An Art-Filled Home in Crested Butte
Overlooking a ski run, this modern mountain abode is filled with natural light and stunning art
When Dallas couple Jennifer and Mike Cichy went looking for a place to escape the hot Texas summers and found a gorgeous plot of land overlooking a ski run at Crested Butte, they knew they needn’t look any further. “A friend introduced us to the area and we fell in love with the community,” says Jennifer. “Plus, we couldn’t believe the wonderful summer weather.”
The couple’s traditional-style primary residence led them to want something new in a second home. “We felt like we could take more risks this time around,” says Jennifer, “so we wanted the vibe to be more moody, dramatic and modern.” They went in search of an architect who could help them achieve a curated mountain modern design, ultimately selecting Andrew Hadley, local to Crested Butte. “He had built a home in the same subdivision and we adored it,” says Jennifer. With Hadley on board, he suggested builder David Gross and the team broke land.
“The overall style they wanted to achieve meant highlighting the architectural bones of the house,” says trusted Texas interior designer Staci Steidley of Studio Steidley. Having previously designed the couple’s living room in their primary residence, she felt comfortable taking on the project while based hundreds of miles away. “They opted for exposed beams and vast picturesque windows,” says Steidley. “The couple’s vision also involved creating different personalities for each room. The art drove all the fabrics and finishes. We began each room by selecting a mix of abstract designs and photography to hang on the walls, then we would pick the other fabrics and textures to pull the room together.”
Because summer is the homeowners’ main season to enjoy Crested Butte, they placed their focus on indoor-outdoor spaces rather than giving attention to more classic areas like a dining room or an office. “Most of our entertaining takes place on the porch, so we maximized our space,” says Jennifer. Since there wasn’t much wiggle room within the 2,500-square-foot home, the choice to cut out unnecessary areas allowed their outdoor spaces to pack a bigger punch.
The process was quickly halted due to the pandemic, but that didn’t scare Steidley. “Patience was key,” she explains. “Long-distance projects typically call for around four site visits so we can take a pulse check on things, but because we were building during the pandemic, we had to get creative.” Virtually, she designed the entire interior, completely relying on photos.
Not only did the pandemic alter the project, but over the course of the four-year build, the couple expanded their family to welcome their now two-year-old child. “A lot of our focus changed,” says Jennifer. “Instead of having a guest bedroom, we chose to go with a bunk room, along with now needing to babyproof different areas.” Luckily, their designer was comfortable making changes. “Sometimes it can be more difficult to stay true to the design’s original intent without sacrificing quality or look after pivoting,” says Steidley, “but we took our time making sure everything matched the vision.”