There’s a spirit of exuberance in this Bachelor Gulch home that reflects the enthusiasm of the owners, Dallas residents who were overjoyed when they found the location for their long-dreamed-about Colorado mountain home. Their goal was to create a resort-like retreat where every inch was utilized. Designer Lucy Oesterle recalls the wife’s enthusiasm for the project, remembering, “When she spotted a dead space on the plans, an area over the garage that was meant for mechanicals, she said, ‘No, no! Let’s make two more bedrooms and bathrooms—grandkid’s quarters!’”
Architect Scott S. Turnipseed—who also served as the builder on the project and happens to be the mayor of the nearby town of Eagle—says that the directive for maximizing space was matched by the effort to maximize views while also establishing cozy spaces. He accomplished this by playing with scale, giving the kitchen and hearth room lower ceilings for a snug feeling, while letting the great room’s ceiling soar to create what he describes as “a really grand space.”
Throughout, materials such as reclaimed beams and moss rock make the home warm and establish a sense of place. Turnipseed—who worked closely with his brother, project manager Jim Turnipseed, and woodworker Joe Masiak—chose to use subtly figured oak wood in the great room for a sophisticated look, while selecting knotty pine for more casual areas like the lower-level family room, bar and ski lounge. “This is a mountain house, so there should be some regionalism—you wouldn’t want Miami here—but it’s a cleaned up, brightened up version and it feels good,” he says. A perfect example of the home’s transitional style, he points out, are the fireplaces, which feature rough-stone chimney breasts with sleek cut- limestone surrounds. “It’s an elegant look in a mountain setting,” Turnipseed adds.
It’s a style Oesterle embraced. “Our firm, founded by Eddy Doumas, leans toward a sophisticated mountain look using clean lines, lighter palettes and natural materials,” she explains, noting her emphasis on layering textures for warmth. And while there were a few visits to Dallas Design District showrooms to test out seating, most elements were sourced locally, with Oesterle taking inspiration from the wife’s collection of magazine clippings. “The goal was to create inviting spaces with room to grow for future grandchildren. As a family, they often hang out in the kitchen and hearth room, where they have breakfast at the counter and enjoy casual meals at the banquette,” she says. “But they also do a lot of entertaining, so the great room was planned for formal gatherings with a dining table that seats 16.”
The couple’s private suite is also on the main floor. The bedroom is a tailored space with a four-poster bed that the wife “fell in love with,” says Oesterle, adding that its proportions “worked well with the high ceiling.” The room, done in restful shades of blue, overlooks a creek and shares a terrace with the adjoining study, making it a private, tucked-away retreat. The paneled study is a similarly quiet space based on an image the husband, an oil executive, had seen. Throughout, there is elk imagery, honoring the wife’s wish to celebrate local fauna.
The animal motifs don’t end there. “She wanted to make the bedrooms special, so each guest room also has its own Colorado animal: moose, deer, buffalo, fox, bear, rabbit and owl,” Oesterle says of the wife. “It’s subtle, sometimes just a pillow or a book about the animals, but everyone notices and loves it.” In fact, the entire lower level, where most of the guest rooms are located, reflects the region’s adventurous spirit. Because this is a ski-in, ski-out home, Oesterle created a locker room with benches at the back door that leads to a club-like lounge and a large family room with a bar and pool table. Just outside is a fire pit, hot tub and, of course, the views that brought the couple here. “We worked with Dennis Anderson on the native plantings that surround the house and blend into the hillside—it’s beautiful,” says Turnipseed. “The whole house is just calming,” adds Oesterle. “It’s good looking but comfortable and there’s something fun in each room, those little things that make a home special.”