A Colorado Classic
The owners enjoy unwinding in front of the great room’s large fireplace, where a four-foot tall iron screen designed by Kevin Clark Originals features a scene of trees, leaves and deer.
The owners enjoy unwinding in front of the great room's large fireplace, where a four-foot tall iron screen designed by Kevin Clark Originals features a scene of trees, leaves and deer. A bronze sculpture entitled “A Little Time Off” by artist Greg Kelsey gets prime position atop the stone mantle.
A large iron-and-alabaster light fixture presides over the dining room, which features a table and traditional plaid-and-leather-wrapped chairs by Ralph Lauren—Frank's go-to design house for classic pieces. Heavy velvet drapes in forest green draw the eye outdoors to surrounding evergreen trees.
Style is subjective, but Patrick and Donna Martin's Eagle County home is one that nurtures an appreciation for classic mountain design. The golden glow of iron sconces, grand stone fireplaces, supple leather and classic plaid fabrics creates a mountain style reminiscent of the luxurious hotels nearby. “I designed the interior with the elegant lobbies of resorts like the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in mind,” says Vail- and Denver-based interior designer Tonya Frank. “I wanted to create an approachable style, a place where you could put your feet up in front of the fire and relax with a good book.”
Originally built as an entertainment and vacation home for the Martins and their grown children, the house is a place where family and friends can nestle in together during the holiday and ski seasons. Located on 35 acres in Cordillera's Timber Springs community, the home's ageless elegance offers warmth and comfort that permeate the open floor plan, underscored by an enviable western art collection, fine leathers and furnishings, and exquisitely tailored fabrics from Ralph Lauren and Robert Allen. “We travel for several months out of the year,” Donna Martin says, “but we enjoy spending a good portion of our time here. We also have a large family and love to have everyone home for the holidays”—which is why the couple opted for a classic high-country style.
The interior's pared-down palette of materials emphasizes a connection with the home's idyllic mountain landscape. A creek winds through the property, creating spectacular waterfalls visible from the great room. The drive to the house crosses a bridge constructed of the same Colorado moss rock found throughout the home's interior and exterior architecture. And the beams that traverse the great room ceiling? Builder Mike Coles purchased trees salvaged from a fire in Yellowstone National Park, and had them carved into log beams. “Some of the burns are still visible on the exterior logs,” he says.
Nearly every room in the house features doors that open to outdoor living spaces. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer pristinely private views of New York Mountain and natural landscape. Frank designed stationary window treatments in heavy velvets and richly colored plaids to add warmth and interest to the walls without sacrificing the views. “The owners were originally opposed to window treatments for fear they would detract from the views. But the house needed them to cozy up the large rooms,” she explains.
Simple details are the key to stunning classic design, Frank says. “I advise clients not to over-decorate a mountain home. Pick high-quality pieces that can be easily re-upholstered. Leather is an excellent investment, and ages well.” Frank re-upholstered antique chairs that the couple already owned and added a new leather couch and ottoman with nail-head trim to create a stunning fireplace seating arrangement. The classic furniture in the home's gathering spaces is anchored by beautiful rugs that the owners purchased during their travels abroad. The rugs work well together—and with the home's design—thanks to their high quality and complementary colors.
Frank worked with Kevin Clark Originals to design the lighting. Her goal: unify the home's adjacent spaces. In the great room, a two-tier, iron-and-alabaster chandelier matches the size and scale of the space, while a more diminutive fixture featuring the same pinecone-and-leaf design illuminates the entry hall.
Throughout the home, Frank used the owners' sculptures, bronzes and other art as accessories wherever possible. “When the Martins travel, they like to attend art shows and auctions,” she says. “They are always adding to their collection.” The design also showcases the Martins' pottery and baskets from Africa.
Even the paint colors were chosen to highlight the vast art collection: neutral walls enhance the vivid color in the western-inspired paintings. “We chose a color that would allow the art to become the walls,” Frank says. She even placed large landscape paintings on walls without windows to create an alternative view.
The classic mountain serenity of the home has had such an effect on the Martins that they now claim the Cordillera house as their primary residence. “The more time we spend here, the more we love it,” Donna Martin says. “Life comes at a slower pace. There's something very special about our home.”