Re­claim­ing the Past

A new tim­ber home with stel­lar lake and moun­tain views is in­spired by the her­itage of Gun­ni­son County, Colorado.

Timber Home Living - - Contents - BY NANCY E. BERRY | PHO­TOS BY JAMES RAY SPAHN

A new tim­ber home with stel­lar lake and moun­tain views is in­spired by the her­itage of Gun­ni­son County, Colorado.

Crested Butte’s his­tory epit­o­mizes the Wild West. Gold and sil­ver shin­ing in its riverbeds lured tens of thou­sands to the area in the mid 1800s. When pre­cious metal min­ing did not pan out, pioneers turned to coal min­ing and cat­tle ranch­ing — rus­tic cab­ins and tim­ber-frame barns popped up on the grass­lands and prairies. Th­ese ro­bust steeply pitched struc­tures built of wood and stone be­came south­ern Colorado’s ver­nac­u­lar form.

So when Jana and Randy Bar­rett bought a half-acre lake­front prop­erty with spec­tac­u­lar views of Crested Butte and the Whet­stone moun­tains, they wanted their house to re­flect the area’s past as well as their ac­tive life­style, and to cap­ture those views. “Our first thought was to build a log cabin, but once we started work­ing with ar­chi­tect Gary Hart­man, he opened us up to the idea of build­ing a tim­ber-framed house,” says Jana, be­cause it was a build­ing type that of­fered more op­por­tu­ni­ties to take ad­van­tage of the views and re­flect the rugged beauty as well as the build­ing her­itage of the moun­tain town.


Hart­man, prin­ci­pal and owner of Sun­lit Ar­chi­tec­ture, has been de­sign­ing homes in Colorado for 11 years and draws his in­spi­ra­tion from Crested Butte’s his­tor­i­cal build­ings. “We try to be au­then­tic to what his­tory has pre­sented to us,” he ex­plains. “It is how the de­tails of a build­ing are joined to­gether that can put a house in con­text of its sur­round­ings.” Jana and Randy shared with Hart­man pic­tures of

houses they liked — show­ing him lots of nat­u­ral wood and stone struc­tures in keep­ing with the ver­nac­u­lar style. Jana’s fa­ther was a home­builder in Ok­la­homa, where she grew up, and she of­fered Hart­man ideas from the Old English houses he built.

Hart­man de­signed a rus­tic moun­tain re­treat based on his­tor­i­cal forms, while builders Jay and Kate Bar­ton of Hid­den River Con­struc­tion spec­i­fied an­tique ma­te­ri­als to fur­ther the his­tor­i­cal con­text. Re­claimed barn wood, 100-year-old heart pine tim­bers and cor­ru­gated rusted metal roof­ing all lend them­selves to the Old West at­mos­phere. Hart­man in­cor­po­rated king­post trusses at gable ends, two cupo­las (one with a hipped roof) and hay barn doors in the fa­cade to fur­ther

the con­nec­tion to the past. When pos­si­ble, the builders sourced lo­cal ma­te­ri­als for the con­struc­tion. Dry-stacked Grey­stone quar­ried from Tel­luride is used both on the in­te­rior and ex­te­rior. Although the house pays homage to its past, its de­sign is con­tem­po­rary with mul­ti­ple rooflines, large ex­panses of win­dows and an open floor plan. “Gary hit a home run with the de­sign,” says Randy. “He cap­tured what we were look­ing for in the first el­e­va­tions.”


