Drab to Fab: Your Condo’s True Potential

Drab to Fab: Uncovering Your Condo’s True Potential with a Remodel

Steamboat’s heaps of snow are melting, temperatures are timidly warming and we’re trading in our skis and snowboards for bikes and paddleboards. It’s the time of year when homeowners turn their attention to spring cleaning and dust off their home improvement wishlists.

If your wishlist calls for more than closet clean-outs and paint touch-ups, you may be in the market for a remodel. That’s how Rick and Ashley Slagle found us.

After years of dealing with dated furnishings and old fixtures in their slopeside Bronze Tree condo at Steamboat Resort, the Slagles opted for a remodel when an entire day of their coveted vacation was dedicated to fixing an old toilet.

The couple enlisted the help of Vertical Arts’ designers to reenvision the space. The goals of the redesign were to not only update the unit with newly fixed finishes but also to better utilize the 998-square-feet to make the home live larger.

Our design team rearranged the entry sequence, kitchen flow and master bedroom to open up the unit and create dual-use spaces. The new plan added a double vanity to the master bath, a new mudroom, and built-in pantry and dining area incorporated into the kitchen. The guest bedroom was transformed into a dual-use office and sleeping area with the addition of a custom desk and dresser combo. The palette of the space was stripped back to a clean, fresh look incorporating bright whites and large format tile to make the space feel larger.

“Our style is definitely modern and minimalist. We really enjoy the clean, modern and efficient look of places that we visit in Europe and were looking to create that same feel here,” said Ashley Slagle.

Taking concept to reality is always a challenge when working on a remodel, particularly within a large condo complex like Bronze Tree. All the demo and noisy construction had to be completed during a tight window from April to late fall before the arrival of ski season. Additionally, the building is constructed of 12” thick concrete walls requiring all existing openings between rooms to be preserved and creating challenges for electrical and plumbing.

Together with Barkeaters Construction, our Vertical Arts architecture and interior design team was able to help the Slagles navigate the building’s quirks and create a design that suited their lifestyle, budget and timeline. If you’re considering a condo makeover, here are some tips from our design team to help you navigate your remodel.



Each complex has its own unique construction. Before diving into a renovation it’s best to understand the bones of the building. What is the construction type? Which walls are load-bearing? What are the planning and building department regulations? Does the HOA have any restrictions? Enlist a professional to make sure you have everything in line for a successful project.


Try to reenvision the space. Just because your home or condo has a specific layout today doesn’t mean it can’t change during your remodel. Think about how you and your family live and what your ideal living situation might be. A professional architect or designer can help you plan your space with your lifestyle in mind.


A fresh palette and pops of fun color bring this modern slopeside remodel to life.

Vertical Arts’ condo remodel erased all memories of oak cabinetry, popcorn ceilings and green carpet from a bygone era.


In a resort community like Steamboat Springs, Colorado, whether or not you plan on renting your condo as a short-term rental should influence your remodel. First, make decisions that will serve your family’s lifestyle. Second, consider what will attract renters to book your condo as well as how renters will use your space. For example, should you incorporate family-friendly furniture like bunk beds or a sleeper sofa? How will your color palette, finishes and furnishings appeal to renters searching online? Do you need owners’ closets, locks on cabinets or extra linen storage? Understanding how your condo will be used will help set you up for success on your remodel.


Houzz and Pinterest can offer inspiration, and can also overwhelm. Use them to search for your style inspiration by using relevant keywords. Find something you love to serve as a grounding element and build your new space around it. Save images and other inspirations to a file to share with your architect and designer.

The Slagles’ colorful, modern art pieces bring warmth and character to their minimalist style.


There will always be surprises no matter how much planning goes into a remodel. Set aside 5-10% of your project budget in a contingency fund to cover unforeseen issues that will inevitably come up during construction. Having money earmarked means the job can still be completed without financial stress.


You will be spending a lot of time with your architect, designer and builder throughout the process. Make sure you select a licensed and qualified team you trust and with whom you can communicate honestly and openly. Ask questions before you sign the dotted line to ensure you’ll get the project management and follow through you desire.


Not to get all Marie Kondo on you, but indulge us for a second. Although remodeling can be stressful, it can also be very rewarding. Use it as an opportunity to clear out items that no longer serve you and incorporate art, furniture and fixtures that bring you joy. Adding personal touches to your new space will make it truly feel like home.


The living area was transformed with a stunning custom steel fireplace surround fabricated by Storm Mountain metal and an absolute black waterfall hearth that adds a sleek base.

Photos by David Patterson