Jul 07, 2023

Interior Designer Barbara Glass's Colorado Chalet

This Aspen chalet is warm and cozy in all the right ways.

Though Aspen-based Barbara Glass adhered to the Colorado gated community's strict exterior style guidelines—dark logs and intricate chinking were a must—she had plenty of fun with the interiors of this mountain chalet. “The homeowners are originally from Midland, Texas, and wanted a vacation getaway with a rustic cabin feel that could easily house their children and grandchildren,” Glass explains. “A focus on their family was really important because they wanted beautiful spaces that everyone could enjoy."

The five-bedroom home’s internal spaces may not be limited to the same requirements as the exterior architecture, but Glass didn’t completely abandon the traditional mountain home look, incorporating lived-in plaster ceilings, custom iron fixtures throughout, and reclaimed antique wood beams and matching oak floors. “Reclaimed beams are so interesting,” Glass says. “They can come from multiple different places and artfully come together in one home. No beam is the same, so it gives character to the space.”

The rugged natural surroundings are just as eye-catching as the 4,000-square-foot home’s colorful rooms. “The home takes advantage of the mountain views with a large deck that features an outdoor fireplace and lots of space for lounging and dining,” Glass says.

The clients and their large family make use of their chalet just as much in the summer as they do when the nearby mountain is blanketed in snow. Because the months look and feel so different, Glass outfitted the spaces to pair well with each season’s aesthetic. The plaids, florals, and stripes on the furniture and rugs look just as good against a lush green backdrop as they do a bright white blizzard or the changing fall leaves. In fact, she became so moved by the mountains that she invited an artist to paint a local mountain scene on the living room sofa.

All of the rooms, however, were thoughtfully designed and curated with the environment in mind. Glass says, “Lots of layering of textures goes a long way to achieving an inspired mountain look as it combines colors, patterns, and styles in an organic way.”

Glass worked with Poss Architecture + Planning and Interior Design on the exterior architecture of the new build, which was erected in 2020. “The Roaring Fork Club has a campus-like feel, which meant the team had to work within the club’s prescribed parameters on the exterior of the home.”

Glass opted for older wood over new planks because she wanted the floors and walls to have a little extra charisma. “The walls are covered in a hem fir that has been wire-brushed to give it texture. We wanted the wood walls to not appear too dark and heavy yet to have depth to them,” she explains. The floors are antique white oak with knots.

Pictured above.

“This is the main living space,” Glass explains. “The porch runs along the entire length of the house and the windows open up to give the homeowners an extensive indoor/outdoor space.” She created the coveted warm and welcoming cabin feel with a Claire Crowe Collection fireplace screen, an Isberian Rug Company floor covering, and a set of plaid Jasper swivel chairs.

The high ceiling is grounded by a Paul Ferrante chandelier that gives the whole space a sense of understated grandeur. She explains, “The room is layered with lots of wonderful textures and patterns to give the house a warm and cozy feeling. And because there is so much wood in the room it really needed the brighter colors to bring it to life.”

Technically, this is the family room, but Glass wanted to make it a bit more fun, so she incorporated a traditional game table from Mulligan’s. “I love this room with the textured wallcovering and cozy alpaca rug,” she says.

The A. Rudin L-shaped sectional faces a large television for family movie nights.

Admittedly, the homeowners are not big cooks, but that didn’t deter Glass from designing a world-class kitchen. “The kitchen is open to the dining and living rooms, so it really becomes a comfortable gathering space for hanging out,” she says. “I wanted to break up the wood here, so I made the kitchen island a rustic painted finish with a really interesting stone slab and integrated sink.” She turned to Paul Ferrante for the stools and hanging red lantern.

Though some designers refuse to pick a favorite space, the upstairs guest bedroom is Glass’s. “I love it because of the plaid upholstery and Rose Tarlow floral drapery; the play of the different patterns feels so cozy.”

“We had the bunk room created for the grandchildren. The beds were designed with drapes and the space has a charming dog theme.” All of the beds were custom made and finished with curtains from Chelsea Textiles.

Though most of the rooms boast sweeping views of the natural landscapes, the primary bedroom has the best of the bunch. Glass explains, “This room is on the ground floor, so it opens onto the porch. I wanted to lighten the space, so I chose a bright rug and fabrics. I still wanted to play with the mix of wool plaids and linen florals.”

“I love this Waterworks tub! I wanted to make the shower room have an overall pattern balanced out by the simple wood walls and antique limestone floors. This beautiful tub is so classic in form and material, but feels very current in the space,” Glass says.

Because Glass knew the family would spend so much time outside during the warmer months, she wanted to create an exceptionally comfortable space. She opted for a sectional and chairs from Holly Hunt and a Stone Yard Collections table.

House Beautiful: Did you encounter any memorable hiccups, challenges, or surprises during the project? How did you pivot?

Barbara Glass: Absolutely! It's always challenging to collate a variety of ideas into one cohesive set of designs. I firmly believe that no matter the project, design is problem-solving. It’s not just fluffing pillows, but is also solving complicated issues. Combining a variety of visions into one beautiful look is always a challenge, but ultimately very rewarding.

HB: Where did the majority of the budget go?

BG: There was some degree of customization in the home, but I believe that anyone embarking on this type of project should have a balanced mix of your budget. You should have a few really amazing pieces that stand out, then you can balance the budget by introducing things that are less expensive. No matter the budget, it’s always important to mix costs and blend where you’re spending and where you’re saving.

HB: How did you save money?

BG: We used wallpapers and wall upholsteries and plaster, etc., to make each room unique, but all pertaining to the mountain feel and to the uniqueness of each space. In the mudroom, we used a porcelain tile that looked like the grain of a tree. It was extremely durable, more budget-conscious and worked well with the overall palette of the space.

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House Beautiful: Did you encounter any memorable hiccups, challenges, or surprises during the project? How did you pivot?HB: Where did the majority of the budget go? HB: How did you save money? Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.