Summit County Design Masters

Expert Q&A's from this high-country destination
Frontis Photo By Zak Himmelman

Allen Guerra Architecture. Photo by Zak Himmelman.

A true celebration of the outdoors, Summit County embraces Colorado’s premier mountain towns and seamlessly connects life to nature.

Within a 30-minute drive from one another, internationally recognized ski resorts such as Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain and Arapahoe Basin are the heart of Summit County.

No matter what season, blissful views, high peaks, and mountainous terrain transcend the beauty of Summit County from summer to winter, making it the perfect year-round destination. Aside from its part-time nature seekers, Summit County is home to permanent residents as well.

Here, we invite you to discover some of Colorado’s best builders, craftsmen, architects and designers, who proudly serve the Summit County area. These industry leaders embody professionalism, cutting-edge design and embrace all that Summit County, Colorado has to offer–a picturesque sanctuary away from the hustle-and-bustle of city life.

Kitchens on Trend


Kitchenscapes offers the highest quality kitchen and bath design with a highly collaborative process the firm’s expert design team works alongside the architect, contractor and the client to produce polished and admirable work.

Summit County’s Parade of Homes and Builders Association has recognized you with many awards. What else have you accomplished this past year?

This year marks a milestone for Kitchenscapes. We moved our showroom to a larger space on Main Street in Frisco, Colorado, which is something we’ve been wanting to do for years. Our new show space offers improved visibility of our products, and perhaps most importantly, it’s now optimized with additional kitchen and appliance displays for customers to try.

As new business develops across multiple sectors, we have also expanded our design team to better service our growing client base. As we achieve new growth, Kitchenscapes never compromises the quality of our client relationships.

Is there a specific element that unites your work?

Quality of construction is something we take great pride in. We partner with several custom cabinetry makers, each of whom excels at different styles, finishes and construction types. With every project, our clients receive the highest quality product regardless of their aesthetic.

How do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in kitchen and bath design?

We are consistently continuing education as we expose our team to the freshest design trends. From appliance vendors to custom cabinet makers, our team attends training sessions each year to expand our product knowledge and expertise. As each region of the country has its own predominant design aesthetic, we are constantly evolving as a kitchen and bath firm.

Our clients bring a bit of regional flair with them when conducting projects here in the mountains, so it benefits our team to educate ourselves on design trends from multiple areas.

Lauren Ruehring, Owner
970-453-7107 |
Frisco, CO

Creating an At-Home Oasis


Photo by Kimberly Gavin

As an interior design and architecture firm, Collective Design Group concentrates on revamping spaces within new builds, remodels and whole-home furnishings.

What design elements are you gravitating towards this fall?

This season, our designers are eager to delve into natural materials and textures. We are excited to incorporate textures such as modern hide within furnishings, flooring and wallcoverings.

Clay and lime-washed walls are yet another design element we are excited to tap into, as it lends a subtle depth and luminosity to dull walls. We are loving the trend towards incorporating earth tones like olive green, burnt orange and golden yellow into color schemes.

Lastly, overly plush furnishings, large-format patterned wallpaper and canopy beds are unique elements we are happily embracing as our clients are gravitating towards bolder statement pieces.

What is your mountain design style, what inspires you?

Our approach is considered mountain-modern, although our methods may vary depending on the project. Ultimately, our greatest inspiration is our clients as we strive to combine their experiences as well as preferences, in a way that reflects an entirely unique style.

How do you help homeowners feel involved in your design process?

Our clients are the driving force behind every decision we make throughout the design process, reflecting our values of transparency and communication. We have extensive experience in working with clients who are unable to join us in person, as we’ve honed the art of providing essential updates to remote clients. Through photos, videos and renderings, our visual communication provides clients with a type of “hands-on” experience.

Adrienne Rynes, VP of Design
970-668-4308 |
Frisco, Colorado

The Art of Architecture

Allen Guerra

Photo by Gibeon Photography

Allen-Guerra Architecture specializes in creating timeless, custom build designs that embrace values of intricacy, uniqueness and true artistry.

Are there any upcoming projects, in particular, that you are excited about this year?

We are currently drawing construction documents for a mixed-use, commercial and residential project on East Main Street in Buena Vista, Colorado. The project site is right across the street from the Buena Vista Heritage Museum, which occupies the former Chaffee County Courthouse building that was completed in 1882. We worked closely with the owners and the town of Buena Vista to create a design that will compliment their interesting historic architecture, and to help serve the community’s growing needs long into the future. It is an honor to help create something that will become part of Buena Vista’s deep-rooted history.

kHow does Summit County inspire your architectural design?

Known as “Colorado’s Playground,” Summit County is a special place where people from all over the world come to recreate and some decide to stay. Meeting and working with clients from such varied places allows us to incorporate design ideas from all over the world, which keeps us inspired. Attention to detail is key, and no matter the style, we always seek timeless design solutions that allow our buildings to continue their relevance within the ever-changing design world.

Even though we work in many different architectural styles, many clients throughout the years have told us they can easily identify our projects while driving around the neighborhoods of Summit County.

How is the architecture process both challenging and rewarding for you?

WORKING in the applied-art of architectural design, we are required to exert the creative and technical parts of our minds, solving problems based on experience and constantly pushing for creative solutions to home designs. Designing around the limitations of life at nearly two miles above sea-level, brings unique challenges that don’t exist in many places.

