Refreshed mountain chalet in Vail Village |

Refreshed mountain chalet in Vail Village

Before & after project with Basso Interiors

In the redesign of a Christiania condo, a contemporary fireplace in "Vintage White" replaced a massive, heavy stone one. A wooden horse sculpture by Trade Bohon out of Portland, Ore. hangs above it.
Courtesy Elizabeth Basso, Basso Interiors

Just as Vail was taking root as a ski resort, Ted and Nancy Kindel moved from Michigan to the Rocky Mountain town, which had a population of less than a hundred. With no school, doctor or grocery store, people wondered what they were thinking by building the Christiania Lodge in 1963. It was only the third hotel in town, but they had a vision, followed by another couple, Paul and Sally Johnston, who bought the Christiania in 1976 and added condos.

Now, more than 45 years later, it has taken a fresh vision to update those condos at the Christiania, while still honoring their original chalet feel. 

By removing a powder room upon entry, the kitchen is more open and airy.
Courtesy Elizabeth Basso, Basso Interiors

Young New York homeowners purchased their Christiania condo because they loved its proximity to Gondola One — but they didn’t love the old aesthetics. 

“It was dark and dismal, and it looked like it had never been touched,” said Elizabeth Basso, owner of Basso Interiors in Eagle. 

“It was a creative use of space.” Elizabeth Basso, Basso Interiors

Before the remodel, the homeowners walked into a dark hallway, where a powder room blocked any sense of openness. The small kitchen was tucked into a corner, so contractors removed the powder room and enlarged the kitchen in that area. The team, which included Alex Coleman of Coleman Custom Homes, created an open floor plan, which still included two bathrooms in the approximately 1,100-square-foot condo.  

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“It was a creative use of space,” Basso said, adding that the main challenge involved making the new, open space feel both roomy and like it had designated space for the living room and kitchen. The team achieved that partially by installing a built-in custom banquette by Sedita Manufacturing in the dining/kitchen area, featuring vintage wood that “made a strong statement with a modern, yet rustic feel” to maintain the mountain-chalet theme. 

Clean lines, modern lighting and barn doors in the bedrooms ushered a contemporary look into the two-bedroom condo. Vintage wood details — including the barn doors, accent walls in the kitchen and the fireplace — came from Vintage Woods & Metals in Gypsum.  

Before the remodel, the Christiania condo unit felt dark, heavy and crowded.
Courtesy Elizabeth Basso, Basso Interiors

The heavy, massive stone fireplace with wooden skis hanging above completely transformed into a light “Vintage White” fireplace with a wooden horse sculpture by Trade Bohon out of Portland. The team was also able to add extra light to the room by removing an owner’s closet to the left of the fireplace that blocked an existing window. 

The homeowners loved their Christopher Peacock kitchen in their New York home, so Basso took inspiration from Peacock. 

“They wanted the kitchen to be a strong statement in the room, providing warmth with walnut-base cabinets,” Basso said. 

Ferguson Showroom of Aurora provided the cabinets, which blend light, white cabinetry on top with rich walnut on the bottom. Counter stools from Nuevo Living and pendant lighting from Visual Comfort topped off the details. 

Each bedroom plays off a chalet feel, “but with a little more rustic-contemporary feeling,” Basso said.  

Gray flannel comforters and pillows with pops of blue, custom nightstands by Penrose Furnishings and framed feather art by Suzanne Tuvy adorn the bedrooms. The guest bedroom includes a king-sized bed, as well as a children’s bunk painted in Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy.  

“They’re meant to be cozy and enveloping with soft tones that carry a simple, mountainy feel,” Basso said. 

Each bedroom plays off a chalet feel, “but with a little more rustic-contemporary feeling.”
Courtesy Elizabeth Basso, Basso Interiors

Black metal hardware, light fixtures and mirrors in the bathrooms neatly contrast white subway tile. 

The original construction, and subsequent renovations, of Christiania at Vail proves that it just takes a vision to design a spectacular abode. 

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