Eco-Friendly Mountain Ranch Home Has Some Unexpected Features

There’s something distinctive about the way a mountain ranch style house blends with its surroundings and this Colorado residence is a prime example. And, while it has plenty of rustic features, it also offers up plenty of creature comforts and fun, not only in the main home but especially in the detached barn.

HandleBar Ranch is a fitting name for the heavily wooded property because the owners are major bike enthusiasts. Located in Evergreen, Colorado, west of Denver, the home was designed by Centre Sky Architecture and actually consists of three separate structures. Originally the property had a house and barn, which were removed and new buildings constructed. Both the new home and barn were designed to take advantage of the views across a large meadow as well as a seasonal creek that runs across the site.

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The exterior has what many call a traditional “Montana Ranch” design while the barn has more of a mountain contemporary aesthetic because it features exposed steel. A majority of the materials for the exterior, as well as the interior, were sourced by Vintage Woods & Metals, including the wooden siding and trusses and steel beams and columns. Not surprisingly, the home is also strongly oriented toward energy efficiency and includes solar panels, a geothermal heating system and energy-efficient windows. Speaking of the windows, the large expanses of glass are characteristic of luxurious mountain homes, and HandleBar Ranch has plenty, which not only opens up the views but also let copious amounts of natural light into every room.

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Surrounding the house, low maintenance landscaping and evergreens take the fuss out of caring for the exterior areas, leaving more time for fun and relaxation. The natural materials like the timbers and stone walls help the exterior blend seamlessly with the landscape.

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Despite the rustic elements, the interior of the home definitely has a contemporary mountain style. Without a doubt, the dominant feature of the living room is the two-story stone fireplace that reaches all the way to the rafters. Everything in the space is casual, comfortable and very laid back.  The lighter fixture suspended in the room is particularly striking for its rustic and slightly haphazard design. A minimum of accessories in the room keep the focus on the major elements as well as the view out the window.

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To keep the main living area clean and uncluttered, rustic shelving is included in an adjacent area for books and the display of objects. Live-edge shelving has a super rustic look that is tempered by the modern black and riveted wall behind it. This area is a good example of how the architects mixed mountain with modern, something that many might consider more than challenging.

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Typical for this style of home, the soaring ceiling is clad in timbers and features exposed beams, which are repeated underneath the loft floor area where a grand piano is situated. Once again, modern elements like the railing are incorporated into the space, not only for visual appeal but also to keep the railing from being too much of a visual barrier. So much dark wood is certainly not a problem in a high-ceilinged space because of the natural light that floods in.

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The spacious open plan kitchen is very much at the modern end of the design spectrum — with a few rustic twists added in. Sleek gray cabinetry and white countertops are used throughout the room but at the island, the eating extension is crafted from a live-edge slab of wood. A rustic trug adds another earthy pop. The most unique feature in the kitchen are the windows at the end, which can fold up to open the space entirely. This is not only great for enjoying the outdoors, but it makes grilling out very convenient when you can put everything you need on the counter between the two spaces. No running in and out of the kitchen!

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Maintaining the clean and uncluttered mountain sensibility, the bedrooms are focused on the outdoors and are designed to be laid back and comfortable. The timber paneled ceiling is highlighted by the sliding barn door, which saves a lot of space and is large enough to cover the side window. It’s a very serene space thanks to its focus on the outdoors and a lack of distractions. The same type of clean look was chosen for the office, which also has a great view. The shelving unit behind the desk is made from natural wood trunks with thin, modern shelves.

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Maybe the most interesting elements for a fun-loving family are the outbuildings, which include a bike barn with a family/game room and a bike garage. This detached modern barn has a large open game room for entertaining and hanging out. In addition to the pool table, the barn includes a bar-height table and stools along with a bar and flatscreen television. The upper level has plenty of room for displaying the family’s bike collection, in addition to the ones hung on the wall on the lower level

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The bike garage is exactly that — a place where the owner can work on building and repairing the collection of mountain and terrain bikes. The garage has plenty of space for working and testing, along with garage cabinets to store tools, parts and other bike-related necessities. The location of the home is ideal for terrain bikers and the house is designed to support the family’s love of the sport.

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