People tend to go either very modern or very rustic,” interior designer Yvonne Jacobs says of a ski-in-and-ski-out vacation house she designed for a family in Snowmass. “This was a study in how going in-between could work.” Her clients, a Chicago-area couple with four children, for whom she had designed several previous homes, including a 10,000-square-foot ski house in Beaver Creek, were looking to revise some of their previous ideals. “Everything we’d done before was very traditional, with lots of logs and red plaid,” the wife explains. “We wanted this to be more contemporary and really different.”
Even so, the house still needed to function as a calm and comfortable gathering place for the family, as well as the many guests who were often invited to stay, while offering plenty of private spaces. Architect John R. Cottle was up to the task. “The owners liked our concept of creating compounds,” explains Cottle, who, working with project architect John Schenck, split the structure into two parts connected by a glassy entrance and then broke down the scale of each portion with multiple roof forms. “We pushed for this to be a bit more singular but still have separate elements. Instead of being a big architectural statement, it’s straightforward and sophisticated.”
Constructed by builder Chris Passero, the three-level house balances communal and personal needs. The focal point is the upper-level great room, which contains the living, dining and kitchen areas and looks out through a series of floor-to-ceiling windows to surrounding treetops and long-range mountain views.
For Jacobs, who worked with interior designer Frances Karsh on the project, the challenge was to find a way to complement the interior materials—a mix of Telluride Gold stacked stone, reclaimed barn timbers and natural steel—with, at the wife’s request, fabrics that were soft in texture and furnishings that people could cuddle up in. “Balancing materials was very important,” Jacobs recalls. “We thought ‘How do we do this in a really modern way?’”
To find the solution, Jacobs gleaned inspiration from the stylish interiors of the nearby Viceroy Snowmass. She also put materials through the wife’s “cheek test,” the designer explains: “She would place a fabric against her cheek to see if was soft enough.” In the great room, the result was a velvet-covered 43-inch-deep sectional sofa that the designers created to anchor a central seating area. Other uniquely cozy and playful pieces include a pair of sheepskin poufs by Auskin and an Eero Aarnio Bubble chair from Hive.
While kids and guests are continually encouraged to come together in the great room—where the smell of freshly baked treats often wafts from the kitchen, a crackling fireplace beckons, and a sculptural wood dining table doubles as a place to play games—attention to comfort was also paid throughout the home. A media room features Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams’ oversize sectional, Dr. Pitt, and each bedroom is its own little sanctuary, complete with king-size beds topped with faux-fur throws. “The rooms are like the best B&B you could imagine,” Jacobs says of the design.
The master suite is no exception. Inspired by the owners’ joint desire for a soft, romantic feel, the designers mounted a series of rods from the ceiling and hung sheer linen draperies around the bed. Cottle gave the room an additional cozy spot for lounging and reading in designing a pop-out corner window, which extends out into an aspen grove. “You can’t design a house for somebody unless you understand how they want to live in it,” says the wife. “I had a million ideas when we began. I gave Yvonne and John veto power, and they pulled it all together. It’s a real beginning for us.”