Photos by Damon Searles Photography
On a 200-acre site in Allenspark sits a grand home that offers views from every room in the 4,988-square-foot house. Not to be outdone, the accompanying guesthouse, once a livery, features a mix of rustic décor with high-end finishes.
At the end of a gravel road that winds through groves of aspens, by meadows of wildflowers and over a creek, there is a family retreat like no other in Colorado. A custom-built home and bunkhouse that fulfill the owners’ goals of creating a space to enjoy modern comforts without living apart from the beauty around them.
The original home on the 200-acre site that straddles the counties of Larimer and Boulder, was taken down to the foundation and architect David Hueter designed the new home in its place. The homeowners wanted Hueter to design a cozy and livable space that blended seamlessly into the mountain environment and showcased as much of the outside world as possible, and this is exactly what Hueter created and Splittgerber Professional Builders built.
The two-bedroom, four-bath house affords views from every room, including floor-to-ceiling windows in the living area that perfectly frame Longs Peak. The main room utilizes an open plan design with intimate areas defined by the placement of a large stone fireplace.
Vistas are everywhere, and even the master bathroom provides a grand outdoor panorama thanks to the owner who suggested installing a sliding mirror. The mirror can be slid out to the side in order to take maximum advantage of the awe-inspiring tableau of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Little touches like the sliding bathroom mirror occur through the ranch house, which features extraordinary furniture, art and rugs sourced by the Steamboat Springs-based interior design company, Home on the Range.
“It was a fun project,” says Lynne Barton Bier of Home on the Range. “The views are so unbelievable and when we helped work on the interior finishes the goal was to bring the outside in with the rock, reclaimed wood and the soft colors of the environment.”
For instance, the copper bathtub in the master bathroom incorporates earthly materials into the home’s interior milieu.
“Stone plays a big role here,” says Rick Splittgerber, who has been in the home building business for more than 40 years. “Every piece of stone was hand-chiseled around the edges to fit into place without any mortar.”
Nature is on full visual display in the long, windowed bridge that attaches the foundation of the original house with the new section that boasts an oversized workout studio, a bathroom and additional garage space.
“We fit this architectural feature into the natural setting and the bridge just works perfectly,” says Hueter, who approaches his job more as an art than architecture.
He explains that the site was well-suited for a walkway to link the distinct sections of the house, and the organic flow between the two is self-evident as one moves through the bridge.
“It’s a unique home for our area,” says Hueter.
A Fun & Funky Bunkhouse
Set apart from the ranch house, the bunkhouse/guest house was once a livery, and Splittgerber and Home on the Range spent a great deal of time on this building. It was the first project completed on the property. Splittgerber designed and then completely rebuilt the bunkhouse which included lifting the building to build a new foundation and raising the ceilings on the top story to establish a more open living space.
“Rick was unbelievable in his ability to figure out how to leave original parts of the bunkhouse and redo everything else,” says Bier. “The owners wanted to keep that funky, cozy, cabin-feel to the building and it really feels like it’s been there forever.”
The 2,228-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom bunkhouse is quirky with tiny stairways and hidden rooms around every cockeyed corner. It’s a fully functioning, contemporary home that retains a rustic, livery-look thanks to reclaimed wood throughout. Despite the barnwood and homey feel, there’s a modern kitchen on the top floor and thoughtful, unobtrusive lighting in the hallways and rooms.
The bunkhouse interiors are rough-hewed, and yet supple throw rugs cover the floors, and luxurious fur blankets grace the beds.
Whereas the ranch house is open with vaulted ceilings, the bunkhouse feels like a comfortable place to curl up with a good book on a cold night, although summers here are good too. The bunkhouse features two big patios and a screened in porch with beautiful views of the property’s crystal blue lake.
The ranch house and bunkhouses are homes that Splittgerber is proud to have been involved with, as are the rest of the designers and craftsmen who worked on the project.
Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer covers festivals and travels across the west. She’s the founder of HeidiTown.com and author of The Heidi Guide for Mountain Living. To comment on this article, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.