An adventure-loving couple builds a calming respite in the form of a peaceful timber home in the Colorado Rockies.
By Suzanna Logan Photos by Roger Wade Styling by Debra Grahl
After a long day hitting the slopes, there’s no better way to unwind than by cozying up next to a roaring fire. Of course, having killer views of the mountains you just conquered doesn’t hurt either. Just ask Greg and Beth Bookwalter. The active couple’s vacation home, situated in the idyllic ski town of Crested Butte, Colorado, offers enviable sight lines at every turn. “You feel like you’re on top of the world here,” Greg says. “It really doesn’t matter which way you look; it’s going to be a beautiful view.”
Although it wasn’t the gorgeous scenery that brought the pair to the area — a nearby adaptive sports program that enables Beth to participate in skiing and mountain biking was the initial draw — it did largely dictate the design of the three-bedroom, three-bath home.
“Our goal was to capture every possible view,” says Johnny Miller, co-founder of OakBridge Timber Framing in Howard, Ohio, the home’s designer and timber provider. “They really are something.”
The scenery inside the 2,800-square-foot home is just as enviable. Solid oak timbers secured with pegged mortise-and-tenon joinery create the home’s timber frame, which receives additional strength and energy-efficiency from SIPs. “You won’t find any bolts or screws or nuts or anything here,” Greg says. “It’s how they have been building structures for hundreds of years.”
Straight bracing oak timbers add structural support and “create a simple, clean look,” Miller says. The golden tones of the oak star in the home’s timber scene, but other varieties play a strong supporting role. Maple beams salvaged from old barns appear in the ceiling of the main floor, the worm holes from their previous life adding authenticity to the new construction.
Cherry wood floors, hewn from trees felled during an ice storm at the couple’s primary residence in Ohio, lend rich contrast to the oak. In the kitchen, knotty alder cabinets lend additional character to the wood interiors. A testament to the natural warmth of timber homes, the house has an unmistakably comforting feel. “It’s so easy to put your feet up and relax here, which is a great thing after being out all day,” Greg says. When the gang’s all here — the couple has a son, a daughter and plenty of friends who like to visit — the open concept home is perfect for relaxing together after a long day in the great outdoors. “Some of us can be in the kitchen cooking while others are in the great room watching television, and we can all still interact,” Beth says.
For the Bookwalters, sharing their home with others has been one of the most satisfying parts of owning the timber beauty. “One of the comments written in our guestbook says, ‘This is like something you see in the movies; I never thought I would have a chance to stay in a place like this,’” Greg says. “I know I feel like the luckiest guy in the world.”