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Photography by: Peter Valli

Home Entertainment

by Lindsay Yaw | Aspen magazine | September 26, 2012

A home in Tiehack designed for company.

For most people, designing a home with entertaining in mind might mean an open living room, a spacious kitchen, a nearby vanity, or all of the above. When an Aspen-based commodities trader and his wife decided to build a modern home at the base of Tiehack, they took that notion and ran with it. Their passion for music, movies, and entertaining called for “well-defined spaces, both indoor and outdoor,” the owner says, “that are designed to entertain one or 100 guests.” This notion translated into a neo-modern house with a warm, open, and inviting feeling for company as well as for their young family.

The 360-degree fireplace opens to a library and den on one side, and to the larger living room on the other.

At first glance, the exterior of the home—designed by Basalt-based architect Tim Hagman—projects a sweeping sense of Bilbao grandeur, with a curving dark metal facade above the entrance. The roof’s unique pyramidal shapes create a distinguished skyline profile. As you move northwest around the house, » geometrically designed water elements flow at the base of highly refined, stacked blocks of chief-cliff stone quarried in Montana. At the upper-level court, generous spaces give way to an outdoor fireplace and grill, oversized lounge couches, a hot tub, and an outdoor movie screen, all ready to entertain kids and adults on warm summer nights.

An open courtyard flows through folding panel doors into the living and dining rooms. There, oversized windows afford sweeping views toward downtown Aspen and Red Mountain. High-amp outlets are strategically placed for bands to play at parties. Chicago-based interior designer Michael J. O’Malley, assisted by Scott DeWind, filled the rooms with furniture from Milan-based Pro Memoria. The furnishings’ fun, art-deco sensibility offsets the dark, sophisticated, three-foot parquet floor planks. Each room has a distinctive mood determined in part by the color, texture, and pattern of the diverse stone surfaces: playful and light in the bedrooms; sultry and sexy in the study; and in the dining room, elegant and refined.

O’Malley and DeWind extended the urbane yet lively design to every room in the house, including the spa, home theater, kitchen, stacked wood staircases, and bedrooms. In the family-style kitchen, they hid all the » appliances behind subdued dark-brown Italian cabinetry from Minolte Cucina. The room’s layout lends itself to catering, with long labradorite countertops and separate refrigeration and prep areas. In the bedrooms, each vanity has refined, polished surfaces: aquarium marble in the kids’ room, green labradorite in the master bath, delirium in the guest-room bath, and stainless-steel tiles in the powder room.

THE HOME’S MOST SOPHISTICATED FEATURE? It’s a tossup. It could be the ecologically minded, geothermal heating and cooling system. It could be the entertainment, security, and lighting system—carefully choreographed from control panels placed throughout the house. Or maybe the pièce de resistance is the home theater designed by Intelligent House, complete with a 170-inch screen, and stockpiled with terabytes of music and more than 500 movies, which anyone can access in any room in the house. All in all, it’s a home designed with entertainment at the forefront.

Aspen native Lindsay Yaw is a Boulder-based writer and frequent contributor to Aspen Magazine.

ARCHITECT: Tim Hagman of Hagman Architects, Basalt, 970-927-3822,
CONTRACTOR: Heritage Builders, Basalt, 970-927-4105,