Midcentury Charm in Aspen
An active businessman finds the perfect home for work and play
As a proud Colorado native, financial entrepreneur and investor William Trefethen knew Aspen was his ideal setting to lay down roots. “Aspen was always one of my favorite places on Earth,” he says. “It was a dream of mine to live there one day.” The dream became a reality in 2016, when the father of two adult children bought a townhouse in the Aspen core, but he soon realized he wanted more space to comfortably work from home and host casual gatherings. “I had always loved Red Butte Drive and I’m a big fan of midcentury architecture, so I bought a home there.”
Located on one of Aspen’s highly desired streets, the 2,600-square-foot home that Trefethen purchased was in need of a refresh. Built in 1974, the well-appointed space oozed Midcentury Modern charm. “I think most people would have demoed the home for the lot, but I wanted to restore and improve the home, keeping most of the midcentury elements intact,” he explains.
To update the abode, Trefethen enlisted architect Kurt Carruth of Hinge Architects in Glenwood Springs to draw up concepts. “The house had a good feel to it, even before the renovation,” Carruth recalls. “Good natural lighting, and the layout was well done too—it felt bigger than it was. The client wanted an updated feel. Not rustic, but definitely Mountain Modern inspired.”
To achieve the mountain-mod feel, the remodeling project included renewing cabinets and flooring, replacing exterior surfaces and updating all finishes. While many midcentury elements were maintained, the popcorn ceilings and orange-peel walls were removed.
The resulting interior has a warm and cozy vibe thanks to an eye-calming, neutral color palette throughout. In the living room, the homeowner’s contemporary aesthetic includes the use of metal, wood, leather and chunky textures—as seen in the rugs, accessories, woven chairs and reclaimed wood pieces— juxtaposed against marble, glass and modern elements. “The lines are clean, and overall it’s sophisticated yet very comfortable,” interior designer Sherry Engle explains.
The primary bedroom mirrors the warm neutrals found elsewhere in the home. The space is anchored by a welcoming wood-burning fireplace that is balanced by an oversize window providing spectacular mountain views. Sliding glass doors open to an expansive deck overlooking the side yard, running stream and pond. “I expanded the decks of the home to bring the outside in,” Trefethen says. “The home has four decks, each with its unique view of the surrounding mountains and landscape.”
Trefethen brought with him a museum-worthy collection of art that informed the design decisions. “My art collection consists of pieces I have collected over the last 20 years,” he explains. “It’s a collection featuring well-known artists like America Martin, Jane Maxwell and Mary Finlayson and many other pieces I have collected from galleries and shows on the East Coast, West Coast and Mountain West.”
The charming home is situated on an acre of land, which includes a large grass front yard and private side yard with three running streams and a pond. The home basks in the eloquence of nature, surrounded by towering aspen trees. Steps away are the Roaring Fork River and Rio Grande Trail, providing a serene escape on busy workdays.
Renovation of the home took 18 months, much during the height of the pandemic. Once complete, the Trefethen is thrilled with the updated retreat that evokes a sense of character and history. “I love it here,” he says. “And I’m glad it’s done!”