Located right in downtown Steamboat Springs, Colorado, this home is in the heart of the city. But it’s also a mountain refuge, with a running creek behind it and adjacent trail access that leads to National Forest, making it the best of both worlds—especially considering that it shelters a busy family with three kids aged eleven, thirteen, and fifteen.
Designed by Lindsey Jamison of Rumor Designs—and for Lindsey Jamison of Rumor Designs—the project is exemplary of the firm’s ability to honor the integrity of traditional mountain homes while also giving them a decidedly fresh, modern feel and optimizing them for modern life.
Jamison’s “sense of style was obvious: convivial, bold, eclectic,” she says. “However the exterior, with its understated, recessed entry, and dominating garage door facade so common of early ’90s homes, was completely underwhelming,” so she partnered with Chancie Keenan of Mountain Architecture Design Group to give it a refresh.
Take a peek inside her house on a virtual tour ahead. Let’s start in the entryway and work our way through (wait until you see the epic game room!).
“Our main objective, in addition to updating the finishes throughout the house, was building out a mudroom/entry area,” says Keenan. “While this new entry element became the rightful focal point, it also blended with the simplicity of the existing roof forms.
“When you entered the home, you walked right into the living room without the proper landing area. We added a mudroom with cubbies for the kids and hooks to hang our gear,” Jamison tells us. “We separated the entry from the mudroom with a modern glass barn door. We had the room to take space from our current porch and to utilize it for a mudroom and proper entry.”
This space was one of the biggest challenges because it required reworking some of the bones.”We were able to add dimension and redirect the focus to the entry with board-form concrete landscape walls of varying heights, and exposing the structural steel beam and column which support the new entry roof,” Keenan explains.
“The living room is the hub of the house, connected to the kitchen and entry,” says Jamison. “You’ll notice the mixed patterns but the colors are repeated throughout the rooms,” in the home to create a cohesive color story. To brighten up the room, the designer painted the ceiling wood panels a crisp white. “We love having a bright white blank canvas to begin filling it with bright colors, textures, and patterns that highlight personality, favorite treasures, and things that make the family happy,” she explains.
Since the family uses the rec room to watch movies and television, they were able to avoid that classic TV-in-the-living-room conundrum and focus on the fireplace. “The original stone was removed and we added concrete backgammon patterned, black and white tile, a new fireplace insert while opting for no mantle to keep a clean and modern look,” she tells us. The geometric fireplace pattern both contrasts with and complements the graphic polka dot rug. These black and white anchors served as a nice backdrop for pops of yellow introduced by the furniture and artwork.
Feeling like a sofa would make the room feel small and interrupt the flow between the living room and the dining room, Jamison “opted for individual accent chairs to make the room feel casual and easy to walk through creating one large space between living and dining.” And instead of one coffee table, she chose two low-to-the-ground options layered together for a lighter feel (they’re also easier to move around into new various configurations—perfect for family game night).
Pro-tip form Rumor Designs for anyone with an A-frame: “A vignette along with the white back wall with layers of artwork, vases, and lighting on a geometric console will add depth and height where the ceiling slopes,” Jamison says.
Jamison wanted the dining room and kitchen area to feel casual, fun, and relaxed to accommodate the family’s easygoing personality and lifestyle. “We used a ping pong table as the dining table as a unique approach” that also speaks to their personality, Jamison explains. “It’s a beautiful walnut table with a leather net, which is removed for dinner and set back up for after-dinner fun,” she says.
What really drove the color palette in this room was the artwork, which brings out the blue-gray colors and complements the bold pop of Fuschia. Jamison also loves wallpaper and the idea of enhancing the fifth wall (translation: the ceiling). The bright white walls really allow the paper to shine in the design spotlight. The floors are another standout moment. “The rug under the table is made up of individual carpet squares,” and Jamison “made her own oblong pattern and mixed a few random pink squares to add more interest.”
As for seating, “mixing and matching the dining chairs keeps the room interesting,” says the designer. “I found two wingback chairs at a consignment shop and had them reupholstered in a modern geometric fabric. Adding benches on the table ends allows for even more casual family seating and the faux leather is easy to wipe down.”
In a room where function is everything, it’s no surprise that an appliance actually dictated the design. “The kitchen inspiration came from the Big Chill fridge,” Jamison says. “We knew the cherry red would be a focal point of the kitchen so we finished the walls in a bright white quartz that wraps around the hood, allowing visual space to showcase bright-colored dishes.” It’s a throwback to the 1950s, so the island mimics a similar tradition with the midcentury style and shape, as does the vintage rug that ties it all together.
To open up the space, Jamison decided to remove the upper cabinets, added open shelving for easy access to bowls and dishware, and kept the lower cabinetry but painted a glam navy tone and given a second life with new hardware. “The wallpaper on the back kitchen wall ties in the black and white color scheme in the living room,” the designer points out. “It’s a fun space with a lot of personality. You want to be in the kitchen!”
This space originally had a built-in tub/shower combination, but it felt too bulky in the space, so they decided to remove the tub and opted for a single spacious shower for guests. “The marble tiles are reminiscent of old stained glass, but set in a modern pattern. It looks like a piece of art you can see at the end of the hallway,” Jamison tells us. Because the bathroom is intended to be a place to relax and refresh, Jamison opted for white subway tiles. They’re “so classic and are a place for the guest to rest their eye,” she says. Then, for some contrast, “dark paint was selected for the walls to contrast the white shower tile and light porcelain flooring.”
The ultimate objective for Jamison’s youngest daughter’s room was to bring her bold personality to life. “She’s a free spirit and isn’t afraid to be colorful,” says the designer. “We originally thought of wallpaper for one accent wall but then decided to paper the entire room after seeing the print in the space.” These bright and bold surroundings are the perfect place to seek inspiration and think outside the box. Jamison also mixed bold prints in this room and incorporated a few one-of-a-kind items found at a few antique shops, including the floor lamp and vintage orange leather Herman Miller desk chair.
Jamison’s 13-year-old son lives in this room, and the goal was to design a space he wouldn’t outgrow too quickly, since he’s at a transitional age. The biggest source of inspiration came from the wood accent wall, which anchors the entire room. “We wanted to achieve a cabin feel, working in wood, leather, and plaid fabrics with a touch of mid-century aesthetic,” explains the designer. “We didn’t want the rustic wood look, but more of a clean Scandinavian feel.”
“The vintage skis on the ceiling were a creative nod to our Steamboat lifestyle and make a fun conversation piece for friends. We’ve seen the DIY ski wall in homes in plenty of ski town design, but wanted to mix it up by applying them to the ceiling,” much like the fun ceiling moment in the dining room. Like the rest of the home, the vintage accents work well with contemporary items, capturing a balance of old and new.
If the living room is the hub of the house, this is the heart and where all the fun action unfolds. The family uses it to watch movies, play games, and entertain, but the kids also use it to do homework and study. Like the rest of the home, it feels eclectic and full of personality thanks to vintage touches, including the SMEG beverage fridge, low, floor cushioned furniture and a pool table. “We wanted a relaxed and inviting feel bringing the same bold colors and textures from the main level to the lower level,” explains Jamison.
Jamison also wanted to highlight fun family photography as well as her kids’s artwork collected through the years, so she created a gallery wall with different sizes and styles of frames. “We painted the wall Peacock Blue to make the artwork pop,” she says. “The VW bus mural fit the aesthetic of this room complimenting the vintage pieces, and became a fun, cheeky design choice in a mountain home. The black and white carpet tiles in a cow print, meanwhile, speak to the more grown-up polished black and white scheme in the living room.
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