COLORFUL COLORADO

Old Town Area

While traveling in Sweden the owners of this Old Town Steamboat Springs property became enamored of the Swedish style of farmhouse and intended it to inspire their new home. Clean lines, a mixture of painted and very light natural materials as well as specific colors and finishes. 

To stay true to traditional Swedish Architecture we worked with a color palette developed hundreds of years ago that became an accepted standard. We chose to incorporate the traditional Swedish red, yellow and blue and frame it with trim. We employed simple but intentional exterior trim detailing to break up vertical massing and highlight traditional forms.  This theme also repeats inside where casual painted plank wood wainscot creates intimate scale and mirrors the casual simplicity of the people themselves. The stairs of the home feature painted risers with natural wood treads and a hand done waxed finish by Wendy herself.  She utilized this same technique on much of the cabinetry working hand rubbed wax into flat colorful paint typical of tones and colors found in Swedish interiors.

Because we were working within restrictive height limitations – 20 foot maximum height – dictated by the covenants of the neighborhood, as well as two front set-backs as the lot was on a corner, the site informed our ideas on how to create traditional home massing and roof forms in a very compressed building envelope.  Our vision?  Create an overall free-form flat roof configuration anchored with steep pitched traditional shaped volumes. The result is a small collection of buildings, like a village, where there are clean separate pieces that define primary building masses. Each area is celebrated in its own unique way using the same language. We found a number of opportunities for private view experiences to outside spaces relating to both the land and the long views of the ski mountain. On the upper level the main outside covered space protects from the intense summer sun while creating intimate seating for views of the valley below and ski mountain beyond.  Downstairs where there are secondary bedrooms and secondary living spaces we found another great opportunity for outdoor enjoyment by turning the main outdoor space into a four season greenhouse.
Further connecting the inside and outside spaces, a mountain stream flows next to a stone stairway from upper exterior spaces to the lower ones and ends in a refreshing pool outside the greenhouse patio.
The result is a home that evokes the whimsy and simple aesthetic sensibilities of the Swedish farmhouse style without needing to be a direct replica. While making reference to the simple gable forms of Steamboat’s past, the neighborhood has embraced it as a colorful addition to their tight-knit traditional neighborhood.