It's Only Natural

David Patterson
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Pinterest icon

After the Peterson family adopted this spec home, designed by architect Scott Turnipseed, they turned to Vail-based Slifer Designs’ president Yvonne Jacobs and design associate Audrey Barriault to make it their own. A Colorado native with 20 years of design experience, Jacobs knew how to create a space that’s just right for its alpine setting: add comfort and style with nature-inspired touches.

CH&L: Give us the back story. How did this project get its start?
Yvonne Jacobs: Mark and Polly Peterson have a wonderful family tradition of skiing in Vail over the holidays. Mark visited as a child and now the couple brings their children from their home in South Dakota. Longtime clients of mine, the Petersons asked me to remodel and furnish their first Vail home in 2007. Then when the family fell in love with Scott Turnipseed’s work, we were brought in to do the interior. They wanted the look to be an extension of the architecture, which meant using lighter, softer colors. Our goal was to create a family-oriented space, since the Petersons have dogs, kids, et cetera. They didn’t want anything to be too precious, but they do enjoy nice things. 

How did the surrounding landscape inspire your design?
The sunlight that comes into this house is amazing, so we wanted to play that up. What’s more, every window in this house has a view. We used those concepts as the inspiration for bringing in natural colors and light. Most of the larger furniture is positioned to overlook the view, making the scenery a form of art.

The look is cozy, but not ubiquitous or dull.
We tried to remain natural with the color palette, using chocolate brown, sage green and burnt orange—colors that complement the picturesque landscape. The [spec] finishes were light, so we added richness with mohair and chenille fabrics. We threw in an edgy piece here and there, such as the area rug in the great room that grounds the space while adding a twist to ward off boredom. Touches of bright color—green dishware in the kitchen, fiery throw pillows on the patio—make the softer palette pop.



We love the beautifully arranged bookshelf in the library. What are your tips for recreating that kind of display?
It took me a week to get that bookshelf right! What you see is an artistic display; it isn’t something we just threw together. You start with books—various sizes, shapes and colors—then add accessories. The key is to move things around, to try arranging items in a bunch of different positions. I’d walk away for a day then return with a fresh perspective, or take a photo to look at later on. Ultimately, it is all about the juxtaposition of large and small.


For the home’s art, you opted for a less-is-more approach by incorporating a few attention-grabbing pieces. How did you pull that off?
It was a huge effort to get the art just right, a process of being in the house, walking around, finding the right colors and positioning for each space. The Petersons don’t like things to be overdone, which is why the artwork isn’t overwhelming. When you have a strong piece like a Theodore Waddell, there’s no need to overpower it. The same goes for Thomas Swanston’s "Look! A Crane Overhead," found in the master bedroom. The bright gilded piece was placed on a huge wall so its reflection would brighten the whole room.


Share with us how the home reflects the Petersons’ personalities.
Walk into the house and you’ll see both sides of the homeowners. On the one hand, the Petersons are very family-oriented; they relish every moment together. That’s why we created rooms conducive to gathering with family and friends. At the same time, they like the finer things in life. They appreciate quality and understand the difference between buying a generic, mass-produced piece versus buying something local or handcrafted. The home is an absolute convergence of these distinct traits.





ARCHITECTURE by Scott Turnipseed AIA, INTERIOR DESIGN by Slifer Designs, Yvonne Jacobs and design associate Audrey Barriault, GREAT ROOM LARGE SOFA custom made GREAT ROOM SMALL SOFA Christian Grevstad, GREAT ROOM COFFEE TABLE  Formations, GREAT ROOM OCCASIONAL CHAIRS Christian Grevstad, TV CABINET  Bausman & Company, GREAT ROOM CHANDELIER  Solaria, FIREPLACE CONSOLE  Therien Studio, GREAT ROOM WINDOW CONSOLE Old Town Crossing, GREAT ROOM FIREPLACE ART “Sheridan Horses,” Watts Fine Art GREAT ROOM WALL ART Aspen Art Gallery, DINING AREA LOUNGE CHAIRS Kravets Furniture, DINING AREA AREA RUGG Ruggs Benedict, DINING TABLE Bausman & Co, DINING CHAIRS Michael Berman DINING AREA CHANDELIER  Dennis & Lean, LIBRARY SOFA Custom, gray mohair fabric from Richman Upholstery, LIBRARY SWIVEL CHAIRS  Century, Fabric “Caramel Plaid” from LuLu, LIBRARY SIDE TABLE Edward Ferrell LIBRARY COCKTAIL OTTOMAN Custom, leather from Jasper Fabric LIBRARY ROUND OTTOMANS Kravets Furniture,, leather from Cortina Leather, BEDROOM CHEST Ebanista, BED PPM Collections, BEDROOM BENCH Kravet Furniture, BEDROOM LAMP Porta Romana,, BEDROOM ART “Look A Crane Overhead,” Bill Lowe Gallery OUTDOOR COFFEE TABLE Brown Jordan OUTDOOR SOFA Brown Jordan,, fabric from Donghia Textile,, OUTDOOR CHAIRS Brown Jordan,,  fabric from Donghia Textile,





Start the Conversation

Premier Resources