A Colorado vacation house with plenty of room for improvement becomes a modern mountain retreat for a Texas couple and their extended family.
As a real estate developer based in Austin, Texas, Frank Trabold knows a thing or two about enhancing environments. So when it came to remodeling the 10,000-square-foot vacation home he and wife Colleen purchased in Vail, Colorado, five years ago, Frank had a clear vision of what would make the better. “I always try to improve things, and this house had a lot to be improved,” he says with a laugh.
One of the main issues was that the home didn’t take full advantage of the spectacular scenery just outside its doors. The living room fireplace, for instance, filled up a good portion of one of the exterior walls, blocking the views of the surrounding mountains and river. Additionally, the modest deck out back felt more like an afterthought than a focal point. “We wanted the outdoors to be brought into the house,” Frank says. But creating an indoor-outdoor connection was just the first goal of what would become a full-scale, years-long renovation — a job that included installing 12-foot windows and glass doors in the main living area, almost tripling the size of the back deck, reconfiguring the kitchen, converting the basement level into a family room and bunkroom, and much more.
To get the property in tiptop shape, Frank and Colleen knew they needed the right team in place, so they called on architect Greg Wyatt and interior designer Cheri Etchelecu Martin (both based in Dallas) to handle the design, and they hired David Hyde out of Vail to head up construction. The result is a luxurious, light-filled showplace where nature is celebrated indoors and out.
In the Trees
To furnish the expanded patio, designer Cheri Etchelecu Martin chose a variety of seating options by Janus et Cie, including the rockers around the new fire pit and the chairs in the separate lounge areas. The deck’s frameless glass railings provide safety without obstructing the view.
Before the remodel, there was only one way to access the lower level of the house, so the Trabolds added this glass-railed stairway that leads from the main floor to the basement. Cheri completed the look with an installation of John Pomp glass pendants that she calls “functional art.” The lights can be seen from the street and from the back deck, mimicking the appearance of a starry night.
“There aren’t many areas of the house that we did not touch,” says the homeowner. And that includes the previously rustic exterior, which now features a copper roof and clear cedar siding alongside the original stone cladding.
The Trabolds have three adult children with spouses, as well as one grandchild and another on the way, so the house needed to be able to sleep a crowd. Though the lower-level bunkroom was added with the grandchildren in mind, Cheri put a sophisticated spin on what is typically thought of as a kids space. The custom beds (queen size below, twin size above) are outfitted with serene blue bedding, custom pillows, sleek sconces, and USB outlets.
A Place to Unwind
The basement was just an unfinished space when the Trabolds bought the house. Now it’s an elegant yet comfortable family room. But with the wood on the ceiling and the stone on the back wall and floor, Cheri knew noise was going to be a problem, so she added fabric panels on the remaining walls to absorb the sound. The sofa, swivel chairs, and coffee table are by Holly Hunt, and the painting is by Houston artist Cookie Ashton. The backsplash for the wet bar is a mirrored tile by Ann Sacks.
Previously a mudroom, this powder bath features Ann Sacks’ Petrified Wood marble tile on the floor, a Phillip Jeffries grasscloth wallcovering, and a custom-built demilune vanity backed by a wall of bronze tile.
Calm, Cool, Collected
“It was meant to be a very soothing room, so our colors are soft and muted,” Cheri says of the homeowners’ bedroom. The acid-washed hair-on hide rug from Truett Fine Carpets & Rugs in Dallas perfectly complements the wooden-framed bed and its neutral pillows and linens. The new floor-to-ceiling windows offer expansive views of the surrounding landscape.
Though the kitchen was reconfigured to make it more functional for the Trabolds’ specific needs, they were able to save many of the Bulthaup cabinets, just refinishing them in a lighter shade and adding brushed brass hardware. The island—complete with a raised breakfast bar—is a custom design, and the countertops and backsplash are Explosion Blue quartzite. “It’s so dramatic,” Cheri says of the durable natural stone. “We wanted something that was going to bring a lot of color.”
Architecture: Wyatt & Associates, wyatt-and-associates.com
Construction: Shaeffer Hyde Construction, shaefferhyde.com
Interior Design: Cheri Etchelecu Interior Design, ceid.net
Photography: (All images) Ric Stovall/courtesy Stovall Studio
From our October 2021 issue