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A Cozy Mountain Home with a Cool Backstory

How a serendipitous moment resulted in a Telluride home full of color and whimsy



Photography by Kathryn Lair

The Homecoming

A few months after buying and moving into an old miners shack on the east end of Telluride, Sarah Gluckstern got a curious call from her real-estate agent.

“She said, ‘This is going to sound insane, but a house just came on the market, and I feel like it needs to be yours,’” Gluckstern recalls.

Gluckstern warily agreed to give it a look, and as they approached a brick Victorian on Colorado Avenue, she realized it was a house she already had a connection to.

“I told her, ‘You know I was born here, right?’”

In fact, the home held a mythical quality for Gluckstern. She lived there for the first six months of her life, and then spent the rest of her childhood moving all over the country and even to Bermuda with her nomadic parents. Telluride served as their summer landing pad each year, and her parents would point out the brick Victorian when they passed it on their way in and out of town.

“For as long as I can remember, I knew that’s where I first came home to,” Gluckstern says. “So, something about buying it and having it in the family again felt right, like the stars were aligning.”

The Redesign

Despite its romantic backstory, the home was in dire need of structural and cosmetic updates. It was dark, cramped and “in fairly questionable condition,” says Gluckstern. She elaborates: “A month after I purchased it, I brought a friend over to show it off, and the kitchen ceiling was on the floor.”

Kristine Perpar of Shift Architects added structural integrity to the home and made it feel more spacious, without veering from the original 1,600-square-foot floor plan. A wall between the kitchen and living room was partially removed to let the main floor breathe, while ceilings in the upstairs bedrooms were expanded for more headspace.

To achieve the “modern but not cold feel” that Gluckstern requested, Perpar mixed clean, white countertops with warm walnut flooring and cabinets. The unfussy finishes act as a blank canvas for splashes of vibrant tile, as well as Gluckstern’s eclectic collection of art, neon signs, rugs and whimsical pendant lighting—a playful style she says was passed down from her parents. The finished home brims with character and personal touches.

“I didn’t set out to make this house one thing or another,” she says. “I just wanted to fill it with the things I love and that remind me of other moments and people and places in my life.”

Gluckstern painted the home's gables rainbow to signify that her home is a safe space for the LGBTQ community.

 

The shower includes a mosaic of tiny white, pink and red tiles. “I love the color pink ... but I didn't want a Pepto Bismol shower,” Gluckstern says.

 

A winged lamp from YLighting in the master bedroom. 

 

A YLighting antler sconce illuminates a cozy nook with mountain views.

I didn’t set out to make this house one thing or another. I just wanted to fill it with the things that I love. — Sarah Gluckstern

"Day to day, my wardrobe consists of so much black clothing," says homeowner Sarah Gluckstern. "So when I first saw photographs of my home, I was struck by how much color there is." In the main living space, Eli the cat lies atop a West Elm sofa. An Aelfie area rug and neon wall clock- add bold color. A still from Ashes and Snow by Gregory Colbert hangs above the piano.SaveSaveSaveSave

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