We are lucky to have the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people, and the biggest reward comes every time a client moves into their dream home. We are most delighted when we get to visit for drinks or a meal, and hear how much they love living in their new home.

Suzanne Allen Sabo, President
Tim Sabo, Director of Design
Courtney Saldivar, Architect
970-453-7002 |
Frisco, Colorado

Experience Luxury


Meet Mountain High Appliance, the locally owned appliance store that remains Colorado’s #1 choice for home appliances.

What can potential buyers expect when visiting your showroom, what makes your offerings different?

Our engaging showroom offers a “try before you buy” experience. With hundreds of appliances hooked up live for consumers to test, we strive to make your experience a breeze when it comes to buying the right appliance for your home. Aside from residential services, we also cater to retail, builder and designer communities.

When you walk into our showroom, our goal is to answer your questions and inform, which is where our expert staff comes in. Trained in name brand appliance facilities, our staff knows the ins and outs of our product line and understands what they mean for you and your home. Whereas when you buy from other retailers, you may not receive the same amount of expertise.

How do you differ from other appliance suppliers in the industry?

We are a small-town business exceeding customers’ expectations before, during, and after the sale. Our convenient one-stop-shop showroom offers all major brands and appliance options in one location. Once you’ve made your selection, we offer professional delivery and installation services as well.

Between our friendly, knowledgeable sales staff and our preview teams, there should be no surprises when it comes time to install the new appliances into the customer’s home. We honor value and integrity, and always go the extra mile to help our customers find the best appliances to fit their specific needs.

Rebecca Rosenberg, Sales Associate
970-928-0737 |
Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Bringing Design to Life


Photo by S. Brenner Photography

Kim Greenwood, owner and designer of Oxbow Green Cabinetry Design Studio shares how custom cabinetry design and space planning can reinvent life within your space.

How do your designs facilitate the way people want to feel in their homes/surroundings?

Truly listening to my client’s needs and paying close attention to detail helps guide my design process. Also, my designs are heavily inspired by the human senses. Rather than focusing solely on visual aspects of design, I consider the importance of sound and touch within a space. Through detailed planning and material selection, the room transcends from an ordinary space into a more meaningful part of your home.

Ultimately, I strive to deliver a space that welcomes both friends and family, as well as a space that embraces the quieter, in-between moments of life.

What do you enjoy most about your professionalism and focus in cabinetry design?

I ENJOY the intricacies of cabinetry design. Cabinetry design has the ability to transform a room from lackluster to extraordinary, which is one of the most gratifying parts of my job. We are also excited to partner with Plato Woodwork, who has been building fine cabinetry since 1893, allowing us to turn our custom designs into reality. The team at Plato understands the importance of details and plays an essential role in Oxbow Green’s ability to complete successful projects.

Do you service mainly in Colorado or elsewhere? How does location impact your design style?

I mainly service residential design in Colorado and along the East Coast. Earlier in my career, I would say location impacted the design style, but over the last few years I’ve noticed my designs in New England could easily live in the mountains of Colorado. My clients are embracing an overall feeling of home, rather than a “themed” seaside or mountain retreat.

Kim Greenwood, Owner
970-406-0468 |
Breckenridge, Colorado

Building with Nature


TCC Design Build is a full-fledged design-build firm who focuses on embracing the connection between the home and its natural environment.

What fuels your inspiration for construction and design?

At TCC, we are driven by a fundamental belief that the environments we create play an important role in our client’s overall wellbeing. Physical surroundings shape our daily experiences and interactions, which is why we strive to make our designs beautiful, useful and inspiring. We create places that connect people with each other and the natural environment because we believe that when people feel connected to life, they thrive.

Every project has a different story, and one of the most exciting aspects of our job is figuring out the best way to tell each one.

It’s interesting you use the natural environment when planning the layout of a home. What steps do you take when connecting a home to the landscape?

The first step we take is to understand the site. The views, natural vegetation, topography, sun exposure, and many more elements all play into how we design. We believe the home and the landscape are not two distinct aspects of the design, but instead should be thought of as one and the same.

We are constantly imagining new ways to blur the boundaries between interior and exterior, which allows the natural and built environments to be experienced together. By doing so, we create architecture that is a symbol.

Nathan Glassman, President
970-368-2420 |
Summit County, CO

Cultivating Construction


As President of Travis Construction and the Summit County Builders Association, Blake Nudell is and has been highly involved in the community for 22 years and has also worked in the building industry for over 45 years.

How does your relationship with clients make Travis Construction unique from other builders?

We take the guesswork out of our client’s hands. From custom finishes to planning the spatial layout of the home, we provide customers with different ideas to help ease their decision-making process. After decades of building, we proudly possess the expertise and experience which translates into our trusting relationships.

In fact, we have formed long-lasting friendships with clients and are still in close contact with them today. As far as projects go, Travis Construction works on custom homes, remodeling, renovations, and you are also working on a condo development project.

What brings you the most satisfaction at the end of the day?

As a people-person, I am very passionate about building custom for clients. We build homes that are made to last for generations, and we create the foundation for memories to be made in them.

Working closely with people on a project is something I truly value, which is why I believe clients from 20 years ago are still calling for additions, renovations, or updates to their homes.

Blake T. Nudell, President
970-468-0454 |
Silverthorne, Colorado

As seen in the September/October 2020 issue

Categories: Spotlight on Design