For one Denver family of high-spirited, avid skiers, a coveted lot by Breckenridge Ski Resort became the perfect opportunity to build their dream vacation home. It wasn’t their first foray into Summit County, though. Having built a previous custom house in Breckenridge with Pinnacle Mountain Homes, they were eager to work with the firm again. But given the site’s small size (just a tad under a half-acre) the biggest challenge was finagling a fit for what the homeowners’ desired most: a gathering spot big enough for all three generations of their large family, with room to host friends too.
Collaborating on a second property guaranteed a high level of trust between the design team and their clients, which proved key to the project’s success. Architect Marc Hogan, working closely with architectural job captain Tyler Mikolajczak, quickly determined that the only way to go was up. Among other things, the owners asked for six primary bedrooms and two bunk rooms, each kitted out with its own bathroom. Hogan’s solution evolved into a seven-level reverse floor plan, with the main entertaining spaces at the apex, bedroom suites just below, and bunk rooms and a children’s hangout space hugging the ground level. To make the most of the home’s riveting mountainside locale, he added floor-to-ceiling windows and two decks, with one right on the rooftop.
As part of their wish to entertain large groups, the homeowners aimed to welcome guests at all stages of their lives. The house was therefore designed with accessibility in mind. “They wanted to be able to host absolutely everyone,” notes builder Chad Rowe. Case in point, a glass elevator provides access to all floors while offering panoramic, selfie-worthy rides, and one of the bedroom suites is laid out to meet ADA guidelines. “The shower there is curbless and includes the spatial requirements to accommodate a wheelchair, but you wouldn’t notice any stylistic difference,” says designer Lisa Yates.
When it came to the interiors, the couple asked her to push their aesthetic in a “soft modern” direction, she recalls, while keeping the house relaxed, inviting and well connected to its mountainous surroundings. She began with surfaces, choosing white oak flooring and installing reclaimed barnwood at key moments to add texture and interest. The solid walnut interior doors throughout are also “inherently warm and cozy,” says the designer. Cabinetry, tiles and stones were all selected within a limited palette—pops of colors like blue are present but subtle—with recurring elements in varying combinations in the bathrooms, kitchen and wet bar. Yates’ picks reveal a carefully considered balance of contemporary and “mountain” moments: The white oak cabinetry of the bar area has a rustic finish, for example, but its simple flat-panel doors read as contemporary. Likewise, the kitchen’s backsplash features an organic yet modern square tile.
In the private quarters, the designer picked standout fabric, wallpaper and grass-cloth wallcoverings to create accents in every bedroom. In the bunk room, barnwood plays the same role. Each has its own distinctive character, she notes, but, “there’s no primary bedroom so, by design, no suite feels significantly more special than the others.”
Of course, the house also had to meet the needs of enthusiastic skiers. Its alpine accommodations include a locker room with boot warmers right off the entrance, alongside less obvious choices such as performance upholstery fabrics and a plethora of naturally durable wool rugs. “Everything’s very livable; there’s nothing you can’t touch,” says Yates. “You can walk in with your ski pants on and plop down on the sofa.”
And there’s plenty of off-the-slopes gathering spots and cozy nooks, too. A major draw is the two decks, both appointed with hot tubs. One features a fire pit, while the other has an outdoor fireplace to congregate around. The house even includes a refurbished chairlift seat from Arapahoe Basin—an older version from the resort’s famous Pallavicini lift and a piece of Summit County history—that’s been recast as whimsical indoor swing beneath the staircase. These components all add up to what the architect dubs a “magnet house.” Not only does it fit its owners with grace, he explains, “It just attracts your friends and family to it.”