Many people agree that simple things make for happy days. If that’s the case, then this house is in for a long run of pleasurable moments. First of all, it is a true ski-out property. “We grab our gear, push open the back door after breakfast and glide onto a beautiful run at Snowmass,” says the owner. Which makes it perfectly ski-in, as well: “At lunchtime we drop off the trail and step back into the kitchen for a bite,” she laughs. Then in the afternoon, “everybody flops onto the sofa for cocoa.” Simple.
But, surprisingly, simple isn’t always easy. The owners, who moved to the area from a more metropolitan life on the East Coast, had searched near and far for the perfect change of scenery. What the family found in Snowmass Village is nature and the activities it offers: skiing, biking and hiking. They loved this home’s modernity and location, and they asked the designer of their New York residence, Jennifer Post, to upgrade finishes and select new furniture. “We wanted a warm, contemporary family feel,” says the owner.
Post understood their comfy-chic lean immediately. “I wanted them to have a sense of style but not be afraid to put their feet up,” she says. Her strategy was straightforward: furniture scaled to fit the rooms’ needs covered in neutral, textured fabrics with a color story and art program revolving around Colorado’s four-season climate.
The home’s most formal space—the living room—focuses a sectional sofa and a pair of chairs onto both a stone fireplace and a tall painting in spring-green colors. As she was sketching her ideas, Post imagined family members hiking all day and then kicking back on the sofa and chairs. Covering the sofa in charcoal mohair—soft yet durable, warm yet modern—she had it built extra deep. “It kind of reaches out to hug you,” Post says.
Though the designer commissioned art for the home’s major areas, it’s the view that serves as both the art and the hero of the dining room, which rises two steps to celebrate the drama beyond the windows; there are no highback chairs or vista-blocking light fixtures. Post designed bench seating to accompany the owners’ existing furniture to keep the space tailored and sophisticated yet inviting. “Everybody loves a bench,” she chuckles. “It’s the most family-friendly piece of furniture there is.”
This house went through several transformations on its way to such simple pleasures. It was new in the 1970s, reborn in the ’80s and refurbished again in the ’90s. A few years ago, builder Shannon Sweeney purchased the house and collaborated with architect Tim Hagman and Kurt Carruth on the design of its latest incarnation before the new owners acquired it. They added the dining room, ski room and master suite, and curved the roof over some of the spaces. Outside, the exterior now wears cedar, steel and stone for a contemporary effect. “We used traditional mountain materials in a fresh, modern way,” Carruth says.
Already familiar with the house, Sweeney was a natural fit when Post and the new owners wanted to give the interiors a facelift—including fresh paint and bright white countertops in the kitchen. And the design team is rightfully proud of the work. The plan is a tight gathering of living, dining and family volumes cuddled up to an expansive, light- filled kitchen. It’s a very open layout taking advantage of vistas toward Independence Pass and up the Hunter Creek Valley. “Basically, we studied the views and framed them,” Sweeney says. Simple.
And, after all, it’s the simple things that make for happy days.