14 Gorgeous Great Rooms in Rocky Mountain Homes

The great room is the heart of the home, where resting, dining and getting warm by the fireplace all occur in the same area. And perhaps the coziest examples of such spaces are found in exceptional houses in the Rockies, with their mingling of Western ruggedness, comfortable textures and streamlined modernity.
Curated Family Home in Aspen by Kerry Joyce Associates, Inc.
Photo by Antoine Bootz

“The colors and textures in this Aspen family home are intended to evoke the feeling of nature without resorting to the usual stereotypes or being trite,” says Kerry Joyce. In the living room, walls clad in honey-hued cerused oak and a sofa covered in a rustic linen set the desired tone, while the leather chairs and bronze and walnut Hudson Furniture coffee table add warmth.

Joyce gives the room an unexpected spin, care of the handsome metal tapestry by Ghanaian artist El Anatsui.

Montana Ranch
by Victoria Hagan Interiors
Photo by William Waldron

“The goal was to celebrate and complement the beautiful natural surroundings, rather than compete with them. We utilized a soothing palette of earth tones to create an environment with the architecture,” says Victoria Hagan, explaining the scheme for this vacation home in Big Sky, Montana, which sports hewn-wood walls, reclaimed-oak flooring and ceilings made of barn board.

Here, Hagan arranged custom sofas and Christian Liaigre chairs around a John Houshmand coffee table.

Aspen Residence by Pembrooke & Ives
Photo by Brent Moss

“This home was designed with an open floor plan,” says Pembrooke & Ives principal and chief creative officer Francis Nicdao, describing a modern and minimal, but very livable, Aspen residence. “All the living areas are designed to draw the eye toward vast window walls and sliding glass doors, which transform the seven-bedroom structure into a series of glass pavilions that make it feel like a modern mountain resort.”

Montana home by Peter Dunham
Photo by Gibeon Photo

“The clients wanted to have some fun with the house, as it’s become a happy hub for family gatherings, and this space is really the heart of it all,” Peter Dunham says of this great room in a Montana lakeside residence. “For the palette and overall vibe, I took inspiration from the dramatic lake view.”

The surroundings also served as muse for the architect, Larry Pearson, of Pearson Design Group, who incorporated an abundance of local materials. These, Dunham explains, “really helped drive home the ‘sense of place’ that everyone was chasing.”

Aspen Home
by Stephen Sills Associates
Photo by Nikolas Koenig

In this Aspen home, Stephen Sills strayed from the typical mountain retreat template, using moments of bold color to spice up the traditional neutral palette. Here, a vibrant Joan Mitchell painting overlooks a grouping of seating pieces including a pair of deep blue Paul Dupré-Lafon armchairs.

Aspen Chalet
by Sara Story Design
Photo by David Marlow

“By marrying the scenic views of Aspen’s mountain-scape with contemporary works that have bold pops of color, it creates a dynamic yet alluring setting,” Sara Story says of her decor for this contemporary chalet.

Beyond the paintings — by Barnaby Furnas, Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol — she complemented the wilderness views with pieces by mid-century creators like Gianfranco Frattini, Carlo de Carli and Hans Olsen.

by Gary McBournie Inc.
Photo by Gordon Beall

“The natural beauty of the mountains in Montana is overwhelming,” says Gary McBournie, citing his inspiration for a vacation home in that state’s elite Yellowstone Club. “So much so that the client wanted to bring the outdoor color scheme inside.” Here, rustic wood columns frame comfy seating in earth tones.

Lone Pine
by CLB Architects
Photo by Matthew Millman

Crafted by CLB Architects and interior designer Pepe Lopez, the Lone Pine compound, sitting at the base of the Tetons in Jackson, Wyoming, is equal parts comfortable and design-forward. Its “many unique elements and carefully considered details,” CLB Architects’ Jaye Infanger explains, “result in a seamless merger of form and function.” For Lopez, meanwhile, a central concern was that the house “retain a sense of its location.”

Accordingly, he continues, “we chose a deep color palette of wood tones and beiges, with browns, rust and teal accents. Textures and mix of materials were very important as well, mixing metal, stone, wood and ceramic.” The living room exemplifies this schema in its pairing of a Knoll sofa and India Mahdavi chairs with a vintage game table from Converso.

Photo courtesy of Cashmere Interior

“We wanted a rustic-modern ski chalet that also embraces a bohemian farmhouse vibe,” says Cashmere Interior owner and principal designer Charlene Petersen, explaining her team’s design for a Big Sky, Montana, winter getaway.

With its two-story windows, the living room seems perched among the white-capped mountains. But Peterson made sure those inside were warm and comfortable, setting Verellen sofas and swivel chairs atop a Moroccan carpet from Esmaili Rugs, with a custom antler chandelier hanging above.

Photo by Gibeon Photography

“We wanted to balance the raw physicality of the architectural elements, including the steel window and structural I-beams, with soft fabrics in a serene palette,” Joe McGuire says of this living room in a home in Aspen’s West End with views toward Red Mountain.

McGuire set the desired calm tone with furnishings — a Viesso sofa, cocktail table and lounge chair, arranged on a custom silk and wool area rug — in an array of creams, grays and blues, adding a touch of (quiet) drama with a custom Lambert et Fils chandelier, hung from the soaring ceiling.

West End Retreat
by Workshop APD
Photo by Read McKendree

“For the redesign, we were tasked with creating a warm, inviting home suited for entertaining,” says Workshop/APD founding principal Matt Berman, referring to the firm’s transformation of an 1880s former miner’s cabin in a historic Aspen enclave. “The idea was to connect past, present and future with a cool, tonal palette and sophisticated furnishings that offset the family’s art collection.”

Here, eye-catching artworks like Ryan McGinley’s Light Leak meet their match in impressive lighting fixtures by Jean Boris Lacroix, Apparatus and Matter Shy.

Photo by Eric Piasecki

For this living space in a Montana family ranch house, Kylee Shintaffer, explains, “we used multiple organic textures to keep the room connected with its natural surroundings.” That includes nature of the four-hoofed kind, as witness the horse portrait presiding between the two windows.

Mountain Modern by Robbins Architecture
Photo by Steve Hall

“The inspiration for this is the mountain view,” Celeste Robbins says of a modern Aspen residence where she took the concept of indoor-outdoor living to a new level with a massive, 30-foot-wide motorized window wall. “The flow to the terrace is seamless and the entire great room wall opens up with a flip of a switch,” she notes.

Vacation Home by Forum Phi Interiors in Aspen, CO
Photo by Draper White

An Aspen vacation home received a dramatic interior renovation, care of the Forum Phi team: “The integration of plush furs, hair on hide, natural wood slabs, leather accents and mixed metals speaks to the rugged Colorado landscape visible from the floor to ceiling windows,” they explain. “Together, the two styles create a fluid mountain modern theme.”

An artistic counterpoint is provided by the two light fixtures, one a custom piece by Yellow Goat, the other composed of tapered glass drops with integrated LED bulbs. The sectional sofa and chaise are both custom designs by Forum Phi.

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