Bringing Nature Inside Your Vacation Home

A designer, architect, contractor, and client collaborated to bring the outdoors into a vacation home.

Photo courtesy of Suman Architects

Alongside the Vail Valley Golf Course sits a home like no other. We spoke with Kari Foster, principal designer at Associates III, who collaborated with Mike Suman of Suman Architects and Beck Building Company to create the perfect vacation home for her client.

The vision

The home was designed to enhance the sophisticated and serene lifestyle the family sought to contrast their regular urban residence. Ultimately, the space offers an escape into nature. Foster says, “We stuck with the theme of nature and nurture because they’re surrounded by nature. They’re sort of in the middle of this oasis. It’s quite powerful.”

The execution

Suman used stone and wood to convey the feeling of the outdoors in both the exterior and the interior. Foster says, “Our challenge was to be able to add warmth into this contemporary environment and to make it warm and welcoming for them. We did that with the use of colors, materials, and textures that melded with nature.” The heart of the home, the second level, comprises the living room, family room, kitchen, and dining room. Sliding doors from Weiland open wide in both directions, “so they’re facing nature on either side of them and they’re huddled in this cozy, warm, spa-like atmosphere inside.” The team used wild silk carpeting from Fort Street Studios. Much of the furniture came from Promemoria, Burman Rosetti, and Denver’s Hempt’s Upholstery. The open space and comfortable yet chic pieces offer a cozy area in which the family gathers.

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Photo courtesy of Suman Architects

The unifying theme

The staircase, connecting the three levels and designed by Suman, adds a curvilinear, branch-like element to the rectangular motif that is seen throughout the design of the home. For a casually elegant and warm look, the team used naturally oiled walnut wood throughout for flooring, cabinetry, and millwork. Organic elements were key features in the design. “We took a less-is-more approach because nature is so beautiful and magnificent,” says Foster. “We didn’t want to compete with that.”