Steamboat Springs boasts some of Colorado’s most awe-inspiring views, but reaching the most striking among them sometimes requires a bit of a hike. That’s exactly how Michael and Lori Kimble reached the hilltop view that inspired their dream home. The vision began with a simple hike on their recently purchased land. Then another. Then, the Kimbles set up a bench and firepit to take in the sweeping vistas and stunning sunsets over the valley and nearby Emerald Mountain and began envisioning their new home. 

“We wanted our home to feel solid yet cozy and be made up of materials that are synonymous with nature, like stone and wood,” Michael Kimble said.

To bring their vision to life – a craftsman home that hugged the hillside – they hired contractor JSM Builders and Vertical Arts Architecture. Planning to spend as much time outside the home as inside, the couple expressed their desire to make their outdoor living areas just as comfortable and useful as the interior space.

photo of front door
Stonework seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor spaces as seen here in the welcoming entryway.

The team set forth designing a rustic home with floor-to-ceiling windows in all the main living spaces, marrying the rugged scenery with the home’s warm and welcoming interior. 

“We were able to pinpoint the precise views they wanted to see when entering the home and enjoying their outdoor spaces,” said architect and interior designer Sarah Teideken O’Brien. “From there, we strategically oriented the home on the site to make it happen.”

It was no easy feat. The first step was installing a 900-foot-long driveway that gains 80 feet of elevation as it reaches the top of the ridge. This allowed the home’s placement on the edge of the knoll with a gentle arch shape opening to unimpeded 360-degree views.

“Our home’s deliberate placement allows us to enjoy the great outdoors with phenomenal panoramic views of the Flat Top mountains, Hahn’s Peak and more,” Lori Kimble said.

photo of home and fall colors
The home’s gentle arch shape wraps around the knoll it’s perched upon.

As for outdoor access, Vertical Arts created multiple spaces to capitalize on the stunning scenery. The primary patio off of the dining room houses a covered outdoor dining area and a grill with spectacular views, while a private deck off of the office provides a bird’s eye view of the surrounding peaks and landscape below. A smaller patio located off of the kitchen on the home leeward’s side offers a sheltered oasis to enjoy the sun and fresh air, even on windy days. 

photo of bathroom
The warm and smooth colors and materials in the main bathroom create an airy feeling, which opens up to a private patio and hot tub.

“We spend nearly every evening outside watching the sky change colors, spotting wildlife and listening to the sounds of nature,” Michael said.

Located right off of the main bathroom and connected bedroom, Aqua Vita Spas installed an outdoor spa that is situated perfectly for stargazing.

“The tranquil setting and views from the spa really encapsulate the Yampa Valley lifestyle,” said Aqua Vita Spas general manager Victor Puleo.

Inside the home, the couple desired just as many inviting spaces to access year-round views of their natural surroundings.

From the front door, the functional design allows a clear sight line through the entire home, with views to the west. The large windows in the main living space prominently feature a sweeping view of the valley while the fireplace anchors the room and bold ceiling truss work draws the eye upward. 

The interior design team integrated roller shades into window frames to provide the perks of curtains and blinds without bulky hardware  blocking the views.

Intentionally omitting upper cabinets in the kitchen created a simple and elegant flow through the main gathering areas while the nearby dining room’s specialty floor-to-ceiling glass doors open up to the patio, providing the sensation of being outside. To round out the home, according to JSM Builders, one of its most unique features are the three-sided windows in the office space which offers an unrivaled vantage point of the sprawling views.  

“We open the windows and doors throughout the home both to let the fresh air in and to help regulate temperature. It’s like being in nature when you’re inside the home,” Lori said.

The couple loves the blend of natural materials and believes the Vertical Arts team perfectly balanced the use of stone, wood, glass and steel.

They were especially impressed with JSM Builders’ high-quality craftsmanship and stonework throughout the home. The gorgeous natural stone seamlessly flows from outside to inside the home and the abundance of natural light paired with its warm color palette instills a distinctive feeling of coziness. 

“The use of stone makes the home feel sturdy. It’s like the stone was already there and the glass, wood and steel was built around it,” Mike said.

The interior design captures the abundant natural light, pairing a clean, streamlined layout with more rustic features, such as wooden beams and iron and bronze light fixtures. Modern, flat-paneled cabinetry in the kitchen made from reclaimed wood serves as an appliance wall for a cohesive look.

photo of 2 chair by windows
Floor-to-ceiling windows allow the homeowners to enjoy views of Emerald Mountain and the valley below.

The private main bedroom and bathroom suite, located across a small bridge, also ranks among the home’s most standout features.

Attached to the rest of the house with a lovely foyer that serves as a waypoint with its own television, library, and double-sided fireplace, the main bedroom is a sanctuary of peace and privacy. The main bathroom’s private patio is perched on the edge of the hill and includes a hot tub. Both the tiramisu travertine pattern on the bathroom’s shower walls and the milky cream cabinets in the bathroom offset the home’s rustic style with a refreshing airiness.

photo of bed
Natural elements like timber beans and iron fixtures are juxtaposed against a smooth, tiramisu travertine pattern on the main bedroom walls to create a warm and cozy space.

Beginning with an unforgettable hike, the couple described the finished product of their vision as “exactly what we wanted.” 

Their dream home on the hilltop delivers ultimate comfort and a true sense of oneness with the surrounding landscape. 

“In our home, we feel connected to nature and connected to each other,” Lori said.

Photos: David Patterson

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  • Architect & Design: Vertical Arts
  • Builder: JSM Builders
  • Spa: AquaVita Spas
  • A/V & Smart Home Technology: Imagine Technology Services/Nexus Home Automation
  • Decorative Light Fixtures: Tricia Hauan with The Light Center
  • Insulation: Accurate Insulation
  • Flooring: Advanced Hardwood Flooring
  • Lumber: Alpine Lumber
  • Well Pump: B&J Pump
  • Garage Doors: Carriage House Doors
  • Gypcrete: ColoradoCrete
  • Plumbing & Heating: Cross Mountain Plumbing & Heating
  • Appliances: Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.
  • Tile: Forefront Interiors
  • Cabinets: Genesis Hospitality Corporation
  • Countertops: Granitech
  • Interior Doors, Cabinets: H2D Enterprises
  • Electrical System: JCH Electric, Inc.
  • Shower Glass: Johnson Glass, Inc.
  • Fireplaces: Mountain Home Stove & Fireplace
  • Master Closet: Mountain Sky Closets
  • Excavation: Nordic Excavating
  • Carpet & Tile: Paramount Designs
  • Exterior & Interior Stone: Rumos Masonry
  • Gutters, Snow Bar: Sweet Peaks Seamless Gutter