For the past decade or so, the Aspen Snowmass real estate market has been dominated by two prevailing architecture styles: the traditional mountain look, or on the opposite extreme, contemporary. But according to one of our top-producing agents Andrew Ernemann, the needle has tipped so far in the direction of contemporary, that buyers are now looking for a mix of both — what he calls “The New Mountain Contemporary.”
How did we arrive at this new aesthetic? Local builders and esteemed architects are finding ways to marry the best of both.
Traditional mountain homes like 18 Cascade Lane in the Five Trees neighborhood in Aspen with dramatic log beams, wood paneling, exposed beams and heavy textiles are still highly sought after by homeowners seeking the quintessential Colorado Rocky Mountain home.
On the other end of the spectrum is 930 West Hallam Street in West Aspen — new construction with clean lines, large windows and an open floor plan.
Situated between these extremes is 62 Bennett Court —a five bedroom spec home in the famed Red Mountain neighborhood designed by Denver-based Mountain Contemporary Architects with interiors finished by Aspen-based Kristin Dittmar Design.
Ernemann explains, “This home in particular—the finishes really resonate across the board with this style we’re seeing continually evolve. When you walk in, it feels clean and certainly new. There’s amazing light coming in from all sides and looking beyond the kitchen and dining room into the living room, the barn wood wall [with a built-in TV and fireplace] bring rustic elements into the modern mix. It’s a subtle reminder that you’re in the mountains.”
328 Deer Ridge Lane in Snowmass Village also seamlessly blends contemporary floor to ceiling windows, a white and grey palette, and an open floor plan against reclaimed wood and raw stone accents.
“Buyers in this market are seeking a fresh look to meld with the classic mountain lifestyle that they grew up with,” says Garrett Reuss. “This home combines the timeless aesthetic features of rustic stone and reclaimed wood and combines it with a light and open plan for a more modern, sophisticated style.”
And, perhaps, the trend is not just local. In Quebec, Canada 647 Rue Chapleau is a Scandinavian-inspired home in the Mont-Saint-Hilaire area. White walls, an open staircase and contemporary furnishings are blended with a floor to ceiling fireplace and exposed beams.
Partner of Aspen-based CCY Architects Rich Carr agrees with Ernemann’s overall observation and explains, “The stylistic pendulum has swung back and forth—from cliché mountain traditional to quite clean modern and now trying to find a balance in between.”
Carr adds, “We’ve always focused on creating architecture that marries the best of modernism and regionalism; not mimicking the past, whether it’s traditional or modern, but creating original design solutions that embody contemporary lifestyles, and at the same time, speak to the richness, textures and traditions of Aspen and the Rockies. It’s been very gratifying to see the market leaning that way more than ever.”
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