This Dog-Friendly Home Is Elegant & Fun

A Texas family creates a Colorado retreat with not-so-serious sophistication

Photography by Kimberly Gavin

Fortunately, some folks just refuse to accept defeat. When the East Texas-based owners of this splendid Colorado getaway missed the chance to buy a different place in Avon’s Mountain Star community (“It was the most beautiful home we’ve ever seen,” the homeowner recalls), they might have simply given up.

But instead, they went to work and enlisted the exact same team who had built that place—architect, contractor and interior designer—to reunite and create another home just for their own family.

The bold lines of the home’s architecture harmonize with the landscape.

“We called it the dream team,” the homeowner explains, “and we said, we’ll just hire them.” So, the capable, local crew—consisting of architect Brian Judge, founding principal of Vail’s Judge + Associates; Viele Construction; and interior designer Dana Hugo, of j&o studio—came back together to tackle the new project on a nearby site overlooking Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch.

A Man-o-Man chandelier by Ingo Maurer lights the living room’s custom furnishings, including tables by Summit Woodworks. The Moon Lake rug is by NIBA Designs.

The husband-and-wife owners are both pilots, and they try to visit—along with their 12-year-old daughter—as often as their busy schedules allow. Since they often host family and friends, the home was expressly designed to suit their casual, convivial mountain lifestyle. “We made it clear that we wanted what we call grown-up rooms,” the homeowner says. “We wanted king-size beds everywhere, and we didn’t want adults having to share bathrooms.”

Dining chairs by EuroCraft surround a family-sized table, with a Plus pendant by AlexAllen Studio above, and “Roots” by Heidi Jung adorning the wall. A Belle pendant light, by David Trubridge, hangs in the neighboring hearth room.

So, Judge cleverly conceived the home as a series of pods. “The home was broken into three major pods: the master, living and guest pods,” he explains, “each oriented toward unique site opportunities and connected via bridges.” The strategically placed structural elements maximize the home’s stunning alpine views while also following the steep, forested contours of the lot.

“The bridge-and-pod concepts were clearly the solution, allowing the home to curve and integrate into the corners of the terrain,” Judge says. The home’s mountain-contemporary style plays out in a large-scale application of Oklahoma sandstone, zinc, steel and glass, creating continuity between the exterior and interiors.

Glass bridges connect the home’s living areas.

When Hugo approached the project, she knew she wouldn’t only be designing for the home’s human residents. The homeowners love their dogs, and keeping them happy was a priority. “We told her that we don’t really care what you get [for furnishings], but just know there’s probably going to be a dog on it at some point,” the homeowner admits.

A custom EuroCraft chair and ottoman join a Ralph Pucci daybed in the living room.
“I want things that are memorable and fun.”
— The Homeowner

The custom office desk, by Summit Woodworks, has an offset stack of blue drawers.

She laughs when she explains how differently she and her husband feel about home design. “My husband would probably have done everything in beige, and he thinks you shouldn’t really ever have to redecorate,” she says. “And I want things that are memorable and fun.” Hugo gladly accepted the challenge, creating neutral, soft-textured backdrops for each room’s bright sparks of color, and choosing furnishings she describes as “square, and clean-lined—a modern version of traditional.”

A pair of Ralph Lauren chaises for lounging in the entry.

The result is a bold, never boring, blend: “The guest pod is done with oranges, and the rest of the house flows with the blues and greens, which helps bring the outdoors in—the beautiful aspen trees and the Colorado blue skies,” Hugo explains. As another nod to the high-country climate, the team installed an oxygen system to help guests avoid altitude sickness.

The master bedroom’s EuroCraft custom bed is paired with a daybed from A. Rudin upholstered in plum corduroy.

The marble-and-oak master bath has a Walker Zanger mosaic-tiled shower and a Cube tub by WetStyle.

Now that the home is finished just the way they wanted, the family is proud to finally welcome friends. “The house lends itself to making everyone feel comfortable no matter who you are, no matter where you live, or how you live at home,” the homeowner explains. “I never thought I would consider myself a mountain person, and it just feels like home,” she says. “The first time I walk in the door from being gone a little while …” she pauses, and then continues with a laugh, “my first exhale feels incredible.”

Holly Hunt barstools, upholstered in apple green leather from Moore & Giles, brighten up the clean-lined kitchen.


A lightning bolt of bold color can really zap a space into life. But knowing how to achieve a sophisticated balance without going gaudy can be daunting. Designer Dana Hugo offers some expert tipsSTART GRADUALLY  With neutral backgrounds, add color in pillows, throws, area rugs, cube stools or even books and flowers. Start with just one or two items to make sure you like it. CONSIDER SCALE  In large rooms, upholster one BIG piece in the center of the room—daybed, coffee table, ottoman. BAM! Instant impact. LOOK UP Don’t ignore ceilings—paint them, wallpaper them, add texture and colors and even wood or tin. PAPER POWER Hugo loves wallpaper—especially textured and large prints. “I’m currently into doing bright murals (graffiti or florals) on accent walls,” she says.  BLACK-AND-WHITE BACKGROUND Any bold color is complimentary with black and white! GRAPHIC PATTERNS Paint walls with bold stripes (horizontal, vertical or diagonal) or large polka dots—really fun for kids’ spaces and bunk rooms.

ARCHITECTURE Judge + Associates INTERIOR DESIGN j&o studio CONSTRUCTION Viele Construction LANDSCAPE High Country Estate Management

Categories: Contemporary Homes