge to transitional. Each home we build is unique, depending on what the clients are looking for.

What defines a spectacular result in your opinion?

Well, first and foremost: happy clients. Second would be a design that then transcends the test of time. Trends change, and especially in the Steamboat area, design styles have morphed. For example, log homes were all the rage, now homeowners prefer wood framed structures with timber and steel accents. Also, river rock, which once was very popular, is not used as frequently. We focus on timeless design. We don’t include elements just for the sake of applying elements.

What specific design elements are you drawn to right now?

We are currently playing with transparency in conjunction with layering. For example, glass not only captures the beautiful Steamboat environment, but provides opportunities to place objects within the focal plane. This layering makes spaces larger and more interesting.


Michael Olsen, Principal

970-870-1584 |

Steamboat Springs, CO


Fall 2

Located on the west edge of the Yampa Valley tucked up against a forested hillside, yet just a short distance from the ski mountain and downtown, Emerald Meadows Ranch is a spectacular property that will delight every generation.

In addition to amazing vistas, what other features does this 119- acre property offer?

This property is like having a park in your backyard, and features a maintained trail system usable year-round for hiking, biking, horseback riding or snowshoeing. In addition there is a barn and pastures for horses, a remote entertainment area with an outdoor kitchen, teepee deck and pond, meticulously landscaped yard and a 6,000 square foot heated “Toy Barn” to house all the gear needed to enjoy the property in all four seasons.

Steamboat Springs is home to many remarkable private residences. What makes this property unique?

Emerald Meadows Ranch is a luxurious retreat with a rustic flare perfectly suited to the mountains featuring hand-hewed hickory floors, rough edge granite counters, custom cabinetry and built-ins, top of the line appliances, walk-in pantry, custom wet bar, and a massive stone fireplace in the great room. The main level master boasts a fireplace, private deck, walk-in closet, steam shower and jetted tub. The home hosts a family room, offices, 2 bd/ 1 ba apartment, fully equipped gym, game room, 3-car garage, a dog run complete with dog wash and a “barndominium” with a 1 bedroom caretaker unit on the second floor.


Pam Vanatta, listing agent

970-291-8100 |

Steamboat Springs, CO


Screen Shot 2022 02 08 At 100310 Am

Lindsey Jamison and Valerie Stafford, co-owners and lead designers at Rumor Design + Redesign, share how their team brings refreshingly fun, inspirational and uplifting style to the Steamboat design scene.

How does your firm’s design style reflect Steamboat Springs’ mountain aesthetic and lifestyle?

People gravitate to Steamboat for quality of life, and this is reflected in our design selections. We provide designs that accommodate the entire family — from leather club chairs, performance fabrics, durable materials and leather/boucle textures to metal and wood accents.

What is unique about the Rumor Designs experience?

The majority of our clients come to Rumor Design for a modern aesthetic. Within this aesthetic mixing patterns and colors is a unique skill we love to incorporate. We try to make each project fun and inviting. We are sincere, not serious, in our design. We put our whole heart into each project and enjoy the process with our diverse group of clients. We add playful highlights and have a talent for curating an eclectic design.

Tell us about your exceptional team?

Our firm is continuing to grow and we are so lucky to have such a talented team that is able to design within an array of styles. Clients come to us from all over
the country with different design needs and perspectives. Modern, traditional, eclectic, minimal — our team of designers can accomplish all of these looks. They are also very conscientious about function; not only are clients getting a great design, but one that works well.


Lindsey Jamison & Valarie Stafford, Owners + Lead Designers

970-875-3885 |

Steamboat Springs, CO


Lot 18 34815 Panorama Dr, Steamboat Springs, Co 80487

With over 25 years of professional experience and strong ties to the Steamboat community, Wagner Design Studio creates unique buildings in harmony with the client and their environment.

How has Steamboat Style evolved over the years?

