Steamboat Springs has always been known for its alpine weather and outdoor recreation, its cowboys and ranches, and its simplicity and ease. Somehow, the town has managed to evolve over time without losing its authentic charm or identity. This is also the case with home design. We’re more than A-frame log homes with stained finish, chinking, and elk head trophy mounts—we’re sleek exteriors and modern finishes with pops of personality and practical touches making each home unique and functional.
Four years ago, Lindsey Jamison and her family moved into their home just above downtown. Having lived the Marine Corps lifestyle comprised of 11 moves in 17 years, they were repeating a familiar and practiced pattern. For Lindsey, this transience became a personal comfort and professional power, and each home became a blank slate. She cultivated her own design aesthetic, one that’s bold and playful, tasteful and inviting.
The Jamisons loved their location and proximity to the schools, creeks, trails, and restaurants, and the 3,200 square foot floor plan with a full basement was perfect. But they needed an addition in front with a full-service mudroom to accommodate the family’s three active teens and two energetic dogs. They chose Mountain Architecture Design Group and Timberline Contracting to do the exterior remodel, including the new front porch, walkway, mudroom, and entryway.
From Mountain Architecture Design Group, Chancie Keenan, AIA, Principal Architect, LEED A.P., helped address drainage concerns and provided protection at the entry while adding elements of interest to the otherwise predictable front facade. “Using a flat roof allowed us to maintain a clerestory window above,” Chancie said, “which brings additional light into the interior of the home. The addition of board-formed concrete landscape walls helped define the entrance and give it the custom touch it was lacking.” On the walkway, they swapped out old stone for modern, hand-made concrete tile. They updated the exterior siding in a dramatic black shou sugi ban siding (charred wood) for a fresh look and installed a glass garage door for a contemporary quality.
Prior to the renovation, the utilitarian design of the Jamisons’ home was reminiscent of its era. Especially with Lindsey’s affinity for thinking outside the box, Chancie was able to achieve a more stylish curb appeal. While the construction project was undoubtedly functional, the design was purely for fun. When you enter the home, you walk into a story. It unfolds immediately, but it doesn’t rush you. Your eyes cover everything they see. The further you explore, the more you feel and experience. The home implores your senses and piques your curiosity.
The bright orange front door opens to forest green cubbies and hooks for the kids’ gear on one side. Gray beehive hex tiles thread from the entryway floor and climb up a portion of the wall. A sliding glass barn door can readily tuck haphazard messes away. On the other side, the wall is covered with a large paper and grass cloth mural. It’s natural, adds a layer of texture, and makes a swift statement.
The entrance brings you straight into the open living area, where the hexagonal tiles end and the black stained hardwood begins. Pops of bright colors—a sunny yellow chair and abstract fuchsia wall art—stand out from the white walls and contrast the opposing black and white concrete tiles of the fireplace. The colors and shapes in this room are varied and distinct. But they’re not distracting, they’re cohesive.
Flowing off to the side is the dining room which used to be walled off and formal. Now, it’s casual and defined by a Nuevo Living ping pong table flanked by a combination of pink chairs and black chairs. This table makes dining sleek, industrial, and unconventional.
The kitchen peels off from the dining room and keeps the fun, playful atmosphere. There’s no escaping the bright red 60s Big Chill fridge—it’s not your everyday kitchen appliance. “Everyone notices and likes it,” Lindsey says. “It’s a conversation starter and keeps things interesting.”
The lower kitchen cabinets are painted Benjamin Moore Polo Blue and the higher cabinets were torn out and replaced with open shelves. The Victorian Big Chill oven gives off a classic 40s look while the walnut island adds a 50s feel. The white quartz countertop extends all the way up to the ceiling and frames the hood. The kitchen perfectly illustrates Lindsey’s style: retro with an eclectic vibe.
“I’m not afraid to mix styles,” she says. “I love a modern chandelier, an antique table, and a vintage rug.”
Moving downstairs to the basement rec room, you confirm your suspicion that this family is free-spirited. One wall has a black and white mural of a Volkswagen Bus reminiscent of an earlier Steamboat. There’s an entertainment center, a basketball hoop, and a pool table. The Flor Square carpet is a black and white Mod Cow pattern. The oversized fluffy white sectional couch can be moved around in multiple configurations. It’s cool, functional, and dreamy cozy. This is where all teens want to be.
The kids’ bedrooms all show similar signs of spunky, confident design. Henry’s room has a cabin feel to it, with wood on one wall and a deep naval blue paint on the others. The door is a neon lime green, and there are old skis on the ceiling telling stories of local lore. Betsy’s room is covered in bright floral wallpaper; it’s bold to match her personality. Gwyn has watercolor buffalo check wallpaper; it’s mountainous, traditional, and grounding. All three kids have antique wood desks that they went searching for and found together with Lindsey.
Throughout the home, Lindsey’s appreciation of art is apparent. Every piece makes you think and feel. Art can be an abstract accent for color or the thematic centerpiece. Some pieces are telltale signs of good living—a print of a woman smoking a cigar, invoking rich Afro-Cuban culture, and a Slim Aarons’ vintage print of old-school, upper-class skiing. The Johnny Cash Middle Finger photo from Folsom Prison covers an entire wall in the office. The prints in this home are pieces of a collective history.
The Jamisons lived in their home throughout the entire remodel and redesign process, just as they have always done. That ability to live in long-term states of renovation for so many years shows just how bold Lindsey is. “You don’t ever have to be afraid,” she explains, “because you can always change things.” Her fearless and eclectic approach helps Lindsey stay happy (and busy) in Steamboat.
“Living in the mountains, it’s important to bring in colors and textiles. With all the leather and fur, you need to add elements that speak to the landscape.”
As Partner and Lead Designer at Rumor Designs, Lindsey constantly creates and she also follows trends. She has inspiration pages and pins on Pinterest, but she’s careful with them. She puts her own spin on popular trends so she can stay relevant longer and avoid becoming cliched. Lindsey has a lot of learned and valuable knowledge about artful ideas, resources, and how-to’s, but she also has a lot of self-awareness. Very simply, she picks pieces and goes with ideas that make her happy. She’s not afraid of breaking the rules and she’s not afraid of forever. “Design is a representation of who you are, so the project is never really over.”
Deirdre Pepin is a freelance writer who has lived in Steamboat Springs for more than two decades and appreciates the personal and cultural aspects related to design and architecture.