A Vail Mountain Home Speaks the Local Vernacular

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Peak Condition in Colorado

A family builds a modern home in Vail that reflects its mountain surroundings and their adventurous spirit.

Rustic Country Reclaimed Wood Home Exterior in Colorado

Architect Hans Berglund created a modern home in Vail for Tom and Sunny Corrigan marked by vertical reclaimed-wood planks, horizontal cedar siding and Colorado sandstone veneer. Aluminum-clad wood windows by Sierra Pacific Windows play off the rustic materials.

Reclaimed Wood Door Entrance with Contemporary Staircase and Windows

A West Elm rug brightens the entry and helps set the tone for the home’s lively palette. A bridge accessed via a sculptural stairway stretches above the front door, by Castlewood Doors and Millwork, and leads to a guest area above the garage.

Television Mounted on a Stone Fireplace Living Room with Panoramic Views

In the living area, designers Courtney St. John and Amy Casey paired a sofa by Cisco Home with a custom armchair upholstered with an Osborne and Little stripe and a coffee table by Anthropologie. The rug is by Surya, and the floor and ceiling wood is from Arrigoni Woods. Berglund juxtaposed industrial metal framing with the monumental stone fireplace surround, installed by Castleton Masonry.

Wooden Kitchen with Vaulted Ceiling and Pendants

Casey and St. John designed the kitchen cabinets with a functional mix of laminate and walnut, fabricated by Genesis Hospitality Corporation. They hung pendants by Rejuvenation above the island, which is crowned with a countertop of Cygnus Quartzite. The bar chairs are by Gus Modern.

Barn Artwork Dining Room with Mountain Views

In the dining area, a custom fixture hangs above a custom table crafted by Zachary Petterson, who also made the walnut-slab sideboard. The metal-and-leather dining chairs are by Dot & Bo, and the artwork is by Jennifer O’Meara.

Geometric Chair Outdoor Patio with Plants and Mountain Surround

Berglund and builder Ted Leach worked with fabricators at A.G. Welding & Repair to create the custom railings on the large deck. An RH table is encircled by Palecek chairs sporting cushions upholstered with Kravet fabric. Hayley Gough and Lynsey Majewski, owners of Dragonfly Gardening, added to the bright accents with colorful potted plants.

Reclaimed Wood Master Bathroom with Tub and Pendants

Casey and St. John incorporated the home’s reclaimed-wood cladding in the light-filled master bathroom. The pendant and sconces are by Currey & Company, and the cabinetry is by Genesis Hospitality Corporation. The tile floor and countertop are from Stone Concepts.

Sliding Barn Door Master Bedroom with Artwork and Fan

For the master bedroom, the designers aimed to create a comfortable environment that wouldn’t compete with the views. They paired a quilted-leather chair by Arteriors with a stump-like accent table from Inside Out Home Furnishings and Design; custom bedding is made with Kravet fabrics. Leach fashioned the barn door out of reclaimed wood.

Mountain Side Colorado Home with Solar Panel Roof

The house nestles into the property’s steep grade, while plenty of windows allow for views of the surrounding mountains. A deck off the family room on the lower level leads to a lawn surrounded by a boulder-lined retaining wall.

Tom and Sunny Corrigan are intimately familiar with the terrain surrounding Vail Mountain, where they work as ski patrollers. So when they began to search for a house in the area to raise their young children, they knew just what they were looking for. The family had been living in nearby Minturn but wanted a larger home with a modern look that would reflect their alpine surroundings and stand up to their active lifestyle, which includes days filled with skiing, hiking and cycling. “Our lives revolve around the outdoors,” Sunny says. 

