An Eye on the World06/06/2023 07:00AM ● By Suzi Mitchell
From Steamboat Magazine Home Edition 2023
Robin Schepper is not usually thankful that her husband, Eric Washburn, is loud when he talks on the phone, but for once, it led to great things. The power couple, who work in the political arena, spend swaths of time on calls, and working in an open-plan living space with each other proved less than ideal.
Eric spent a chunk of his childhood on a ranch in South Routt. His family lived in Phippsburg and for a while he was home-schooled, then later attended Soroco High School. “My time there cemented my love of the environment,” Eric says. “I got a camera in ninth grade and my stepdad asked me to take photos of what I saw around me. That time in Routt County really launched my future.” He went on to establish a career as a legislative policy expert and lobbyist for environmental policy, formerly in the U.S. Senate before moving West, where he now works from remotely as an adviser.
The couple, along with their two sons, Shokhan and Marat, share a deep appreciation for the outdoors. That hankering for space and a need for separate offices led them up a winding road to a log home above the treeline, off County Road 14.
Original wood floors were refinished and the kitchen cabinets were painted. The three-story home benefits from multiple sitting rooms, including one with a faux painted wood ceiling. “We couldn’t use tape on the edges when that room was being painted as I was worried it would damage the incredibly detailed ceiling and we couldn’t replicate it,” Robin says.
Robin’s office on the third floor had been the artist studio and included a slot with direct access to the garage for canvases. Now the room, which boasts panoramic views to the north, is where she works as a strategist and coach. Her lengthy career in politics included four presidential campaigns, serving as the executive director for Michelle Obama’s children’s initiative, Let’s Move, and as a consultant for the 2004 Olympic Games, among other positions. Those experiences, coupled with a challenging childhood in a single-parent home, led her to write her memoir. “I finally got the space and time to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” she says. Her book, “Finding My Way,” was released in April 2023.
Within the log walls, the home is homage to years of shared travels and an appreciation of world cultures. Pieces from Asia and beyond blend effortlessly with furnishings bought during their time on the East Coast. Custom built-in shelves are laden with books in rooms that beg to be sat in, whether it’s to read and drink coffee, or stare out the plethora of picture windows.
The Schepper-Washburn household may have its sights on the bigger picture of our world, but their eyes are firmly on the valley below, contributing to the place they call home.