Home for the Holidays12/01/2004 01:00AM ● By Stacey Kramer
Home for the Holidays
by Stacey KramerA fresh blanket of snocovers the meadoas the warm glofrom a distant log cabin welcomes its visitors. The sun casts the last long rays of evening on the thick accumulation of snosettling into the eaves and dormers of the cabin roof like melted marshmallow. A wisp of pine-scented smoke rises from the stone chimney. We’re home for the holidays. Mind if we move right in? The Truscheit Home at Lake Catamount. Photo by Ken Proper Bob and Beverly Truscheit’s cozy 800-square-foot log cabin sits at the edge of a pristine meadooverlooking Lake Catamount. Snuggled against the edge of the conifer and aspen forest, the homestead might have been here for 100 years. It was actually built just two years ago. Architect Brandt Vanderbosch of Charles Cunniffe Architects says it was designed to look like an old homestead. “You get that timeless, historic feeling,” he says. Large timber framing, log slab siding with chinking, exposed rafters supporting a steep-pitched rusted tin roof, and a stone base and chimney add to the authentic feel. “We wanted it to look like it had been here for a long time – to blend in with scenery and the original homestead cabin,” Beverly says. The 1910 homestead is visible from the Truscheits’ front window. “It was fun trying to make it look like a true log cabin with an old-world look,” says construction manager Gary Loman of Fox Construction. Inside, the old-world design carries throughout the cabin, giving it a cozy, western elegance. High ceilings with fir paneling, strategically-placed dormer windows and seating areas punched into the walls give the small cabin a bigger feel. “It has an open floor plan so the space feels bigger,” Brandt says. “We did a lot of homework prior to choosing what we wanted,” Beverly says. They photographed cabins, went though magazines and interviewed 15 architectural firms and five construction companies before hiring Charles Cunniffe and Fox to design and build the two-bedroom house. Focused around the floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, the living room brings in natural light from every direction. The great-room-style space flows effortlessly into an informal dining area complete with built-in bench seating and an efficient, modernly-appointed kitchen with granite countertops and copper accents. Snuggled against the edge of the conifer and aspen forest the homestead might have been here for 100 years. Photo by Ken Proper Beverly decorated the home that will eventually become the couple’s guest house with a richly-colored leather couch and rustic wood tables and chairs. Southwestern rugs, tapestry pillows and seat cushions, wrought iron light fixtures and western art adorn the space for a classy and comfortable look. A built-in cherry wood cabinet keeps the living room’s lines clean and the stereo hidden. And a fossilized fish, inconspicuously placed into the fireplace mantel, gives the room a funky charm. Completing the main floor interior, the master bedroom connects to a bathroom that doubles as a guest bath by way of a second door off the kitchen. An open staircase leads to a second bedroom just off a sitting area landing that is perfect for curling up with a good book and hot drink on a cold winter day (unless you’re enjoying the cross country skiing out the front and back doors). Getting the historic look the Truscheits wanted entailed close attention to detail. “It’s a simple cube, but the details make it unique and give it a twist on history,” Brandt says, noting the rusted metal chimney cap built into the masonry. “We wanted to keep it as maintenance-free as possible without sacrificing anything.” Fir log siding is also used on the inside to help create the log home feel. Applying the chinking evenly wasn’t easy, though, as the logs were specifically purchased for their uneven appearance. To help expand the space, the design includes a screened-in porch off the dining area. The kitchen extends into a hallway mudroom. And the back door leads to a covered walkway connecting a single-car garage. A backyard patio off the walkway, and front porch entry add to the home’s outdoor amenities. The house also has an unfinished basement. Cunniffe’s architectural team envisioned the lot’s full usage, designing the main house and barn at the same time as the guest house. “We get excited about the planning process, the creativity and the ‘story’ behind the whole development,” Brandt says. He notes that good communication and a team effort between the client, design team, contractor and subcontractors are essential. Beverly and Bob Truscheit That passion is recognized by the Truscheits. “We appreciate the time Charles and his associates devote, as well as their ideas. They are very detail-oriented,” Beverly says. Bob and Beverly owned a home in Vail and discovered the secluded lot while snowshoeing near Catamount. They immediately fell in love with the location and Steamboat Springs’ small town atmosphere. They nolive year-round in their cozy Steamboat cabin. Beverly is a substitute teacher in Steamboat’s elementary and middle schools and Bob works in the investment field. The couple enjoys holiday entertaining for close friends and family. The winds blocold from the north, and Steamboat’s famous snopiles up past the third wire. Bob throws another log on the fire while ski clothing dries. He and Beverly relax on the sofa sipping hot cocoa – they are home for the holiday.