Tori Golub can recall the first time she set her New York City designer’s eyes on the traditional Bachelor Gulch home her clients were intent on modernizing into the ultimate ski mountain getaway. “The house was filled with layers of dark furniture, there were heavy drapes at the windows, and every room was painted a different color,” says Golub, acknowledging the aesthetic disparity between the original owners and her clients. “It was definitely a start-to-finish project.”
Nevertheless, there was potential. “We liked the location, and we liked the bones of the house,” says the wife, who, with her husband and two teenage sons—all skiers—also had previously purchased a unit at The Ritz-Carlton Club in the same area. “So we pulled in Tori and architect Jon Edelbaum, who worked with us on our apartment in New York and our house in Bridgehampton.” They also tapped the home’s original architect, Brent Alm, to provide construction drawings, aid in the review process and assist with design changes.
In keeping with the restrictive architectural guidelines enforced by the Bachelor Gulch Design Review Board, little was done to the home’s parkitecture-style exterior—characterized by chinked logs and a prescribed mid-brown-to-black color scheme—beyond eliminating mullions in several of the view windows, revamping light fixtures and revising the decking. “All changes were done under intense scrutiny,” notes Edelbaum. The interior, however, was a different story. “The inside was fairly dark with reddish beams, and the traffic flow had a couple of oddities,” he adds. “We lightened things up, reoriented a confusing garage entry, created new spaces that we opened to existing rooms, and completely rebuilt the master suite.”
In turn, Golub explored creating interiors that addressed the clients’ tastes and lifestyle, and, along with Edelbaum, reinterpreted the existing architectural language. “We recolored the beams to make them lighter, removed all the door and window framing, and refinished the walls with Venetian plaster,” says the designer, who worked out details for everything from finishes to faucets. “We kept the original stone flooring but redid the window sills in a lighter color stone.”
A main stairway linking the home’s three levels was completely restyled in what builder David Hyde feels was one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of the job. “The stair was realigned and now features a compound curved-glass rail,” he says. “The end result is beautiful.”
Traveling back and forth between Colorado and New York, sourcing and stockpiling furnishings from both places as well as ferreting out items from across the country, Golub created spaces intended to live well in every season. Key pieces such as the bright coral sofa in the living room add vibrancy to the mostly neutral backdrop, while silky, sumptuous and sometimes even furry fabrics create texture and warmth.
Lighting was selected for both form and function. In the kitchen, copper pendants contrast nicely with glossy white countertops and complement the rich wood Edelbaum specified for the cabinet doors. Throughout the house, picture-perfect pieces, such as the sleek bleached-fir master bed, were fabricated by local artisans.
In the end, the project resonated with everyone involved. According to Alm, the house he designed 15 years ago really suited the original owners’ traditional taste, but he likes the transition. “The current version better reflects the modern taste of the new owners,” he says. And Edelbaum really appreciates how the house lives and feels now. “We dramatically changed the public spaces, and my architectural soul is in all of it,” he says.
For her part, Golub claims it was a fun project because “we weren’t building a hyper-modern house and had to solve things differently to retain a sense of place.” Best of all is the owner’s take: “We’re all just so happy when we’re here.”