This Cozy Aspen Home Redefines The Idea Of ‘Forest Bathing’

Details

exterior of home with blackened-steel,...

An exterior materials palette of blackened-steel, cedar planks, rough-cut Lueders limestone and large expanses of glass reflecting the surrounding trees and rivers all help this Aspen home, at the confluence of Roaring Fork River and a nearby creek, merge seamlessly into its verdant setting.

entryway with cedar plank ceiling...

Cedar planks that continue outside, walls of Lueders limestone used as both interior and exterior accents, plus plenty of glass all blur the boundary between indoors and out in this Aspen abode. The entryway’s table is by Troscan and rests atop a Kyle Bunting rug. In the stairwell, an artful Atelier Alain Ellouz fixture lights the way.

living room with floor to...

To keep the focus on the landscape, the living room spotlights neutral hues with plenty of texture. The space includes a custom mohair rug from Noreen Seabrook, a Dmitriy & Co sofa and bespoke nesting tables.

breakfast area with long table,...

A casual breakfast area links the kitchen, main living space and an intimate family room. Fixtures over the island’s Cristallo Quartz countertops and BDDW’s Bronze Wishbone table all hail from The Urban Electric Co. The armchairs are by Cassina, and the custom bench and counter stools are topped with Edelman leather.

double-height great room divided into...

The double-height great room is divided into living and dining areas. Brown-shearling chairs with woven-leather backs flank the cold-rolled steel fireplace surround. The mountain landscape photograph is by Guadalupe Laiz.

glass wine room beside walnut-and-brass...

Within reach of a bespoke live-edge walnut-and-brass dining table, a glass temperature-controlled wine room showcases the homeowners’ collection. The ombre silk rug is Rosemary Hallgarten. Overhead hangs Ovuud’s multi-arm Woven pendant.

guest bedroom bed with custom...

Lush with rich fabrics—Frette linens, a fur rug and Black Edition woven wallcovering— a guest bedroom beckons with inviting textures. Touches of leather span from a custom upholstered headboard to accents on the Atelier Alain Ellouz alabaster chandelier.

hand-carved stone freestanding tub in...

Against a dramatic marble backsplash, a hand-carved stone tub by Stone Forest takes center stage in the primary bath. A lighting fixture by Bert Frank shimmers above.

Some clients choose a site with panoramic views, others prefer one nestled into the landscape—this one is definitely the latter,” says architect Andrew Dillon of a newly-built Colorado home at the confluence of Roaring Fork River and a smaller creek in Aspen. At the tail end of a quiet street on the riverbank, the residence is ringed by cottonwood and aspen trees, with the murmur of rushing water softening all sounds and enhancing its feeling of seclusion. Intriguingly, about half the abode’s rooms are located belowground, including four of its seven bedrooms. “It’s a 9,600-square-foot house, so it is large, though it appears unassuming,” explains Dillon, citing Aspen’s strict height and floor area limits. “Going down made more sense than going up.”

Given the proximity to two streams, the build itself required considerable waterproofing efforts. The loamy soil had to be drained before a 4-foot-thick mat slab foundation could be poured. “We dewatered almost a billion gallons over 16 months,” notes project manager Jim Gohery. Now anchored by a subterranean living space that even houses a large game room, the home unfurls aboveground with blackened components and large expanses of glass reflecting the trees—creating a trompe l’oeil effect that’s become one of its most alluring features. Completing the façade’s palette are red cedar planks and rough-cut Lueders limestone sourced from Texas, the owners’ home state.

The exterior materials of this family getaway carry straight through to the interior. “The thin profiles of the windows and doors are meant to appear as unobtrusive barriers between inside and out,” says Dillon. That impression is supported by 12-foot-tall vaulted ceilings, windows that appear to wrap around the corners and details such as the wood ceiling’s seamless transition to the outdoors. “Whenever ceiling planks reached a window, we cut them and used the rest to extend outside,” explains Dillon, saluting the craftsmanship of Gohery and construction manager Ward Page. “It made a huge difference.”

As the clients had requested a turnkey home—right down to the linens—due diligence to interior design details was crucial as well. “The trick was figuring out exactly who this family is,” remembers designer Brook Sherick, who teamed up with designer Rebecca Olson. The husband wanted something contemporary while the wife campaigned for comfort, and their three young children suggested that ease and functionality should be priorities. “Our challenge was to make it approachable—a mountain home where people wouldn’t be afraid to sit on the chairs,” adds Sherick. Scale also played a major role in transforming cavernous into cozy. This played out through such elements as tables that seat a dozen guests, custom stools accommodating the husband’s height and sculptural Ovuud fixtures illuminating the great room. A preponderance of tactile materials and warm, natural hues enhance the effect while nodding to the home’s incomparable setting.

The design team also gave careful thought to how the house would be used for entertaining, particularly via the rooftop deck and lower-level living spaces. Olson points to the subterranean floor’s pool table, state-of-the-art home theater and large custom couches that can be pushed together to form a bed. On the roof, a pop-up TV, heaters and glass-front hot tub are instant draws for guests. “The original plan was to install a hot tub at ground level,” notes Dillon. “But the husband saw an opportunity to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the river.” On the main level, a built-in bar and coffee station, as well as a towering glassed-in wine room, answer to the family’s emphasis on hospitality. Same goes for the children’s bunk beds and the quartet of guest suites whose layers of furs, velvets, leathers, sateens and fine wools are a study in inviting yet discreet luxury. 

A narrative of sensual, pulled-back opulence serves as a through line in the abode, from the primary suite’s channel-tufted bed and substantial tub—carved from a single piece of marble—to the antiqued mirrors and green leather stools in the kitchen. “Every detail is a work of art, but the whole is well-balanced and approachable,” enthuses Olson. Not to mention comfortable. “You just melt into every piece of furniture,” she says. “It’s cozy but still very glamorous.” Adds Sherick, “This is a project that demonstrates how you can make a big home feel luxurious in an intimate way.” 

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