This Vail Home Is Black, White And Cozy Throughout

When building your own house, the most common comment you hear is, “It must be so much fun to build whatever you want!” says Emily Hagedorn, who along with her husband, Brad, recently brought this dream home in West Vail to life. “But that’s never true. In reality, you have a ton of constraints.

For this couple, she’s an analytical engineer with an eye for design; he runs local development company ArcWest Properties and custom builder Mountain Valley Homes – these limitations included steep terrain that had been zoned for a separate duplex, half of which had already been built in the 1980s; the new Hagedorn house would become the other half. Local design guidelines required that the exterior aesthetics of the two homes complement each other, and since the two structures could only occupy a certain combined footprint on the site, the couple’s 2,400 square feet of living space would have to be stacked vertically on three levels. challenges encountered with the help of architectural firm TAB Associates. Inside, however, the duo had an open floor plan, up-close mountain views, and the freedom to design as they pleased. Here’s how they took advantage of it.

5280 Home: A black and white interior has never been so inviting.
Emilie Hagedorn: We wanted our home to be comfortable and welcoming. As we searched for inspiration, we found ourselves turning to Scandinavian and Australian designs – modern spaces with clean lines, black accents and a more masculine aesthetic.
Brad Hagedorn: The modern Australian architecture we were drawn to takes a lot of those minimalist Scandinavian design elements and adds more contrast and warmth, making them even more relevant.

What you’ve done here is pairing white walls and black window frames with white oak floors.
HE: I’ve always been drawn to light oak flooring. It adds warmth by brightening rooms, while allowing us to be bolder by coloring window frames black. Many people were surprised by this [latter] move, but I didn’t hesitate.

Were you sure about matte black kitchen cabinets too?
HE: We asked ourselves, should we opt for wood? Should we go white? But I just couldn’t sell myself on the white, which would have blended into the walls, and it would have been impossible to match the wooden cabinets with the floors. So we went all black – and we love how it grounds the piece.

So much so that you painted your bedroom black and your den smoky green?
HE: I liked the idea of ​​the rooms where we relax feeling cozy and cave-like.
BH: We both grew up on the east coast, where you have those slow drizzling days that encourage you to hunker down. We don’t have these very often in Colorado, so I feel like Emily was trying to bring those days into the house with her design.

It seems that you have favored comfort in the finishes and furnishings.
HE: I didn’t want to end up with a bunch of pretty furniture that we didn’t like to sit on. I wanted blankets everywhere and to make every chair look like you could stay there for a while. A lot of our furniture is quite modern, but I looked for real leathers and woods, natural linen and sheepskin to soften those lines.

You’ve even brought some of that inviting texture into your sleek kitchen.
HE: I didn’t want it to feel cold and industrial, so we wrapped the steel ceiling beams in white oak; soapstone countertops selected for their subtle veining and texture; and chose brass hardware with a knurled texture, which brings warmth to modern flat panel cabinetry.

What is your approach to incorporating colors other than black and white?
HE: I’m always drawn to neutral, earthy tones – even my pops of color are muted blues, greens and browns. I wanted quiet rooms, and for me that means tones that reflect outside views.

And your open floor plan provides views at every turn.
BH: We knew we wanted a large room on the top floor for this reason. It’s as if you’re looking into a pristine mountain landscape, but you’re really on a 0.15 acre lot with houses all around you.
HE: In the fall, when the sun hits the hillside aspens, golden light pours down. And when there’s a big snowstorm, it’s like living in a snow globe.

Design Benefits

ArchitectureTAB Associates
Interior designInteriors by Emily Hagedorn
ConstructionMountain Valley Houses

This article was originally published in 5280 Home October/November 2022.

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