MOV­ING MOUN­TAINS

Re­mod­el­ing chal­lenges ig­nited the creativ­ity of this Colorado cou­ple as they ren­o­vated their “tree house” in the Rock­ies.

Do It Yourself - - Features - WORDS SARAH WOLF PHO­TOGRAPHS EMILY MINTON REDFIELD STYLING ELAINE ST. LOUIS

Add home ren­o­vat­ing to Par­a­lympian Amy Purdy’s list of tal­ents—then check out all the projects she and her hus­band did to their Rocky Moun­tain home.

“but it ended up turn­ing into a mas­sive, com­plete over­haul that took two years.” She pauses. “Once you start get­ting into it, it just goes deeper and deeper.” (Aah, the DIYer’s cho­rus.)

Built in 1971, the three-story house was ready for new in­su­la­tion, up­dated wiring, and fresh sur­faces that com­bine rus­tic el­e­ments with Scan­di­na­vian flair (Amy’s fave combo!). Af­ter fir­ing their orig­i­nal con­trac­tor and start­ing over with a new one, Amy and Daniel had to get creative with their bud­get— and get to work them­selves.

Over­com­ing ob­sta­cles is noth­ing new for this fam­ily. At age 19, Amy’s legs were am­pu­tated be­low the knee be­cause of bac­te­rial menin­gi­tis. Rather than let such a tragedy side­line her, Amy be­came one of

AMY PURDY AND DANIEL GALE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE GET­TING INTO WHEN THEY STARTED RE­MOD­EL­ING THEIR COLORADO HOME. “WE THOUGHT WE WERE JUST CLEAN­ING UP A FEW THINGS,” AMY SAYS WITH A CHUCKLE,

the world’s most rec­og­niz­able dis­abled ath­letes: She’s a world-class snow­boarder, Par­a­lympic medal­ist, sec­ond-place fin­isher on Danc­ing with the Stars, and a renowned pub­lic speaker.

She can now add ac­com­plished DIYer to her list. She and Daniel ac­cented rooms with shiplap and barn­wood, de­signed float­ing shelves in the kitchen, re­paired and re­painted the deck, and scoured shops for ac­ces­sories that look way fancier than their price tags. She leaned hard on her sis­ter, Crys­tal Nor­ris, an in­te­rior de­signer.

“Peo­ple run into a lot of chal­lenges when they ren­o­vate their homes,” Amy says. “It’s im­por­tant to share the chal­lenges with other peo­ple—that’s how your story is re­lat­able”—and all the more en­dear­ing.

1 Daniel Gale and

Amy Purdy took on a house ren­o­va­tion that spanned al­most two years. 2 Amy and Daniel knew when to hire some­one for a job (in­su­lat­ing be­tween the ceil­ing joists, for ex­am­ple) and when to jump in with their own four hands (dress­ing up the is­land with wood planks). “Things I knew we could do, we did do,” Amy says, “but we also just wanted to get the job done right.”

3 The steel ceil­ing beam in the kitchen re­places a load-bear­ing wall that used to de­lin­eate the kitchen. Amy and Daniel liked its in­dus­trial look so much they left it (and the ceil­ing joists) ex­posed.

4 The cou­ple cut wood planks in a fun pat­tern to rough up the clean lines (the gor­geous wa­ter­fall­style Cam­bria coun­ter­top) of the is­land.

5 The sofa (from Crate and Bar­rel) and rug (lo­cal shop Au­then­tic Rugs) were pricey re­tail pur­chases but well worth it for the heavy use they get and the co­zi­ness they bring to the room. 6 Amy and Daniel con­verted the stove to burn gas (rather than wood), scooted it to the cor­ner, and vented it out the wall (in­stead of the ceil­ing). It warms the whole house. 7 In a happy ac­ci­dent, the TV stand—a Way­fair find—was meant to be the room’s cof­fee ta­ble but it was just a hair too long. “It’s ac­tu­ally great as a TV stand,” Amy says, “and it matches the floor­ing per­fectly.” 8 Amy and Daniel had no luck find­ing a sim­ple, not or­nate, stair­case rail­ing, so they came up with their own bright idea. Just $60 worth of elec­tri­cal con­duit and two cans of flat black spray paint saved about $500 over us­ing pricier wood balus­ters.

9 For one wall in the mas­ter bed­room, Daniel ap­plied peel-and-stick wood planks from Stik­wood in a large-scale checker­board pat­tern. The wood back­drop turns the room into a rus­tic re­treat.

10 Be­cause the space is small, Amy didn’t want to crowd the night­stands with lamps, so she had an elec­tri­cian wire for pen­dants on ei­ther side of the bed. 11 Amy and Daniel worked their magic on this tired lit­tle pow­der room, lin­ing one wall with cedar planks, paint­ing the wood van­ity al­most black, swap­ping out ugly knobs with hard­ware from An­thro­polo­gie, and in­ject­ing a dose of glam­our with a mar­ble sink and quartz-sur­fac­ing coun­ter­top. A Tar­get mir­ror and Way­fair sconce fit right into the scheme—and helped bal­ance the bud­get. 12 The sit­ting room is in de­mand as a cozy spot to read and lounge. Amy snapped the photo of a life­time while vis­it­ing an African na­ture pre­serve: An ele­phant ap­peared while she was drink­ing cof­fee out­side, and she in­stinc­tively grabbed her cam­era. She had the im­age en­larged and printed on can­vas (can­vaschamp.com).

13 Painted red and marred by loose and bro­ken boards, the deck had seen bet­ter days, but it was too ex­pen­sive to re­place. Next best thing: Swap­ping out the worst floor planks for new ones and re­plac­ing rot­ten rail­ings with chicken wire pan­els. Black stain ap­plied to the floor and se­lect rail­ing el­e­ments in­stantly mod­ern­ized the deck. “It’ll get us by un­til we de­cide what to do next with it,” Amy says. The deck wraps around three sides of the house, and it’s the only way to get to the front door. “It feels like we’re in a tree house,” Amy says.

2

AMY AND DANIEL DIDN’T LIKE ANY OF THE STAINS THEY TESTED, SO THEY COM­BINED VINE­GAR AND STEEL WOOL TO CRE­ATE A CON­COC­TION THEY THEN BRUSHED ONTO NEW WOOD (IN­CLUD­ING THE STAIR­CASE) TO AGEIT IN MIN­UTES.5687

1112

+AMY AND DANIEL PAINTED THEIRDECK WITH SHER­WIN-WIL­LIAMSSUPERDECK DECK STAIN IN TRICORNBLACK 6258 FOR A MOD­ERN FIN­ISH.13

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