The Modern Frontier

Finding influence in the homesteads of a bygone era, this house melds a sense of history with contemporary design.

By Nicole Holland Pearce | Photography by Todd Winslow Pierce


The past often serves as inspiration for the present. Imagine the grassy ranchland of the American frontier, surrounded by unspoiled views and native wildlife, and upon it sits a homestead. Nearby, a bunkhouse waits to put up hardworking cowboys for the night with a grain silo off in the distance. These elements are separate but integral parts, indicating shelter, food, warmth and rest. Doug Graybeal of Graybeal Architects applied these concepts in the development of this Lake Creek residence.
Nestled into an aspen grove overlooking a peaceful meadow, this ranch-style home is designed as if separate spaces of a historic homestead were combined into one gracious family dwelling. The master bedroom wing and library are a nod to the main ranch house, and adjacent are the rooms constructed for family and guests, which represent a bunkhouse. The rounded breakfast nook wall is covered in metal on the exterior, which Graybeal says recalls the shape of a silo. The neighboring caretaker unit is reminiscent of a shed.

Personal Interiors

By focusing on simplicity and good editing, designer Cindy Callicrate was able to marry a variety of design characteristics into a graceful story that flows from room to room. Parts of the home have stronger emphasis than others, such as the master bedroom suite’s contemporary Asian-inspired details, but all spaces remain delicately understated and bring historical touches into perfect harmony with modern design.
The homeowners are partial to Zen-like design and Japanese influences, so the architect and interior designer paid meticulous attention to these preferences. The red front door is a symbol of welcome in a number of world cultures. The pops of red continue throughout the design, from the unique dining room table to the master bath. The rich shade is the ideal complement to the warm wood tones used throughout the home, from the bathroom cabinetry to the kitchen island.
With a rich portfolio of artwork and heirlooms to work with, the designer gave each piece its own place in the home. Time was taken to ensure that the pieces were carefully incorporated, such as an inlay of tiles, reclaimed from the residents’ previous home, above the breakfast nook. The TV cabinet next to the fireplace is made from bamboo from the homeowner’s father’s woodshop. Even a special collection of piggybanks was given its own display.
The main living area incorporates commercial-grade sound panels, creating even sound quality throughout the communal spaces. In addition, many of the windows are triple-glazed, which provides both sound and thermal insulation.
Inside, five large glass panes from NanaWall open onto the porch. The screens from Phantom Screens retract and let in the sounds of the brook running through the meadow. This nearly seamless connection between the interior and exterior spaces allows the home to be one with its surroundings.

A Focus on the Future

Graybeal explored many different building materials to be certain each was nontoxic and environmentally sound. Insulated in concrete, the structure is energy-efficient and doesn’t rely heavily on fossil fuels for heating and cooling. The home’s green roof, which is covered in meadow grasses and succulents, provides insulation and serves as a natural aesthetic in the verdant landscape.
The roof integrates a system of tubes that work like a solar thermal collector, providing hot water to the home. And the entire structure is equipped with a ground source heat pump system, which harnesses geothermal energy to heat and cool the home.
The interior design components were also chosen with sustainability in mind: materials that reduced off-gassing, zero-VOC paints, reclaimed barn wood bunkbeds.
All of these elements—tradition, sustainability, history, simplicity—come together to create a tranquil mountain residence unlike any other.


Mountain Meadow

The home’s green roof is covered in meadow grasses and succulents, which provide many benefits, such as insulation and a natural aesthetic in the verdant landscape.


Warm Woods

The pops of red that add color to the interiors are the ideal complement to the warm wood tones used throughout the home, from the bath’s drawers and cabinetry to the kitchen island.


Sound Space

In addition to its visible beauty, the main living area incorporates commercial-grade sound panels to create an even sound quality throughout the living and dining rooms and the kitchen, which decreases distractions.


Perfect Harmony

Simple lines and well-edited design gracefully flow from room to room, including the master bedroom’s contemporary Asian-inspired details.


Zen Retreat

The homeowners’ love of Asian design shows up in a number of details in the master bath.

Architect: Doug Graybeal, Graybeal Architects, 0188 Sunset Ln., Carbondale, 970.704.1188,
Interior design: Cindy Callicrate, The Callicrate Company, 770 Castle Dr., Eagle, 970.328.1590,