bedroom remodel

The Story Behind a Cordillera Remodel

For this client, the mountain-modern makeover of a traditional log home in Cordillera represents the culmination of a premonition that struck her long ago.

After visiting in the ‘80s as a skier who had gravitated to the Valley, she knew she wanted a piece of her life to be in the mountains. Fast-forward to the early 2000s, when she and her husband began looking into buying a home. The realtor showed the couple around Singletree [in Edwards] and Mountain Star [above the town of Avon] and Cordillera, which they were familiar with and liked for its tranquility. Upon walking through the door of a Cordillera home, they realized it would be their new mountain retreat.

kitchen remodel

The remodeled kitchen reorients the space toward views, improves flow, and encourages interaction with guests.

Finding an interior designer to partner with on the project was key. Networking around the Valley and attending open houses in the area led to a serendipitous meeting with our team at Collective. “We liked the way they worked and the freshness of how they approach things,” the client explains. Organically, that connection led to an introduction to builder Sean McGinley at Meadow Mountain Homes in Edwards and to Lisa Yates, our lead interior designer. “It was a team approach from the start,” the client adds.

Yates, who had lived in the area and was quite familiar with Cordillera, connected immediately with the owners and their intentions for the home. “They’d been part of a younger demographic moving in there, and while they loved the bones of the home, they were craving that updated, brighter, refreshed look without getting away from the initial design intent,” says Yates. “They wanted to take a good thing and make it better.”

cordillera master bath

The main bathroom was completely refreshed to be a brighter and more open space, with a freestanding oval Kohler tub, a custom vanity, fixtures by Brizco, and tile flooring by Interceramic.

With that in mind, the remodeling team set about modernizing the 4,773-square-foot home (with four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, built in 1998) while honoring its log and stone heritage. After developing a plan for the unremarkable kitchen—reorienting the layout to take advantage of surrounding views and opening it up for social events—the designers followed with the master bedroom and bath, then the main living room, where the clients spent most of their time. Design, material, and coloration decisions were well underway, and work was going smoothly—until the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

While the couple quarantined in Nantucket, the decision was made to keep going with the Cordillera project. “With everybody struggling, we felt it was an important time to support the community, the designers and builders, the woodworking guys,” the client said.


A guest bedroom was updated to match the overriding interior concept and comfort of the home, including a custom headboard paired with plump pillows in multiple fabrics.

While the rest of the world adjusted to the novel challenges of working remotely, Yates already was accustomed to the routine.

“Working in Summit County, 95 percent of my client base was from somewhere else,” she says. “Remote design was really never a challenge. It was what I was taught straight out of the gate.”

A perfect example was the working relationship established with the kitchen designer, Marilyn Bryant of Cutting Edge Woodworking. “She and I would chat, then she would [create samples] and set them outside,” says Yates. “Twenty-four hours later, I’d pick them up and take them home, make videos for the owners, and send them over for approval. A lot of videos went back and forth.” Perseverance was critical, she adds, as was patience.


“Before” photos of the living room, dining room, master bath, and kitchen demonstrate the extent of the work that was done during the remodel. Says interior designer Lisa Yates: “We modernized it—made it relaxed and cozy.”

cordillera fireplace

The palette of the stacked stone fireplace surround was inspired by colors integrated within the existing log detailing found throughout the home.

With a goal of making the overall space feel more inviting and more functional, the cramped kitchen was enlarged and outfitted with new light gray cabinetry (a modern break from the room’s ubiquitous yellow and brown tones), new stainless-steel Wolf and SubZero appliances (repositioned for efficiency and flow), and a significant new island whose curved edge was oriented toward adjacent windows. Seating was moved to a new high-top table and paired with a built-in wet bar.

That color scheme extended into the dining room, with re-upholstered chairs and the addition of a more contemporary rug and light fixture, and through to the open living room, where Yates proposed the largest sectional she’d ever done so that the owners could enjoy relaxing, watching television, or simply enjoying the mountain views.

cordillera living room

The living room features a new sectional from Lee Industries with custom decorative pillows and fabric from Kravl. The nesting Bernhardt cocktail tables were matched with a rug from The Scarab in Minturn.

cordillera bedroom

Perhaps the most significant change was made to the main bedroom and bath. “The bedroom was all painted Venetian plaster, very gold and beige and dark, and with heavy, off-scale furniture,” says Yates. “We modernized it—made it relaxed and cozy.”

A custom, live-edge headboard now complements the original logs with a more artisanal look, and silk wall coverings add texture. As for updating the bath, Yates says with a laugh, “The first thing to go was a built-in Jacuzzi tub we replaced with an oval freestanding tub.” Countertops, tile, plumbing, lighting, mirrors: all were given a major refresh for a lighter, more open effect.

cordillera kitchen

Granite-hued cabinetry by Cutting Edge Woodworking complements the stainless steel finish of a professional Wolf range and countertops by The Stone Collection.

cordillera bar

Just off the main kitchen, interior designer Lisa Yates installed a bar-height table, which functions as a breakfast bar, a gathering place for guests, and a workspace for the owners. The Revolve lighting fixture is from Inside Source.

Upon completion, the overwhelming consensus from everyone, in particular from neighbors in Cordillera with homes of similar vintage and design who admired the brighter, airier feel, was: well done.

“It was so rewarding,” says Yates. “Our relationship with the owners and their trust in us was a big part of achieving the level we got to.”

“It was a good team effort,” adds the client. “Lisa was easy to work with and understood the vibe we were going for. We absolutely love it.”

More and more, every single day, now that their home away from home has become their primary place to stay.

To begin a conversation about how we can help you create the mountain home of your dreams, get in touch.



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