A main fo­cus of the de­sign was to po­si­tion the house on the site to take ad­van­tage of the dra­matic views to the north, which in­clude Crested Butte Moun­tain and Grant Lake. Bound by open grass­lands on two sides, the site sits be­low the lake’s sur­face be­cause of a dam, so Hart­man el­e­vated the main liv­ing spa­ces, cre­at­ing a split-level de­sign. Upon en­ter­ing the home, a vis­i­tor walks up to a great room, din­ing room and kitchen, or walks down to an in­for­mal fam­ily room and three bed­rooms. “As you as­cend the stairs, the views of Crested Butte un­fold — Gary framed the moun­tain view beau­ti­fully,” says Jana. The north wall in the great room is vir­tu­ally a wall of win­dows, tran­soms and glass doors that lead to a spa­cious deck. Other grand fea­tures in the great room in­clude mas­sive ex­posed dis­tressed heart pine scis­sor trusses and a Crafts­man-style dry-stacked stone fire­place that an­chors the room. Although the in­te­ri­ors open onto one another, Hart­man changed the vol­ume of spac-

“The home is set up for the pri­vacy the boys need, while still hav­ing Randy and me close by.” – HOME­OWNER, JANA BAR­RETT

es through vary­ing the ceil­ing heights. The 25-foot vaulted ceil­ing in the great room is off­set by the lower-ceilinged din­ing room and kitchen. Tim­ber sup­port beams also de­fine in­di­vid­ual spa­ces on the main level. Th­ese thought­ful de­sign el­e­ments cre­ate more in­ti­mate spa­ces through­out the main level.


There were trade-offs in the de­sign. Jana got her kitchen, which con­sists of re­claimed Dou­glas fir cab­i­netry and Brazil­ian gran­ite coun­ter­tops. The builder in­cor­po­rated dry-stacked stone over the stove to tie the de­sign back to the great room and fa­cade. Be­cause Jana got her dream kitchen, Randy got his tro­phy room. The cou­ple are both avid hunters, and just be­yond the kitchen is a room where they hang their con­quests. Moose, elk and deer heads fill the walls. “Jana wanted me to con­sol­i­date my col­lec­tion, so I asked Gary to in­cor­po­rate a tro­phy room,” says Randy. Hart­man left one wall win­dow­less to cre­ate more dis­play space, so to com­pen­sate for this solid ex­te­rior wall, he added faux barn shut­ters to cre­ate the il­lu­sion of a hayloft. This move adds char­ac­ter to an oth­er­wise blank wall. The lower level has a fam­ily room, two bed­rooms for their sons, Ben and Gram, as well as a guest bed­room. “The win­ters are so long here that I wanted the boys to have a good place to play and study — all within earshot,” says Jana. “The home is set up for the pri­vacy they need, while still hav­ing Randy and me close by.”


Dur­ing the long win­ter sea­son, the fam­ily en­joys its out­door sports — ski­ing, skat­ing and hockey — but they also love to come back to their warm, wel­com­ing home. “My fa­vorite time of year is Christ­mas,” says Jana, who en­ter­tains fam­ily and friends through­out the hol­i­days, dec­o­rat­ing the house in nat­u­ral ev­er­greens and the tra­di­tional or­na­ments. “The win­ter months are so long here that we needed a home that is invit­ing, spa­cious and works for our life­style.”

“The home re­ally re­flects who we are,” says Randy. “It ex­ceeded all our ex­pec­ta­tions.”

Ar­chi­tect Gary Hart­man de­signed a 4,200-square-foot tim­ber-frame home in Crested Butte, Colorado, in keep­ing with the area’s rich ranch and min­ing past. The home’s sid­ing is a mix of ver­ti­cal and hor­i­zon­tal re­claimed barn boards and dry-stacked Grey­stone.

The struc­tural beams di­vid­ing the great room and kitchen/din­ing area are a nod to the Crafts­man style. The header ex­tends fur­ther than the sup­port posts. A deer antler chan­de­lier hangs in the great room.

RIGHT: The mas­ter bed­room win­dow de­sign mir­rors the great room’s wall of win­dows on a much smaller scale. Red plaid fab­rics cre­ate a hol­i­day at­mos­phere.

ABOVE: The mas­ter bath has cus­tom built-in Dou­glas Fir cab­i­netry and a Jacuzzi tub.


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