Enter architect Hans Berglund, who had already been in the beginning stages of working with builder Ted Leach—an old friend of Sunny’s—to develop plans for a steep mountainside property fewer than 10 minutes from the slopes. “Houses should reflect the local vernacular in a clean, modern way and use indigenous materials,” Berglund says of his “mountain modern” philosophy. That approach matched the Corrigans’ own aesthetic, and when Leach introduced them, “the house went from a spec home to a custom home for Tom and Sunny,” Berglund says. As it happens, the lot is up the street from where Sunny’s parents live, and it overlooks a trail the wife has hiked since childhood. “The stars lined up, and the timing was right,” says Leach, who worked with superintendent Greg Johnson and project manager Benno Scheidegger. With the property in place, the rest of the team soon followed as designers Courtney St. John and Amy Casey came on board. 

The designers selected interior finishes to complement the vertical reclaimed wood cladding the home’s exterior, the exposed I-beams inside and the Colorado sandstone veneer Berglund used to define the foundation, frame the entry and form the back-to-back fireplace and chimneys that face both the great room and the deck outside. “We took our lead from the architecture and tried to make the inside indicative of the elements used on the outside,” St. John says, pointing to surfaces such as the oak flooring and reclaimed spruce ceilings. In addition to the home’s architecture, the system of huts used by backcountry skiers in the area also provided an influence on the decor. “Tom and I have always loved the simplistic design of the huts in the 10th Mountain Division,” Sunny says, “and the natural and reclaimed materials we used in our house were inspired by those.” In that same vein, the designers kept the furnishings minimal and functional. “They are modern yet livable, as this is a mountain home,” St. John says. Pieces like a custom-made table and walnut-slab sideboard appear in the dining area, and a streamlined leather-upholstered sofa occupies the living area. 

Berglund expressed similar motivations. “We wanted to design a home that felt really hunkered down into the site—like it grew up and out of the ground,” he explains. But with pitched ceilings that reach 17 feet at their highest point, along with floor-to-ceiling windows that invite broad views of the Rockies, the architecture soars just as much as it remains grounded. “Simultaneously, we’re trying to connect people to the land and engage them with the sky and the mountains,” the architect says. He also integrated wide eaves to provide shade from the summer sun and environmentally friendly items, including solar panels, to make the house energy-efficient. 

About midway through the construction process, the couple found out they were expecting their third child. To accommodate the growing family, a guest room on the lower level was transformed into a nursery for the baby. That meant a second-story space, which was intended to be left unfinished and accessible only through the garage, would now become a multipurpose guest area. Berglund revived an earlier design iteration of a stairway and a bridge that stretches above the entry door in the foyer to create an interior entrance to the newly finished area. “That stair system really makes the house,” Leach says. “Without it, it would have been less interesting.” Tom now counts the stair and bridge among his favorite elements of the residence. “I really love those stairs,” he says, explaining that he can use the connected space to repair skis and bicycles, work out and display the drum set he has had since he was a boy. 

For Sunny, it’s the expansive deck that stands out as her favorite space. “The furniture Courtney and Amy chose makes it even more spectacular,” she says. Outside and inside, the designers worked with pops of turquoise, yellow and pink to energize the neutral palette. “With all of the rustic materials, Sunny wanted to incorporate those bright colors, and we think it was necessary to add interest,” Casey says, noting items such as a bright stripe covering an armchair in the living area and cheery yellow seat cushions on the outdoor dining chairs. “Having color in the interiors is representative of the fact that they’re a young, adventurous family,” St. John adds. Gardeners Hayley Gough and Lynsey Majewski, owners of Dragonfly Gardening, followed that lead with potted flowers on the deck. “They’re sun plants with lots of vibrant colors—petunias, verbena, cosmos and calendula,” Gough says. Berglund, meanwhile, worked with colleague Keegan Winkeller to design the initial landscape plan, which Doug Weinheimer of Upper Crust Landscaping installed with a few modifications, including adding a lawn to the backyard. Boulders, native grasses, local aspens and blue spruces reinforce the home’s ties to its surrounds. 

The Corrigans can now access hiking and mountain-biking trails from their front door. And on top of its dream location, Tom says, the house the team designed is a perfect fit for their family. “We can’t say enough about them,” he says. Sunny agrees, adding, “They nailed our taste and style. They were our A-Team.” 

Jennifer Sergent

 

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