In Summit County, home design highlights the breathtaking views
Tracey Egolf’s home had a million-dollar view, but only from the outside.
Although the splendor of the Continental Divide unfolded from the front of the house, there were only two tall, skinny windows to offer slivers of the grand vista.
The poor planning irritated Egolf, not only from a personal standpoint but as an interior designing professional, whose day job is to help clients realize their own design dreams.
So Egolf put up with the poor design throughout the winter and then as soon as it warmed up she tore out the wall and put in large 9-foot windows.
“It was the best thing I ever did,” she said, “because I could sit and be connected to the outdoors.”
In addition to the structure, layout and inner workings, the interior design is a highly important factor in a home.
“It improves your attitude, it improves everything,” Egolf said. “Your whole frame of mind can be improved when you spend time in a space that suits you.”
Egolf, owner and lead designer of Egolf Interiors, Inc., has been in the design business for more than 25 years, 15 of which she has spent in the Summit County area. She has run the gamut between simple redesigns to complete overhauls of the interior. Every project is different, because design, like all art, is highly subjective to each person’s individual opinions.
However, there are always trends emerging in the industry, with wide enough appeal to make appearances in many homes.
One such current trend is the mountain contemporary style, which Egolf describes as “more streamlined, more clean lines. It’s not really ornate, it’s just a cleaner-lined approach.” Rather than an interior full of heavy timber and moose art, mountain contemporary design focuses on simply aesthetics.
Other favorites include an “old world” style, where the details have an antique, almost European look, heavily distressed and plenty of detail.
It’s also a good idea for the interior design to match up with the exterior of the house, Egolf pointed out.
“One thing I try to do is tie the architecture to the interiors, so you don’t feel like you’re walking up to the house and it looks like one thing, and you walk through the doors and it’s very different.”
What’s important to many mountain homeowners is that they maintain the feeling of actually being in the mountains.
“They still want the outdoorsy mountain feel,” said Heidi Jarski, marketing and sales assistant for Mountain Comfort in Frisco. “They don’t want a city loft.”
Jarski offered this bit of advice in the midst of an outdoor furniture photo shoot. With the Frisco Historic Park as her background, she posed chairs, lamps and other furniture so the sun hit just right, arranging them on the lawn as casually as she would in a living room.
The purpose of the outdoor shoot, she said, was to emphasize the outdoorsy style of the furniture, some of which are lines sold exclusively by Mountain Comfort, and to show how comfortably they fit into the natural environment.
“Everybody that buys homes up here, they but it for the outdoors,” she said.
Many of Egolf’s clients have reiterated the sentiment, particularly those with several homes.
“You don’t want to feel that you’ve gone to your vacation home and walked into the same décor. You want to feel like you’ve gone to a whole new state, you don’t want to feel like you’re in Denver, Colorado, you want to feel like you’re in Summit County, Colorado,” Egolf said.
The key, she continued, is to find a blend between the focus on the mountain aspect and the type of style that makes the homeowner comfortable.
Egolf has definitely noticed an increased trend in remodels, which parallels the wavering economy. Instead of selling their home and buying or building a new one, people are opting for redecoration and renovation. What people sometimes don’t realize, Egolf said, is that a little redesigning can go a long way to change the look and feel of a place.
“Remodeling is definitely the way to go nowadays,” she said.
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