April 15, 2024


Home is a place where we can be happy

Mountain cabin mixes 70s style and pared back minimalism |

This compact winter sports chalet up in the treeline is something of a design hotspot, packing cool, colorful 1970s-style high notes into the smallest of spaces, while still leaving room for some contrasting calm, minimalist zen vibes. It sounds an unusual mix, but this cabin near Breckenridge, Colorado, is not your everyday holiday home. And its diminutive good looks may just give you some fresh ideas for decorating small spaces. 

Interior designer Amy Pigliacampo (opens in new tab) is based in Boulder, CO and was looking for a cozy cabin in the mountains for herself and her family. They wanted somewhere they could enjoy the fresh air and open spaces, and eventually share with other holidaymakers when they’re not using it themselves. 

Breathe in the fresh mountain air, then take the tour as designer Amy explains how she came to own and restore this high-altitude holiday home, giving it a most distinctive style. 

exterior of mountain chalet home

(Image credit: David Lauer)

‘We were on the way home from a few unsuccessful showings,’ says Amy. ‘When I spotted the MLS photos of this A-frame cabin. I called the realtor and asked if she would turn around and meet us again!  I was ready to buy it sight unseen but luckily we got in that day and the potential I saw in real life was even better than in the photos.’

The cabin was essentially in its original 1976 state. ‘However, it had fallen victim to some sad builder-grade updates in the early ‘90s,’ adds Amy. ‘Clearly, it had been used largely as a crash pad and very little thought had gone into function, design or even comfort.

living room with huge triangular picture window and gabled roof painted white

(Image credit: David Lauer)

Thinking of decorating a home on a budget? Amy’s renovation is a lesson in keeping a handle on costs. ‘My  goal was to create the most beautiful experience possible on a shoestring budget. Nothing in the cabin was worth saving other than its classic bones; we had to peel back the layers of bad decisions to expose the good while conserving enough funds to replace everything,’ adds Amy. Not an easy feat under the best of circumstances but at this remote location it was still more problematic.