The Making of a Modern Mountain Home


World travelers who have long admired various and distinct resorts and cities, the owners of The Flat Top residence, a 7,300-square-foot Steamboat Springs retreat, wanted to create an equally luxurious space. The result: a dream-like, sophisticated residence reminiscent of a mountain spa and featuring sophisticated, high-level design at every turn.

“We wanted to build a place similar to many of the houses we’ve stayed in around the world, where guests would feel like they are visiting a retreat,” the owner says.

That translated into a modern yet welcoming mountain getaway. To achieve the desired resort-like feel, our design team layered cool, elemental materials like Kansas Limestone, floor-to-ceiling glass, blackened steel, stained wood siding and hickory floors with abundant natural light. To bring warmth and elegance into the space, we incorporated sleek finishes, textured wall coverings and streamlined furnishings.


Situated in a prairie meadow on historic ranchlands and with the stunning mountainous backdrop, the home is at once remarkable and also a seamless element of the landscape. Its silhouette showcases the structure’s architecture, and the design safeguards the clients’ privacy. With 360-degree sweeping views of Steamboat Ski Resort, Emerald Mountain and Rabbit Ears Pass, the home celebrates on expansive mountain vistas. 

“They wanted to stretch the house out toward the view and really connect with the land,” says Vertical Arts Principal and Founder Brandt Vanderbosch.

The striking, glass-lined dwelling with a cantilevered, flat-roof is characteristically modern, with large stone walls, floor-to-ceiling windows and flush patios that transition to exquisite outdoor living spaces. 


The interior design team went to great lengths to make it feel cozy, adding glam elements and rustic touches throughout the rooms of the home.

“The homeowners wanted something streamlined, but simple and homey,” says Vertical Arts Partner Sarah Tiedeken O’Brien. 

To achieve this blend of modern and personal, the design team utilized a variety of materials, including glass, stone, and wood-paneled walls throughout. It’s almost as though the house has a rustic skeleton with modern elements filling out the body. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the grand entryway which features a floating staircase designed with both beauty and function in mind and an elegant, dangling Bocci light fixture.

“We provided extra width between the stair runs to make sure that the lighting could cascade right down the middle,” says Sarah. “We wanted it to be light and open.”


We’re proud of our ability to collaborate with clients to ensure we enact their vision of their dream home, and the Flat Top residence was no exception. The main gathering spots are located in the center of the home, and the great room—with its large openings to the outdoors—is perhaps the most popular. Per the wife’s request, Sarah selected a large, welcoming multi-sided Minotti sofa for the space with seating oriented to both the views and the kitchen, making it easy to converse with people preparing meals. 

“Essentially, we’re creating micro-environments in one room,” Sarah explains. “If you have 20 people here, there can easily be separate conversations going on in the same area.”


Contrast is a powerful tool in both architecture and design, and here we juxtaposed natural materials like Kansas limestone, dark hickory floors and a larch-wood ceiling with the home’s modern features like the bold black-framed windows. We extended this strategy to the interior design and furnishings.

“Most of the primary pieces are done in neutral tones to create an elegant vibe, but we also layered in fun touches like the blue sofa in the recreation room and the colorful pillows throughout,” says Sarah.


The close collaboration between our design team and our clients often push our projects to new levels. One idea that was incorporated into the custom home was paying homage to the site’s history.

“We obtained a historic image taken on the property from the Tread of Pioneers Museum here in Steamboat Springs,” Sarah says. “It’s a photo of the ranching family who used to live here, taken in front of their cabin. For a fun detail, we printed that image as a huge mural, installed it on the powder room wall, and paired it with a sleek floating countertop.”


After many years of hard work, this pristine home on the prairie represents the next chapter in the land’s history, resulting in a compelling modern home in the mountain valley.

The Flat Top residence was featured in the January / February 2021 issue of Luxe Interiors + Design. For more photos of the home, check out the project feature on our website. Be sure to follow all Vertical Arts updates on our website, Houzz, Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram. To learn more about how we can help you design your dream mountain home, contact us.