Legacy ranch has an environmentally intuitive aesthetic that showcases the stunning backdrop By Kathy Filgo, Photos courtesy RKD architects Native Americans had been stewards of the land in what is now the United States of America for about 15,000 years before the American pioneers hit the westward trail in the 1700s. But it wasn’t until after the War of 1812 that a vast migration to a new life in the western territories really took hold. One could not ask for a more compelling environment in which to commune with nature and bring peace to the mind and heart. There were a lot of reasons the pioneers braved the challenges of the journey to seek their destinies in the Wild West: They were pursuing gold and silver; escaping overcrowding, rules and discrimination; looking for employment and business opportunities; craving space to plant crops and raise livestock; and some were simply looking […]

Blog, HOME + GARDEN, Homes


For decades, Heather and Eric Schultz were among the lucky East Vail residents to have the impressive peaks of the Gore Range practically in their backyard. The Vail Frontage Road winds to an end nearly at their doorstep, before dwindling to a side road and ducking under the highway to climb the heights of Vail Pass. Yet, for decades it was a view they couldn’t much enjoy from inside their home. In a craving for more openness, the couple razed the existing home to the ground and began all over. Today, the house is unrecognizable from its previous incarnation, and is quite distinctive from its more traditional mountain neighbors. A stunning façade of glass and steel, with bold lines and inspired design, paired with earthy elements pulled from the Western landscape, it is a home that is both open and quietly part of the very mountain environment it inhabits. The […]

Blog, HOME + GARDEN, Homes

Sweetwater Homes

When Paul and Janet Testwuide arrived in Vail, he in ’63, she in ’73, Vail was a small ski town. Both athletic and from the Midwest they each craved an outdoor lifestyle—in every season. “In 1962, Jim Clark, who was on the ski patrol in Vail, but lived with Testwuide in Breckenridge, talked him into visiting Vail,” wrote Dick Hauserman, about Paul, in his book, The Inventors of Vail. “I remember standing on top of Milt’s Face,” Testwuide told Hauserman. “There was a foot of new snow, no wind, and it was warm. I was used to Breckenridge and thought I might be in the wrong ski area.” The next year, Testwuide was on Vail’s trail crew.” When Janet arrived in Vail, it was love at first ski for the Testwuides, you might say. The couple first lived in a house that Paul had built in Sandstone where they raised […]

Blog, Homes

Stephens Nursery

Stephens Nursery is in full bloom! Located in Dotsero just west of gypsum on the north side of I70. The nursery has everything you need to get your landscaping done just in time to be ready for a beautiful colorful summer. They have everything from; perennials, annuals, geraniums, hanging baskets, trees, and shrubs. As well as all your platting necessities; pottery, statues, fountains, and landscaping materials. All of there plants are high quality and hand selected. Mrs. Annalies Stephens brings a touch of her homeland, Switzerland to the Vail Valley with each and every one of her beautifully planted creations. So be sure to come get all your planting needs to get started on your home for summer.

Homes, Your Vail Valley Home

Welcome to the Ranch

The sign as you approach the cozy little cabin reads, “Welcome to the Ranch.” And a more welcoming, friendly place is hard to imagine. Whether you are a kid, or a kid at heart, Bill and Maggie Rey’s laid-back little ranch is an enchanting place to be come winter or summer. Every door, every turn holds yet another surprise, another treasure to uncover. And, each weaves another fascinating story. Although “the Ranch” may seem a bit of a grandiose moniker for this humble, yet charming, one-acre property, it is nonetheless apropos on many levels. The low lying home, with its wide, sunny deck, surrounded by rambling woods, truly is the proverbial log cabin. But don’t let the modest size, rustic exterior or gravel drive fool you. Here is a home filled with fine art, western heritage and thoughtfully accumulated collections fit for any ranch – not to mention many a […]

Homes, Your Vail Valley Home

Rugged Harmony

The stars aligned when the home high above Eagle Ranch was built, assures owner Kasia Karska. And, indeed it would seem that way. Outside, it is in harmony with the rugged Western terrain which embraces it. Inside, it is in beautiful harmony with the lifestyle and philosophy Kasia and husband, George McNeil, cherish. The siting of this high-perched home was intentionally aligned with the constellations and earth in mind. “It was the perfect lot to be able to apply Vaastu Shastra, the 6,000-year old knowledge of how to place a building so it reflects the very surroundings and can’t be alienated from the universe,” explains Kasia, a designer and president of KK Design & Build. The description of 360-degree views couldn’t be more apropos to this bird’s-eye setting. Only a short hop from Eagle Ranch, the town of Eagle and Highway 6, the couple’s home still seems in a world […]

Blog, DESIGN, Homes

Slifer Designs – What’s HOT in Color this Season? The Pantone Fashion Color Report is in!

A picture is definitely worth a thousand words – and we’re in love with a few of these projects that show just how lovely Pantone’s Fall/Winter colors are. A lot of times it’s challenging to figure out HOW to use a color, or where it will look smashing. Instead of describing with words, we’re going to show you a few of our favorite ideas and ways to use the hottest colors in the world of color.     This slate blue is beautiful. It can be a neutral or a more bold pop of color. Best of all, it works in any room in your home. Riverside blue adds a burst of color in an otherwise sedate living room. Notice, though, the blue doesn’t overwhelm or distract, it simply adds a lushness to the space. In the kitchen, we love how the blue works in the backsplash, coordinating with the […]

Colorado Neighborhoods, Featured Stories, Homes

Vail Valley Kitchens

In Medieval days, when kitchen hearths were placed in the center of the home, the inhabitants – even the livestock – huddled around during deepening winters for warmth and light while women cooked over open fires. Today’s kitchens have come full circle. Although cooks no longer slave over open flames in smoke-filled rooms, and the family pet has replaced the cows and ducks, the kitchen has once again become the favorite gathering spot. No longer sparse and sterile, like the kitchens of the 1920s, or hidden in the back of the home behind the parlor, as in colonial days, walls have come down, and kitchens have moved front and center. Indeed, our modern-day kitchens seem to have borrowed a theme from the ancient Greeks, when kitchens of antiquity were placed in covered courtyards, encircled by all the rooms of the home. In other words, all roads – whether welcoming guests […]

Blog, Homes

Glamping is Camping in Style

Good design is ubiquitous. There is little better than finding a new ‘something’ that makes life easier. Of course finding good design is tricky. Creating good design is even harder.  A few years ago we were able to design an RV for a client. It was such a fun project and reminded us good design comes in all shapes and sizes. We’re slightly in love with the idea of glamping, so in praise of our glorious summer weather, we’re going to share some of our favorite camping designs and camping ‘hacks’. Airstream has never gone out of style – and probably gained popularity when McDreamy moved in on Gray’s Anatomy. There’s nothing rough about glamping – huge platform tents with every luxury. The tent is welcoming and perfect for an afternoon barbecue or relaxed night of camping. There is little as lovely as spending the a sleepy afternoon in a hammock – […]