Collaboration Corner: Decorative Materials & Mountain Living 2017 Home of the Year

Jan 18, 2018

Every year, acclaimed magazine Mountain Living asks architects, designers and homeowners to share their latest accomplishments in pursuit of the coveted Home of the Year Award. The magazine receives a myriad of impressive entries, which include photographs of several rooms and special features. Finalists often receive walk-through evaluations from the judging committee, which may express curiosity surrounding the home's in-person atmosphere.

In 2017, the Home of the Year Award was granted to a 'mountain marvel' in Aspen, Colorado. Both gorgeous and practical, the home was constructed with Aspen's climate, culture and recreational opportunities in mind.

The Beauty of Aspen


The LEED-certified masterpiece named 2017 Home of the Year was sparked by a couple from Los Angeles. The homeowners originally began visiting Aspen in hopes of teaching their young children to ski. Charmed by the region's natural beauty and unique culture, they decided to build a home that could serve as both gathering place and inspiration for their friends and family members. 

The architects responsible for the home's stunning design drew inspiration in the natural beauty of the Aspen area. The home was purposefully constructed in an elongated shape so as to maximize entertaining opportunities and natural lighting while also providing the best possible view of the mountains. Large triple-glazed windows make visitors feel like they're perpetually in the great outdoors. It's impossible to visit or even glimpse household photos without gaining an appreciation for the rugged mountain beauty that dominates the Aspen area.

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The Team

Determined to work only with the finest team, the homeowners selected Charles Cunniffe Architects. They prioritized architects with ample experience in building to suit Aspen's demanding climate. All household features must withstand cold, snowy winters while also making the most of delightful summer weather. Team members were also selected based on their understanding of sustainable architecture.

Principal Charles Cunniffe fit the aforementioned requirements closely while also boasting a natural enthusiasm for mountain architecture. His team also consisted of senior project architect Jim Kehoe, senior project manager Erica Delak, principal contractor Shane Evans, interior designer Chris Powell and sustainability consultants from Active Energies.

Decorative Materials collaborated closely with principal interior designer Chris Powell and Studio 133. Tile selection played an integral role in the ultimate success of the project.

The Tile Design


The home's flooring, as with all other features, seeks to pay homage to the majestic mountain beauty of Aspen. This emphasis is particularly evident in the master bathroom, featuring a gorgeous handcrafted aspen branch mosaic constructed from stone. The mosaic beautifully captures the essence of Aspen and the tree for which the charming town was originally named.


Equally stunning mosaics from New Ravenna play a central role in the powder and pool changing room, which also features a Rocky Mountain Hardware Pond sink with a Newport Brass faucet. Decorative Materials' efforts were also critical to the success of the mud room, featuring gorgeous Rex Ceramiche porcelain tile. Here, and in other rooms, the goal was to stick with one or two dominant colors, while calling attention to a key feature - as the design team puts it, "something that shines."

Charles Cunniffe and his remarkable team clearly deserve credit for their work on Mountain Living's Home of the Year. Simple yet glamorous, the home truly captures the essence of Aspen. 

Looking for more design inspiration? Come explore our gallery and ensure you are prepared for a design consultation with Decorative Materials. Contact us today to learn more.