Melissa Greenauer (greenauer.com) believes in designing rooms “from the walls in,” and that’s just what she did in this 5,000-square-foot home located in Wolcott. Working with the home’s architect, she and her team at Vail-based Greenauer Design Group first introduced beam-work and built-ins to the home’s shell, and then let the sophisticated, comfortable interiors grow organically. The result, she says, is one of her favorite projects to date. “There’s nothing I’d change in it.
Melissa Greenauer (greenauer.com) believes in designing rooms “from the walls in,” and that’s just what she did in this 5,000-square-foot home located in Wolcott. Working with the home’s architect, she and her team at Vail-based Greenauer Design Group first introduced beam-work and built-ins to the home’s shell, and then let the sophisticated, comfortable interiors grow organically. The result, she says, is one of her favorite projects to date. “There’s nothing I’d change in it. From the finishes to the furniture, I just feel like it’s really well-matched.”
Having worked with the homeowner before, Greenauer knew the look and feel he’d want for his Colorado home, which he uses as a golf getaway and holiday retreat. “It’s not cowboy, but has sort of an Indian tone,” she says. “Not Southwest, but sort of more traditional. Nothing’s overstated. It just has a really comfortable look.” The home is an elegant lodge with a distinctly Western twist.
Light alder cabinets draw attention to the sun pouring in through the bay window, which illuminates the kitchen table—a favorite gathering spot during informal get-togethers. During more formal events, a high countertop and partial wall help to block kitchen clutter from the view of guests in the adjoining great room.
Greenauer created balanced transitions in the one-level, hacienda-style house by employing the same design elements from room to room. The master bedroom and guest living spaces each have their own wings, joined in the middle by a great room, dining room, powder room and kitchen. To bring harmony to the main living spaces, she coated the walls in subtle earth tones; hung simple, wrought-iron chandeliers and sconces; and left the hardwood floors relatively bare, except for a Native American-inspired area rug here and there. She grounded each room with weighty furniture—nothing is delicate or dainty in this rocky retreat—and with broad, flat surfaces that occupy the same relatively low-slung plane. Stone, timber and earth tones abound, with upholstered pops of color thrown in.
Greenauer and her team gave the newly constructed home a more established look by building several of the furnishings and interior doors from parts and pieces of reclaimed wood. The dining table, for example, appears to have been purchased during the homeowner’s international travels, but it was actually constructed using wood from old columns, mantelpieces and moldings carved by artisans worldwide. “It’s a very unique look, one of a kind,” Greenauer says.
The powder room’s carved wooden door, vanity and mirror carry that one-of-a-kind style into tighter quarters. And the wall’s patterned red tiles
recall the woven Native American rugs throughout the house. “Those are painted tiles,” Greenauer says. “They’re Italian, but I thought they just worked with the clean look.”
While she wanted to maintain the simplicity of the design, even in the small bathroom, Greenauer added one bolder element to the room: a red, Pakistani onyx vessel sink. The sink draws a beautiful contrast with the room’s deep and heavy wood tones, “like a piece of art.” One bold piece takes the place of smaller decorative knickknacks, which would look like clutter in this solidly furnished house. “Not every nook and cranny is full,” she says, “and I don’t think you need to fill them to come up with a look. Let things stand and speak for themselves.”
“He’s got awesome views,” Greenauer says. “And since the house sits only on one level, it definitely has that ‘outdoors-in’ feel.” Rather than competing with the panoramic natural setting, Greenauer wanted to make the home a sophisticated escape from the elements with deep-cushioned seating and a roaring fire in the fireplace.
In the kitchen, Greenauer created more contrast by installing light cabinets made of a rustic, distressed alder next to the dark green-and-black granite countertops. “I wanted to have some definition,” she says. “I didn’t want it to feel like you’d walked into a box of chocolates.” To keep the space cohesive, she drew visual connections with the adjoining great room by mirroring the stone fireplace with an equally substantial stone stove-surround. “We had a really, really heavy fireplace and we wanted to ground the other side of the house,” she says.
To achieve a comfortably unified design in interconnected rooms, the key is to strive for balance and simplicity. “Let’s not have 10 things to focus on,” she says. “Let’s create a focal point and then build around it. Be it the weight of things, be it rustic—just have the same common thread running through.” No doubt this home is the perfect tribute to this design philosophy.