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Unique Scandinavian house hits Steamboat market as city dwellers look for refuge

The Hygge Haus is a new Scandinavian-inspired home that is being built at Alpine Mountain Ranch next to the development's Upland Preserve.
Courtesy/Alpine Mountain Ranch

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Fate or not, Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club’s latest home project couldn’t have been timed better. A new Scandinavian-inspired home is being built next to the ranch’s Upland Preserve as urban families flee cities in search of peaceful retreats during the ongoing pandemic.

The developers of the 1,200-acre ranch community bordering Steamboat Springs have dubbed the home. the Hygge Haus, pronounced (hoo’-guh).

“It’s one of those words that doesn’t have a direct English translation,” said Sarah Tiedeken O’Brien, the home’s interior designer and partner at Vertical Arts Architecture. “It’s about comfort and having an atmosphere promoting wellbeing and serenity. What we’re doing with this house is creating a gentle retreat.”

Ian Wagner was the project’s architect.

O’Brien said Hygge has gained traction over the past five years as its own design style where clean lines, minimalism and open floor plans dissuade clutter.

But this is the first of its kind in the Steamboat Springs area, according to Alpine Mountain Ranch Marketing Director Brittanny Havard.

“We want to be a community that embraces both traditional and new design trends,” Havard said.

But Havard said the big star in this 4,500-square-foot home remains the views.

A two-way fireplace separates the spacious open living room from the dining room at the Hygge Haus at Alpine Mountain Ranch.
Courtesy/Alpine Mountain Ranch

“When you walk through the front door, it features these free-flowing open spaces,” she said, walking into the unfinished home where huge windows make 270-degree views possible from anywhere in the living area.

“From the open kitchen off to the side is a full glass-walled breakfast nook that features a sliding glass wall that completely opens to the outdoors,” Havard said. “So while you’re eating breakfast, you’re literally surrounded by nature, looking at the ski runs. And during the sunset, the whole home is drenched in alpenglow pink.”

The master bedroom has a covered deck that looks out at the wildlife preserve and the ski mountain. The lower level includes three more bedrooms, including another master bedroom, and there’s also a walkout area for a hot tub, all surrounded by an aspen grove and wildlife.

The Hygge Haus at Alpine Mountain Ranch will feature a sleek modern kitchen with two-way fireplace separating it from an open, light-filled living room space.
Courtesy/Alpine Mountain Ranch

The Hygge Haus will be a real treat for outdoor lovers, being located just steps from a hiking trail that leads to The Hermitage, a hidden backcountry cabin retreat for residential use. And every 5-acre lot borders part of a 900-acre wildlife preserve.

First developed in 2005, Alpine Mountain Ranch got caught up in the 2008 recession, and sales and marketing went virtually to zero while developers concentrated on completing infrastructure. By 2017, the development was back promoting its unique property, which borders Steamboat Resort, Catamount Golf Club and Routt National Forest.

Homeowner association fees cost $6,420 a year and allow access to a fishing lake, cross country skiing and snowshoeing and gold medal trout fishing waters on the Yampa River. The price also includes maintenance of roads and amenity buildings like the community barn and owners lodge.

The two-level Hyggee Haus with its stone, metal and wood accents is priced at $4.15 million. The four-bedroom, six-bath home should be completed in early 2021, just in time to hit the slopes.

“We could all use a little Hygge in our lives right now,” Havard said.

Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.


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