Over the last 26 years of living here, the town has grown considerably but has remained a close family- orientated community. Our projects have expanded in scope and complexity as the town has expanded.

What are some of the architectural challenges unique to the Steamboat area?

The greatest architectural challenges in Steamboat are the climate and topography. The temperature swings create freezing and expansion issues as
well as exceptional amounts of snow. Many of the mountain sites can prove to be challenging to access and build.

How do clients benefit from working with a boutique architecture firm like yours?

Our smaller size guaranties our personal attention and the ability to create custom designs uniquely suited to our clients. Originally having a background in construction allows us to communicate well with all the trades to ensure the client’s needs are met economically and with a high standard.

What serves as your biggest source of inspiration?

Our inspiration is drawn from the landscape and construction methods. Every site is unique and building methods vary to capture the best available design. We are well versed in traditional mountain and modern styles, but our vernacular varies with the clients desires.


Ian Wagner, Owner and Principal

970-846-0905 |

Steamboat Springs, CO


372revett3 1

Meet Tony Pestello, owner of soon-to-be-local IFURNISH, purveyor of quality furniture and furnishings at affordable prices.

We’re excited to hear you’ll be opening your third location in Steamboat Springs this winter! Tell us about your new store.

After 15 years in Summit County, we’re thrilled to expand our business and bring fashionable and affordable furniture to Steamboat. Our 11,000 square foot showroom will feature every category from dining, living and bedroom furniture to mattresses and accessories. From Mountain Modern to Traditional to Rustic Industrial and everything in between, we have options for locals, second homeowners, property managers and hospitality. We even have an in-house design team to help our customers find the perfect pieces for their home. As a locally owned and operated family business, we’re fortunate to have two of our four children and two daughters- in-law involved in our day-to-day operations.

In addition to providing quality furniture to high country residents, how do you get involved in the communities you serve?

My wife Kelly and I both grew up in small town Minnesota and know the importance of community. We raised our children in Summit County and try
to give back both in time and resources wherever we can. We shop local…it keeps money in our community and allows businesses like ours to support local events and organizations. As past president of the Summit County Chamber and a current board member for several non-profits, my family and I look forward to being active members of the Steamboat community.


Tony Pestello, Owner

970-761-1000 |

Steamboat Springs, CO


Lance At Gallery 11 08 21 Mtn Living Portrait Web

Artist Lance Whitner’s paintings are explorations in color inspired by outdoor adventures.

Your work conveys a joyful, energetic, free-spirited vibe. Where do you find inspiration?

Nature is my soul food and my paintings are born from the rhythmic process of moving through our landscape. Each painting is a deliberate translation of the places,
the moments that give me pause and ignite collaboration between where I am and what I am feeling. My work is an evolving reflection of my environment and the sheer joy I sense from exploring it.

What is the best way to access your work?

Visit my website and follow me on Instagram @lancewhitner for all the current Lance Whitner information, what’s going on in my studio, and available works in my portfolio.


970-846-4054 |

Steamboat Springs, CO


Enscape 2021 11 15 16 28 13

Meet architect James Easton, whose ELK RIVER STUDIOS specializes in solving problems with creativity and imagination.

What are the characteristics of a quality architect?

A quality architect cares about what they’re doing and will recognize the total impact of a project. Of course, the building must be safe, absolutely the client must be satisfied and most importantly humanity must be served. Every building has the potential to positively impact the lives and the culture of those who utilize them.

What are you most excited about right now?

We’re currently working on a rammed earth structure for a client outside Steamboat who asked for, “a house that feels like a Georgia O’Keefe painting.” The layers of rammed earth mimic the surrounding mountain ranges. Heavy timber is introduced to speak to native material selection. The overall result is a completely modern, minimalistic interpretation of very specific local conditions.


James Easton, Principal and Owner

970-279-0040 |

Steamboat Springs, CO

As seen in the January/February 2022 issue

Categories: Spotlight on Design