Mountain Home Architecture Trends for 2021

design trends for mountain home architecture

Mountain home architecture is about more than just location. Mountain architecture should inspire the landscape around it, allowing you to imagine the mountains and rolling hills, even if they’re not there. It gives the sense of rugged hardiness, and natural beauty wrapped up within four walls and encompassed in outdoor living spaces.

The appeal of a mountain home is not just in its remote beauty, but also in the interior space it provides, the privacy it allows when seamlessly nestled into its surroundings. In the current climate created by the pandemic, open space and a link to nature are essential, especially with so many of us working from home. The trends we’re seeing for mountain home architecture going into 2021 reflect these renewed values.

Features of a Mountain Home

When it comes to a mountain home’s style and visual aesthetic, materials are extremely influential. Clean, simple lines with paned windows and rustic accents like roaring fireplaces set the home apart as a place for people among the wild of the surrounding landscape.

Beyond the timeless features of a mountain home, some adapt, recede, or advance with the times. These trends help to set apart modern mountain homes from older, classic styles.

This older, traditional mountain home was featured in Architectural Digest in 2003.

Over the past year, we’ve seen an increased interest in mountain homes and ranch properties. The desire for both space and connection – inside and outside the home – is driving these trends. As the way we live in and use our homes evolves, this desire fuels a change in the way spaces are designed. 

A Flowing Transition into the Landscape

As we mentioned previously, a connection with nature has been a focus of mountain houses throughout the ages. In recent years, that desire for a flowing transition is kicking up a notch. No longer are similar materials inside and outside the home, or large windows filling the walls, enough. People want their home to flow not just visually, but physically, inside and out.

Indoor/outdoor living spaces are an important part of this trend. Large bi-fold doors open out onto expansive outdoor living spaces with custom areas like outdoor kitchens and even outdoor living rooms. There are many great options on the market including NanaWalls and over-sized sliding door alternatives that allow indoor spaces to be opened up to the outside. Custom modern outdoor kitchens can rival the luxury and convenience of their indoor counterparts, featuring high-end stainless-steel appliances and custom cabinetry and countertops.

Over-sized sliding doors on each side of the room allow this space to open up to the wrap-around deck.

Focus on the View and Natural Light

A popular feature of modern mountain architecture is windows, windows, and more windows. The beauty of a custom home is the ability to tailor the design perfectly to the lot. Angle the home to maximize views and natural light filtering into the house from as many perspectives as possible. By focusing on the view and natural lighting, even the colder seasons can inspire a feeling of oneness with your surroundings. Plus, plentiful natural light can help combat wintertime blues.

Dual Kitchen Homes

Being able to tailor a home to your lifestyle is a substantial benefit to mountain home architecture. Dual kitchens in a home are becoming increasingly popular. The trend involves creating back or “messy” kitchens that are tucked out of sight where most food preparation happens. This keeps the main kitchen free for show, entertaining and enjoyment. The design can be as elaborate as two fully equipped kitchens, or as simple as a smaller prep space hidden from view where dirty dishes can be stashed away while entertaining until the evening is finished.

The main kitchen is perfect for entertaining, while the “messy” kitchen (which can be seen through the door) is perfect for food prep or tucking dirty dishes out of sight from guests.
The back or “messy” kitchen keeps the main kitchen free for show, entertaining and enjoyment.

Home Offices with Scandinavian Flair

Thanks to increased flexibility and the ability to work remotely, many people who weren’t previously able to spend prolonged periods of time in the mountains now find themselves with that option. Whether it’s a permanent, year-round move or just for a few months at a time, suddenly these homeowners need a home office!  The home office done with a Scandinavian flair has gained enormous prevalence in today’s remote-based workforce. Scandinavian styles allow a clean workspace that encourages creativity. Some of the features typical to scandi-decorated spaces include black and white contrasts focusing on natural materials, similar to those used in the rest of the home.

Locale-Inspired, Sustainably Sourced Materials

“Natural materials” is quite a broad term under which many materials can fall. Many people are taking a close-to-home approach on this classic trend and are going for local producers using materials from their surroundings to inspire and build their home. In Colorado, it’s typical to see douglas fir, cedar and pine used as building materials in mountain home architecture. And, sourcing locally can often mean sourcing more sustainably-produced materials.

While we’re on the subject of sourcing, it’s worth thinking about where the materials and appliances in your home will come from. With the pandemic slowing down production of just about everything, we’ve been having many conversations recently about whether or not to buy overseas. While there are many countries that produce fabulous top-of-the-line products, just remember that if you want something from overseas, wait times will likely be significantly longer than normal.

This custom horse barn features tongue and groove pine paneling for durability and flexibility.

Warm Evening Lighting

Lighting isn’t only an essential feature during the day. Modern mountain homes should still feel as cozy as they do airy. Warm light tones set into wall and ceiling fixtures give interior and exterior spaces a light, glowing feeling meant to be welcoming and speak of a haven set apart from the hubbub.

Restoring Historic Properties

Building new isn’t always the answer to fulfilling your dreams of mountain living. Instead, many intrepid homeowners and builders are turning to historic properties that are in need of a little (or a lot of!) TLC. Whiskey Belle Ranch is a great example of a historic preservation project. First built in 1894, the property had fallen into great disrepair. The current owners restored it, turning it into a thriving bed & breakfast and working ranch. Historic preservation is a wonderful way to preserve your region’s cultural heritage and create a legacy property to be enjoyed for many generations to come.

Originally built in 1894, Whiskey Belle Ranch had fallen into disrepair before it’s current owners restored it, turning it into a bed and breakfast and working ranch.

Conclusion

Whatever your goal is for your mountain home, we hope these trends inspire you to get creative and take action to make your vision a reality. Taking your ideas to design professionals experienced in mountain home architecture is a great place to start. Give us a call or contact us using the submission form below to start dreaming up your mountain home today!

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