On a mountain top high above Deer Valley, pros create a harmonious home where design, artistry and million-dollar views are perfectly aligned.
From the outside, the large wood, glass and stone house mimics its surroundings with soaring peaks and a monumental, grounded form. Perched atop Empire Pass, the home is located in Red Cloud—one of Deer Valley’s most desirable ski-in, ski-out communities offering to-die-for views from most any vantage point.
The setting is astonishing both in its beauty and in the inspiration it offers to those who design the homes located there. One such residence—recently completed by architect Ron Lee, builder Mike McNulty and designer Kristin Rocke—was originally conceived with a crisp, contemporary edge. But to better suit the community, the team recast it into the warm and welcoming dwelling it is today.
“Like so many things in life, this project began as one thing and evolved into what it was meant to be,” says Rocke, who dubs the home’s mountain style “Modern Craft.” She explains, “It’s artisanal, forward, elevated and, above all, comfortable.” These are the same qualities prized by the home’s new owners, who discovered and purchased the house while it was being built. It was a natural fit, Rocke explains. “The home found its people and the people found their home.”
The owners were drawn to the interior-exterior marriage of architecture and materiality that lives large throughout the house. “There is a lot of inside-out in this home,” says Rocke, referencing, for example, a stone wall that extends from the back of the home directly through its interior, imparting impressive scale and mass. “This architecture has a lot of muscle.” Rugged stone fireplaces team with cedar-clad ceilings and large steel beams that adorn and accentuate the dynamic architecture and marry it to the alpine landscape and jaw-dropping views. And while the clients admired these powerful elements, they also coveted ease and comfort.
To deliver, Rocke walked a fine line, honoring the home’s majestic mountaintop site and bold architecture, while designing for the casual, comfortable lifestyle of the owners and their teenage sons. To front the great room’s stone fireplace and offset the soaring ceiling and massive steel beams, Rocke designed a curvaceous, 18-foot sectional hugged in back by a crescent-shaped sofa table. “The curved seating promotes togetherness,” she says. “It also relaxes the room’s strong lines.” Four rounded swivel chairs in the nearby morning room perform similarly, as do the wine room’s drum-shaped pendant lights and contoured stools as well as the primary suite’s shapely furnishings.
To elevate the decor’s craft-inspired style, Rocke curated artisanal elements throughout. In the poised-for-action kitchen, for example, a hoofed metal sculpture serves as a base for the dining table extending from one of the room’s two islands. Nearby, kiln-fired glass panels adorn cabinets framing the kitchen’s large window.
“They look like abstract landscapes,” the designer says. Light fixtures resembling cairns illuminate the three-story staircase, undulating cast-glass panels in the front door bring to mind snow drifts and carved cabinet fronts portray the topography of the home’s mountain site in a lower-level powder room.
“Speaking to a Taliesin-esque aesthetic, they are all stylized takes on nature,” the designer says. To unify the décor and allow these and other artisan elements to prevail decoratively, Rocke orchestrated a “quiet” backdrop of rift-sawn white oak floors, loosely patterned rugs and lux textiles including fine linens, velvets and mohairs. “They are authentic and discrete,” she says.
The compelling mix of straight-lined and curved, commanding and restrained, modern and craft resonates equally with the dynamic architecture and comfort-loving clients. The effect is at once relaxed and engaging, an impressive feat inspired by a spectacular site. Rocke relished working on the home and recalls the delight of being greeted by a baby moose when arriving at the project numerous times. “It’s unique and very special,” she says. “It’s an exquisite place to be.”
Want more details from this home? Take a deep dive with K Rocke Design here.