Liv­ing the Dream

This Colorado beauty was three decades in the mak­ing — and well worth the wait.

Timber Home Living - - Contents - BY SUZANNA LO­GAN | PHO­TOS BY JAMES RAY SPAHN

Pris Hodges is one of those peo­ple who, when she puts her mind to some­thing, she does it. So, when she sat down with her mother in the mid-1980s and sketched out her dream home, she knew she would build it … some­day.

Only some­day didn’t come the next year, the next decade, or even the decade af­ter that. Still, her dream lived on in those pictures, tucked away out of sight, but never out of mind.

Fi­nally, Pris felt a nudge that it was time. She pur­chased a 55-acre piece of land in Crested Butte, Colorado, where she used to go ski­ing as a child. Next, she pulled the sketches out — their pre­cious­ness am­pli­fied by the pass­ing of her mother since their cre­ation — and be­gan mak­ing plans to make Hodges Hide­away a re­al­ity. “What my mom al­ways said was, ‘Get a vi­sion — draw it out in your mind ex­actly how you want it — keep it, then make it come to life,’” she says.

And, that’s ex­actly what Pris did. She then joined forces with Sun­lit Ar­chi­tec­ture and Steve and Paul Pike from Pike Builders, Inc. in Gun­ni­son, Colorado, and de­tailed ev­ery­thing she and her mom had planned. The vi­sion? “A lit­tle cabin in the woods,” Pris says. They ex­e­cuted that vi­sion so well that if you blink you could miss the home, tucked into a hill­side so that the three­story struc­ture ap­pears to be a sin­gle

level that blends or­gan­i­cally into its sur­round­ings.

“So of­ten ev­ery­thing is de­signed with big rooflines and big gabled ends and lots of glass. This was de­signed to be like some­thing you would see in the mid­dle of the woods,” ex­plains Steve Pike. “This isn’t your pro­to­typ­i­cal moun­tain home,” he con­tin­ues. “It truly has this feel of be­ing an old trap­per’s cabin.”

Fur­ther­ing the his­toric sense of the home, it’s made of hand-hewn tim­bers (from an old mill in Cal­i­for­nia built at the turn of the cen­tury) com­bined with chink­ing. “We de­vel­oped a process where we can add sand, saw­dust and even straw to syn­thetic chink­ing so it has an older look,” Pike says. In­side, a sys­tem of heavy tim­ber trusses and hand­forged wrought-iron tie beams add au­then­tic­ity to the struc­ture, along with re­claimed boards on the ceil­ings and three cob­ble­stone fire­places.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing the muse for the sim­ple cabin vi­sion, Pris’ mom was the guid­ing force be­hind the specifics, too. For starters, the kitchen needed to be laid out in a tri­an­gle “for good work­flow,” says Pris. The bed­rooms had to be roomy — “there has to be enough space

With such strik­ing views LEFT: cus­tom out­side, The ma­te­ri­als bath­rooms found the all through­out fea­ture look the same the home. A free­stand­ing tub of­fers tran­quil­ity in­side the home had big boots among the to tree­tops. fill. The fin­ishes in­clude cen­tury-old RIGHT: In hard­wood the sec­ond bath, the floors, knotty pan­els of­fer a more rus­tic feel and a nice con­trast to the smooth-textured rec­tan­gu­lar hand-made cab­i­netry and barn doors ga­lore. float­ing sink.

to walk around the bed so it’s eas­ier to make.” And be­cause you should “al­ways have some­where you can sit out­side,” there needed to be an out­door area ded­i­cated to blissed­out loung­ing. Lastly, there had to be a barn and sta­bles that would al­low the prop­erty to serve as an an­i­mal sanc­tu­ary in honor of her twin sis­ter, Pam’s, pas­sion for an­i­mals.

To her orig­i­nal list, Pris added a few more re­quire­ments: three en suite bed­rooms to en­sure com­fort and pri­vacy for week­end guests, an easy-flow­ing open floor plan to en­cour­age con­ver­sa­tion, a loft for movie-watch­ing, a sep­a­rate base­ment apart­ment and, above all, per­fectly framed views of the jaw-drop­ping land­scape that ex­tends for miles from the edge of the prop­erty.

With such strik­ing views out­side, the look in­side the home had big boots to fill. The fin­ishes in­clude cen­tury-old hard­wood floors (with their orig­i­nal patina, of course), log-topped van­i­ties, hand-made cab­i­netry and barn doors ga­lore. When it was time to add the fi­nal touches to the western-themed space, Pris was the girl for the job. She had once owned an an­tique store and used many of those trea­sures to give the home a col­lected-over-time vibe. “A lot of those things sat in a ware­house for ten years be­cause I knew I wanted to use them some­day,” she says.

Now that she has set­tled into her long-awaited dream home, what’s it re­ally like liv­ing in a place where your near­est neigh­bors are deer, elk and a mama bear and her cubs? “It’s quiet and peace­ful,” says Pris. “You don’t hear any­thing but the swish of the leaves, ex­cept maybe the rain on the tin roof some­times. When I’m there, I have this feel­ing of, ‘Here you go, mom.’”

Sit­ting at the edge of a na­tional for­est, the home of­fers forever­pro­tected mil­lion dol­lar views and plenty to do, with trails for hik­ing, horse­back rid­ing and bik­ing nearby.

FAR LEFT: The open liv­ing area is filled with strik­ing de­tails, from the tim­ber trusses with steel tie rods to the rus­tic glass chan­de­lier and cowhide rug. The life-size Lone Ranger art posters stand sen­tinel over the en­tire space. An open loft above is a fa­vorite spot for watch­ing movies and play­ing games. ABOVE: The kitchen was de­signed for cook­ing and con­ver­sa­tion. Guests can pull up a seat at the is­land — cre­ated by plac­ing a 3-inch-thick slab of maple atop a base made of alder and lo­cal cob­ble­stone — to take in all the ac­tion. Mer­cury glass pen­dants and stain­less-steel ap­pli­ances add pol­ish to the oth­er­wise rus­tic space.

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