Up where the air is cleaner and cooler, vacation homes once boasted a luxury log cabin vibe that was the norm, but as buyers of high-elevation country homes shift in eco-consciousness and security needs, so, too, does the style of the place they call home. When Vail, Colorado-based architect Kyle Webb first started in the industry 28 years ago, minimalist designs were just 30 percent of his workload; today, nine out of 10 projects he helms are contemporary, he says.
Here, his take on the increasing popularity of modern mountain architecture.
Describe your clientele.
Most of my clients are self-made and independently minded. They want cleaner, simpler, less-cluttered homes, and they don’t have any interest in copying their parents’ style.
What are some key design materials?
Modern doesn’t mean we’ve stopped using wood and stone; we’re just doing it in a new way–say, stone paneling.
Bells and whistles:
We’re building super high-tech homes, but our clients care as much about convenience as they do security. People are savvier and want just one light switch on the wall and one device that controls everything.
On the horizon:
We’re now seeing materials like brass and copper reappear. I think a lot of design became too stark and minimal. Now, it’s about bringing back character and warmth. We’re reanalyzing what’s modern and what isn’t.