Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Telluride: Mining The Vernacular

A new house in Telluride, Colorado,
built in the 1990s.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
There are many projects not included in the John Tackett Design Portfolio, not because of lack of enthusiasm or that the contributions were not significant, but because the house is not particularly representative of the work of the design studio.  Such is the case with the new Telluride, Colorado, house shown here that was published in the November/December, 1999, issue of Veranda magazine.  The article was produced (meaning "styled") by Mary Jane Ryburn, written by Lisa Germany, and photographed by Roger Wade.

A Telluride view.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
The John Tackett Design studio was based in New York City when I met this Dallas couple who hired me to help with the renovation of a wonderful house they had bought in Highland Park.  They had already hired Michael Fuller of Fuller Architects in Aspen to design this vacation house and the construction drawings were essentially complete.  Although the owners loved the direction of design of the house, I was brought on board to make a few adjustments to even better achieve their vision.  In addition to some refinements to the floor plan, I contributed some details to work out the staircase, an important feature of the interior that was sadly neglected in the article.  The interior designer was top Dallas decorator Josie McCarthy and the landscaping was designed by another Dallas favorite, Warren Johnson, both who had worked on previous projects with the owners.

A mix of materials, textures, and colors
is a decorative scheme thoughout the house.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
Located on a knoll that allows 360-degree views of the mountains, the house reflects the history of mining-related structures of the area.  Local gold sandstone, recycled timber and a rusting corrogated steel roof enhance the massing to create the desired effect.  Bedrooms are located on the first level, allowing the Living Room, Dining Room, and Kitchen to be higher up in the trees, and a third floor "crow's nest" allows views in all directions.

Nuts!  Do Devoted Readers
ever wonder why some features
get a full page image
while others are left out entirely?
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
The tall stone chimneybreast is meant as a subtle reference to a mine shaft while the longhorn steer is symbolic of the owners' Texas roots.  Color and pattern in the Living Room are provided by kilims and Moroccan rugs.  The low table is made from a wood grille from India.

The Living Room.
The low table is seen in detail
in the previous image.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
The dining table was made in France of recycled wood.  Pewter chargers and goblets mix with colorful pottery dinnerware and an assortment of turned wood candlesticks.  A rustic but elegant chandelier is just out of the photo.

The Dining Room.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
The Master Bedroom contains Guatemalan embroidered bed linens, a Turkish kilim, and an American hooked rug folded on top of a Moroccan chest.

The Master Bedroom.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
The Guest Room's headboard has a White Picket Fence inspiration.  Color is provided by a Susani bed cover and a Soumak rug.  The hand-painted lampshade is from the exclusive-to-the-trade source, Adele Kerr.

The Guest Bedroom.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
The children's Bunk Room features beds of unmilled timbers and colorful quilts.

The Bunk Room.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.
John Tackett Design worked with the same owners on a handful of other projects which may be featured here on The Devoted Classicist in the future, along with the handsome new house they lived in when we first met.

A quilt makes the hammock at the Telluride house
even more comfortable.
Photo by Roger Wade for Veranda.


  1. I love this house. But just one question: why are the chandeliers hung so high? Have a super Christmas and thanks for all of your posts of the last year.

    1. Mary, I don't recall having any input on the lighting for this particular project. I agree that the chandeliers are high and there could be a number of reasons for that. But I will say that the interior designer prefers, generally speaking, the English taste in hanging chandeliers which tends to be higher. Thank you for commenting.

  2. I dont think that chandelier is too high for the height of that ceiling. The house is simply spectacular and I find the design to be very apropriate for that area of the country.

    My youngest son decided he didn't get enough skiing as it was and moved to Telluride to go to college. Needless to say, college soon went by the wayside, much to the improvement of his skiing abilities. Luckily someone up there was watching out for him and he is now a successful contractor in Atlanta. Great place to vacation, but only if you have your own plane. It takes forever to get there if you are flying in comercial, weather permitting. As you know, Ralph Lauren has a big ranch there as well as several other high rollers. My son took me one day to an abandoned mining town way up in the mountains. I have never been so cold!

    I wish you a very Merry Christmas, dear friend, and hope we can get together one of these days when you come to Atlanta.

    1. Julieta, thank you so much for your comments and well-wishes. I feel we'll have the opportunity to meet before too long and I look forward to it.

  3. Dear God!!
    Why are there photgraphs of a bowl of apples; chestnuts and God knows what else?? Stupid spices??? What??????????

    I would have been upset. Then calmed myself down.(not easy)

    Vases of flowers?? Sheesh!
    I wouldn't publish it on my website either!
    The only exception is the one photo of the vase of flowers that showed the incredible view beyond! And I wanted to YANK that vase out of the pictures! (I am too old to do photoshop!)
    Congratulations on your restraint......You are one of my very favorite decorators!

  4. ps I hope you assume, correctly; that my comment is meant for you! (you decide; and if you have a continuing relationship with these clients......) probably , as my brother tries to teach me:

    "some things are better left unsaid"!

    You are so good!


  5. Couldn't agree more about the "styling" - formulaic, boring and worst of all, derivative.

    1. Rosie, there needs to be a balance in magazine editing, I think. While I enjoy seeing details, it is regrettable when images are omitted that are critical to presenting the "story". Thanks for commenting.


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