Western Romance: A Scenic Colorado Home

Western Romance: A Scenic Colorado Home


One vacation was all it took for an Ohio couple to fall in love with Colorado. While visiting Durango with their son and daughter-in-law a few years back, the two were taken with the area’s wildlife. “I’m an animal lover,” says the wife, “and everywhere we went we saw elk, deer and wild turkeys.” They also liked the local attractions for kids—hiking, horseback riding and skiing. There’s even a scenic train ride. “This place is a grandchild magnet,” she says.

The couple returned and set forth creating a relaxed four-bedroom retreat, which huddles along a bend in the Animas River a few miles north of Durango. To create a house that fit their family-friendly lifestyle (and three generations’ worth of guests), they turned to architect George Acock and interior designer Sally McDonald, a team they had used before at their home in Ohio. “In this wonderful landscape, they wanted to create a visually romantic yet fun-filled place to be,” says Acock, who sited the home along the water to capture views both upstream and down.

To establish a sense of resonance with the area, Acock crafted a background narrative about how the house might have come into being. “We thought of it as the homestead a pioneer built more than 100 years ago and was then added on to by every generation since,” he says. A two-story mass in the center represents the original home, while the great room, garage and screened porches were designed to appear as additions.

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