The double front doors contain an exception to our Art Nouveau fundamental design discipline; these are two Art Deco leaded glass panels from the 1920s. The large front hall (45’ X15’) reflects the scale throughout the house: able to accommodate large groups while possessing intimate spaces for family and a few friends.
The front entrance hall contains important columns and pilasters that are also reflected throughout the great room. These 15” elements use a distinct Art Nouveau surface, flat with rounded corner panels connecting to large capitals and bases; these details are distinctly ‘non-classical’.
The 60’ x 29’ great room has two fireplaces, one log burning and one gas fired. The walls are 11” ‘square grooved’ Cyprus boards. All the wooden floors throughout the house are 7” Hickory. The coffered ceiling is entirely made from fresh water Cyprus wood. Note the paneling change to smaller square flat panels above the granite surrounded fireplaces.
This particular room is a good place to explain the wood design standards used throughout the house. Each primary room uses a similar, but distinct, design theme. All the wood is Cypress because this was the popular material in America at the turn of the century. Cypress is a softer “hard wood” with long fibers. It grows abundantly and rapidly in brackish water along the southern Gulf Coasts; it was evident even at the turn of the 19th Century that wood was a valuable resource that needed reasonable conservation.
This wood also accepts classic staining material and produces a rich, durable finish; throughout the house the wood finishers were able to adjust from dark to light finish in order to best provide variety and to create lighter and darker spaces. The Hickory Floors also had their darkness adjusted to meet the room’s intended use and mood. All of the wood used was conditioned in the house or barn for a minimum of 6 months before it was milled or installed.
Three large windows, each containing doors, open onto the West facing stone terrace, which is also 60’ long and ends with an entrance to the Dining Room. This area overlooks more than 20,000 acres of wilderness, with the Snowmass and Buttermilk ski areas included. The terrace is a popular gathering area, and is heavily used in the summer for cocktails and accommodates extensive seating and dining options.
At the South end of the great room is Blondie’s Cabin Pub; this is the site of the original log cabin built by the original ranch owner, Art Pfister, and is a tribute to his thoughtfulness with everyone in the community. This flat paneled space is a popular gathering place before and after dinner; it is fully equipped with all appliances and generous storage areas. It features a fine lighted Art Nouveau art glass window.
The South Stair Tower uses a particularly interesting surface: 5” V-groove boards framed by 6” boards, creating distinct panels.
This tower leads to the top level Library, which uses a traditional flat wood panel motif with bold framing on walls and ceiling. The room has extensive book shelves and is capped with 18” crown moldings. The light fixtures reflect historic periods in the shingle style development. Also of particular architectural interest are the signature Art Nouveau column/pilasters with their octagonal enlarged bottoms and slimmer upper columns; this was developed in order to reflect the strength employed in their frequent iron renditions. This design is used in several places throughout the house and often covers a steel post. Adjacent to the Library is a wet bar/’breakfast kitchen’ which serves the large adjacent outdoor terrace, hot tub, and outdoor living room and barbeque structure.
There is also an adjacent ski preparation locker room/bath because the terrace is the beginning and end of the ski-out and ski-in trails to the West Buttermilk lift which can be seen below the house from the ski terrace. This outdoor space also contains a built in barbeque which is busy with meals in both winter and summer. The large adjacent fireplace creates good warmth which is supplemented by overhead gas fired radiant heaters. The hot tub is custom designed with space for 10 people.
The top level of this South wing also contains the master bedroom suite. It is accessed by a ‘bridge’, below which are stairs leading from the parking circle to the library ski terrace. The passage to the bedroom also has a turn of the century art glass circular window, probably created for a New England library.
The master suite space is 44’ long by between 20’ and 30’ wide. The bedroom has East facing windows and a turn of the century fireplace mantel; though not paneled, the base and ceiling trims are sized generously.
The passage to the master ‘double bath’ is flanked by two separate dressing rooms, each approximately 10 feet square. They include built in bureaus, extensive shelving and hanging spaces, as well as center island storage.
The 30’ long master bath has double fixtures throughout. It also uses granite and wood paneling throughout the space. There is also a door leading to the terrace and hot tub.
Returning to the main entrance, there are two choices leading down to the dining room: the steps directly from the great room and the North Tower steps to the greenhouse gallery. The long gallery has South facing window walls opening to the lawn and parking circle. It is framed by numerous pilasters and 18” entrance cornices.
The dining room is a 30’ octagon which accommodates four or five round tables each seating between 6 and 10 people. The room’s ceiling uses a European sourced acoustical plaster which remarkably improves conversational acoustics. The room also features a beautiful lighted Tiffany turn of the century art glass garden scene window.
Adjacent to the dining space is the pantry and kitchen, totaling 30’ x 20’. There is a full complement of appliances including 3 refrigerators, 3 dishwashers, 6 foot commercial stove/oven and numerous other accessory appliances. The food preparation counters and islands are generous granite spaces, accommodating numerous above and below storage units.
Sharing a dining counter with the kitchen is the family room with sofas and an informal dining table. All these spaces reflect the beautiful Cypress paneling throughout the rest of the house; you will notice the finishes are lighter. The family room opens on to the East terrace which has seating spaces and its own barbeque.
Next to the family room is the administrative office. This is central to most activities and is equipped to manage and communicate throughout the house. Again, it has generous storage and display areas.
Down the hall from this area begins the family bedroom suites; there are two suites on the main floor and two suites below them on the ground floor. Three of these East facing bedrooms contain doors to outside areas. Each bedroom is generously sized and contains either king beds or twin beds. The baths are paneled in granite with some decorative artistic tile trims. The closets have generous hanging and shelf space for easy clothing storage.
Leaving the lower level bedroom one enters a long room containing shelves for books and family knick-knack collections. At the other end of the space is the base of the North Stair Tower.
The large room on the North end of the space is a game room, again extensively paneled with 7” boards and significant ceiling and wall trim. Besides sofas and tables, the space has room for pool and game tables. Doors lead to the outside grass activity areas. There is also a wet snack bar. Note the Molesworth furnishings.
Connecting to the game room is a generous main office room which accommodates the usual equipment and built-in functional drawers and cabinets.
The room adjacent to the main office is the seventh guest suite. Here, there are built in wall cabinets, drawers and work surfaces; the room also has doors leading to the fenced grass play yard. This space is occasionally used as an additional office.
Returning to the North Tower landing, one enters the large 20 seat movie theatre: this entrance includes a shingle style turn of the century art glass door and trim. The rows are arranged on four risers, the screen is 12’ long and 7’ tall. This room has been created with architectural wall and ceiling trim, built in leather reclining lounge seating and a modest stage area. All matter of electronic hook ups are installed in its floor. The West side of the theatre enters a generous play room used for both meeting and playing activities.
Off this area are an additional half bath, family seasonal storage/clothing room, and the house’s main electronic and mechanical control office. The control office was designed to manage each of the house’s systems from television to heating and all other mechanical systems. It is a fully equipped office used by the Ranch Manager and any of his team members.
On the other side of the theatre are the massage room and a separate full bath with steam shower. Again these spaces are also accessible from the base of the North Stair Tower
Also included with the North Stair Tower is the house’s wine cellar. This was integrated into the center of the circular stair case and has a beautiful art glass ceiling reflecting the four seasons of the surrounding Aspen trees. This temperature controlled storage accommodates approximately 725 wine bottles. Behind this area is an undeveloped space beneath the entrance terrace; this was designed to accommodate additional wine storage and an intimate dining and tasting area.