Amanda M. Faison 2017-05-20 05:13:38
DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS, SUMMIT COUNTY HOME DESIGN IS ALL ABOUT MAKING THE MOST OF THE OUTDOORS. In the Colorado mountains, there’s an old adage: You come for the winter but you stay for the summer. And it’s true, there are few things more glorious than our mountains on a bluebird day in July or August. So it should come as no surprise that builders are playing up that advantage and inviting the comforts of home outside. Long winters and heavy snowfall make elaborate outdoor kitchens impractical, but— in the summer—multilevel decks and patios fit with private spaces, stand-alone grills, fire pits, spa-worthy hot tubs and dining areas take the party outdoors. Here, we tour three fantastic Summit dwellings— including rentals—that take the glory of summer mountain living to the next level. BALDY MOUNTAIN, BRECKENRIDGE Nestled among stands of lodge pole pine on Baldy Mountain, this refined mountain lodge was originally built in 2002 as a bed and breakfast and hosted many a wedding. That was before the town of Breckenridge began cracking down on large gatherings in quiet neighborhoods. But the home’s generous amenities— including a professional-grade catering kitchen that connects to the south-facing patio—still exist. When Todd and Julie Pahl bought the property in 2015, they made the outdoor space even more inviting by turning an eightfoot planter below the hot tub into a gas fire pit. That element has become the space’s focal point, while the dining area and a cascading waterfall and pond make up the background. The patio wraps around the house to a tiered terrace (an obvious holdover from the wedding era) that provides a sweeping look at Breckenridge Ski Resort and the Tenmile Range. “That view is the reason we bought the house,” Julie says. And that west-facing patio is where the couple sits in the alpenglow and watches the sun drop below the peaks. TIMBER TRAIL, BRECKENRIDGE “It takes one to know one” could be the motto of this home located just steps from Trygve’s Run at the base of Peak 8. This property—built by Pinnacle Mountain Homes—has all the amenities one could dream of, including an indoor-outdoor mini spa on the lower deck. The 14-person hot tub, a towel warming drawer, and a large fire pit set with Adirondack chairs define this as a lounge-worthy, never-want-to-leave space. Just to the side of the hot tub, accordion doors open to an airy spa bathroom and a glassed-in eight-person steam shower. The upper patio, which sits off the large open kitchen, is the designated dining area with a covered grill and smoker. A small gate from the deck leads to a wildflower-strewn path among the pines to miles of hiking and mountain biking. COLUMBIA LODE, BRECKENRIDGE The vision behind this Columbia Lode home was to bring Breckenridge’s mining roots to life. Pinnacle Mountain Homes called on materials such as exposed iodized steel, rough-hewn stone, and reclaimed wood, as well as rooms named after famous Colorado mines and intentionally tight corridors, to recall the Gold Rush era. And when looking at how to incorporate the mining theme outside, “We were definitely thinking of how the exterior relates to the interior,” says designer Christina Romano of Pinnacle Design Studios. “You are experiencing the interior of the house while you’re outside.” A fire pit fabricated out of an old mining cart from Leadville anchors the front patio, as do sculptural beams that mimic the entrance of a mine. For entertaining, a saloon-style bar (complete with swinging doors) opens to the outside via an indoor-outdoor bar and two copper bar stools. Swivel around and you’re overlooking the town of Breckenridge for an ideal blend of old and new. DOEUCTKED OUT CONSIDERING A DECK OR PATIO REMODEL? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE. • Install accordion or bifold doors with floor-to-ceiling glass that open all the way to expand the living space. • Run the same flooring, such as large limestone tiles, from the inside to the outside so there’s “zero threshold of where the house ends and the deck begins,” says Christina Romano of Pinnacle Design Studios. • Add amenities such as built-in gas heaters and towel warmers, along with outdoor storage for cozy blankets, to take the chill off. • Purchase portable propane heaters. These are an easy and relatively affordable way to lengthen patio season. Bonus: You can move them around. • “We’re seeing more fire pits than fireplaces,” Romano says. They’re easier (turn it on/off with a click of a button), cleaner, and more conducive to gathering around. • Consider how the deck or patio correlates with the interior. The message should be the same. • Hold off on installing a full outdoor kitchen. The elements are tough on outdoor cabinets and appliances. Instead, install a large countertop that can serve as a grilling staging ground.
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