Mountain Splendor

Raleigh builders’ home exudes equal parts rustic charm and grandeur.

The snow-covered hillsides and crisp mountain air of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, beckon many a traveler and more than a few yearround inhabitants. Former Raleigh residents Robert and Elizabeth Taylor moved their family to the community several years ago to fully embrace all the treasures Steamboat has to offer. 

The family has deep connections to both regions. Elizabeth Taylor grew up in Colorado, while Robert Taylor grew up in Raleigh. Robert Taylor attended University of Colorado, Boulder, and then moved back to Raleigh to run his construction company, Taylor Build. Upon relocating in the Rockies, the couple founded Grove Mountain Properties, a construction, real estate, and investment company that develops and builds homes in Steamboat Springs, with a portfolio that includes the Taylors’ own home.  “When we decided to build a house here, we wanted to incorporate all the styles that are near and dear to us,” Elizabeth Taylor explains. “We lived in an older bungalow in Raleigh. We called it farmhouse-modern, but here in Colorado, there is a lean toward what they call mountain-modern design. We were trying to do a blend of what we know and love and still incorporate the designs that are here.

” A true visionary, Robert Taylor drew up the plans – maintaining the existing footprint of the structure that was already on the land – and essentially framed the house with his own two hands. To assist with project planning, he pulled in Raleigh-based design firm Roux MacNeill Studio. He had previously collaborated with Brittany Roux on numerous projects. With this one, Roux made three trips to Steamboat, visited design showrooms in Denver, and worked remotely on the project from Raleigh. “We wanted
an aesthetic that would showcase three markers: steel, wood, and white. And we wanted to let the natural materials speak for themselves,” Roux says.

Case in point: The home’s entryway opens to an ultra-modern staircase with steel accents and floating stair treads. Beyond the staircase, Roux mixed in natural materials that contribute to the cozy, ski cottage vibe. This vibe continues in the home’s other entrance, the mudroom. With stained concrete floors, the space is impervious to damage from the ubiquitous skis and ski boots. Each of the wood lockers is outfitted with a leather pull, adding panache to a space that accommodates all manner of cold-weather supplies.

The preponderance of cold weather can’t keep out natural light, however. In the living room, sunlight fills the space through the room’s spectacular windows, which optimize light and capture splendid views of the nearby ski resort and snowy hills. The room’s pendant lights soar above the dining room table and further illuminate the space without blocking any of the views. 

The room’s furnishings are a study in natural textures, from the brightly colored woven pillows, whose composition is meant to resemble an antique rug, to the white, fluffy pillow that adds an extra layer of texture and warmth. Speaking of warmth, the home features its original wood-burning fireplace, a rarity in Steamboat. The Taylors’ fireplace has a floating concrete hearth hovering two feet off the ground, both rustic and modern at once.

In addition to the fireplace, Elizabeth Taylor loves the connectivity between the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Roux indicates that flow was a significant consideration, as was the color palette. “Because those spaces are connected, we went with a limited palette of lights, darks, and charcoal,” she explains. “The wood is meant to warm up the space because when you’re in a cold place, it’s all about bringing in warmth.”

Robert Taylor’s craftsmanship is most readily apparent in the kitchen, where he designed the cabinetry, with its rift-cut oak perfectly stained to enhance the character of the wood, and the pantry, which marries style and functionality. It has the capacity of a big and tall pantry, but not the bulky look of one. Instead, the contents are cleverly hidden. For items that should be seen, ribbed glass allows a distorted view of dishes and adds charm. So, too, do the custom pendant lights, selected to highlight the industrial look that the kitchen exudes. Black hardware throughout completes the look. 

In the downstairs powder room, a vintage Turkish rug makes the space come alive. Robert Taylor modeled the room after a French powder room he once saw, and it serves as a combination downstairs bath and guest bath, with a pocket door leading to it. “It’s very simple and clean,” Elizabeth Taylor explains. 

The white marble of the tub in the powder room is rivaled by the elegant geometric marble floor in the master bath. The orientation of the bathtub – strategically positioned by the windows – dictated the entire design of this space. Roux recommended a mixture of finishes, so the plumbing is polished nickel, while the hardware and lighting are accented in brass. 

A sliding barn door composed of white oak connects the master bath with the master bedroom. Elizabeth Taylor loves that it’s very natural, as the rest of the space is. “I love the master bedroom,” she says. “Nothing is super extravagant. It’s simple and cozy, but still modern and bright.”

 “Elizabeth has impeccable style,” Roux adds. “She is brilliant at collecting textiles and creating that layered look.” 

In addition to the layered textiles, the room’s barn door and simple furnishings create a woodsy winter (or summer) retreat, where nature occupies pride of place. And one of the best things about this room and the entire home is, of course, the view out the window.