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Near Beaver Creek, a Designer Blends Ski Cabin Charm With Funky Antiques

A local dishes on living in the Vail Valley

It's been 14 years since Yvonne Jacobs bought her 2,400-square-foot home in Edwards, Colorado, a small town just a few minutes drive from the posh ski resorts of Beaver Creek and Vail. Like most ski town locals, Jacobs, the president of the Edwards-based interior design firm Slifer Designs, was looking for a place to settle down that would allow her to enjoy the coveted outdoor lifestyle without breaking the bank. That's no small task in ski country, but using a DIY, designer aesthetic, the Colorado native transformed an aging cabin in need of an update into a warm and inviting home loaded with personable charm.

The attraction of living in a powder paradise is clear, especially for a family with two kids and a pet Springer Spaniel. As Jacobs says, her "kids get to grow up in this amazing lifestyle outside; they get to be active all the time." When choosing her Edwards home, Jacobs loved the location of the 3-bedroom, 2-bath house on .25 acres of land. It's walking and biking distance to the restaurants of downtown Edwards while still being close enough to ski resorts to allow for weekend ski sessions.

But the house needed work. So while Jacobs designed rooms for top-dollar clients at her firm, she and her family also transformed their own home. "Pretty much everything was re-hauled," she said. They added walls, renovated the bedrooms, redid the flooring, added wood trim, and decided on "fun, funky" colors like red in order to liven up the space and keep it from being too serious.

The playful design begins outside, where a large American flag hangs in welcome, an antique made of barn wood and picked up in Telluride. Step inside the house and you see what might be described as a top ten list of Jacobs' favorite things; antiques feature prominently throughout the space, there's plenty of eclectic, cheerful art, and the home doesn't prioritize pretty at the cost of function.

In the main living room, Jacobs has combined classic ski cabin features (like a fireplace and wooden accents) with her own taste for East Asian design (Buddha statues) and a little bit of whimsy (hello, gorgeous skull pillow). The dining room features a unique ribbon chandelier and practical linen slipcovers on the chairs. Jacobs adds the white sheepskin throws (purchased from Ikea) on the dining room chairs during the winter to add some texture. The overall effect feels "so warm and cozy," Jacobs said.

The master bedroom foregoes the red theme for a serene blue palette, but still has fun pieces like a fluffy white rug and clear office chair. One corner of the room contains a collage with artwork by Jacobs' daughter; her daughter also created the banner of Asian symbols that hangs in the stairwell.

Practical elements emphasize that while design matters, this is also a ski home that works for a family. Jacobs added wooden boxes with chalkboard paint to hold ski beanies and gloves, and a similar chalkboard door functions as an "in-your-face" message board for everything from groceries to weekend schedules. Off the kitchen there's a beverage cart that has après cocktails at the ready, a feature, Jacobs said, that's especially important living in a ski town. "Part of resort living is mixed drinks. We have friends over and use the cart because let's face it, the winters are long."

And although the springtime mud season can be a bit rough, ("can summer just get here already," she mused) Jacobs has little to complain about. Living in the Vail Valley is "pretty amazing."