No one has ever called Kelly Dillard a cabin person. Her love of exuberant colors and fearless penchant for unconventional style would seem at odds with the simple rusticity of the iconic wilderness dwelling. However, the Texas resident and her husband, Jeff, have both long loved the majesty of the Colorado Rockies and soon found themselves the owners of a property in Roaring Fork Club—an exclusive community in Basalt that requires all homes to adhere to a traditional mountain aesthetic on the exterior. But the interior? That’s a story the Dillards were free to write independently.
There’s a baker’s dozen new cabins in Roaring Fork Club, all by Poss Architecture + Planning and Interior Design. They were originally built by general contractor Bill Harriman with Kimberly McCleary operating as project manager, while Mike Albert, assisted by Paul Squadrito, masterminded the landscape. From the outside, with its log walls, wood paneling and stone chimney, the Dillards’ residence still looks very much as it was conceived. But within its walls, the couple hired interior designer Barbara Glass and residential designer Richard Mullen to create spaces tailored to their family. “I wanted something in my style—and it wasn’t going to look like a cabin,” Kelly says with a laugh.
“During the first meeting with my clients, I get to know them and show different things to determine their likes and dislikes,” Glass explains, noting Kelly’s appreciation of colors, patterns and playful design. “It became obvious to me very quickly that we were going to have a lot of fun with this project.”
The preferred elements that bubbled up in these early discussions were a love of all things pink, a penchant for motifs—a whopping 24 different wallpapers were installed—and a crystal-clear admiration for acrylic. “I wanted an acrylic stair rail, something I had never seen,” Kelly shares. “Richard had never designed one either. At first, he probably thought it would be the death of him, but as he started scribbling ideas, I could see it was clicking in his mind.”
The result is a grand entry staircase that sets the tone for all that follows—Glass calls it the “key” to the home. It features distinctive, geometric acrylic balusters that are 1 ½ inches thick and topped with a handrail upholstered in a bright-pink fabric. “It took about a year and a lot of engineering to design and manufacture this feature,” Mullen says. “But that’s the excitement of having a client who’s willing to go outside the realm of the ordinary. It makes designers put themselves out there as well.”
Glass felt encouraged to venture beyond the expected too—and she loved it. “Working on this project became like playing,” the interior designer notes. She found herself stretching to meet Kelly’s embrace of elements that surprise and delight, starting with a tile floor composed of large squares of colorful natural stone ranging from cobalt to sky blue to the palest pink. The latter hue is a through line in this home—the designer jokingly refers to the color scheme as “50 shades of pink”—appearing in its most vibrant concentration on the living room sofa, as well as in a cheerful rosy paint that covers the tricked-out bunk beds and in the pastel petals of the powder room’s flowered wallpaper.
Pattern and texture are other areas where the client was willing to floor it as the designer took the wheel. “I would show samples and she’d like this pattern and this pattern and this pattern,” Glass remembers. “After a time, I started to see how, when layered, they could all work together. Again, we took a risk and it worked. The motifs came together to make the spaces feel cohesive.” For a touch of mountain feel, the designer took pains to link the interiors to the home’s environs through her use of textiles that bring warmth and coziness to the rooms.
Selecting bold colors and uncommon elements takes a certain amount of confidence, which Kelly says she learned at a young age. “My father was into design and he was always using shades no one else would choose and taking chances,” she shares. “Style is a very personal thing, and this is mine—I like things bright and cheery.” Let the fun begin.
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