The living room in this mountain house effortlessly embraces its locale.
This light-filled Aspen living room features steel-clad built-ins (left) that hide a TV.
—Raul J. Garcia
When it comes to designing homes in the mountains, the best architects know not to get in the way of the view. Walk through the front door of this striking modern house in Aspen, for example, and you’re immediately presented with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame a stunning meadow ringed with aspen trees and the shoulders of the Elk Mountains. “The view plays up the drama of entering the home,” says CCY Architects’ Matt Smith. “Then you can experience the house unfolding.” We see what he means. Only after taking in the outdoors do you start to appreciate the subtle details Smith incorporated into the impeccable living room: the low-slung gas fireplace; the dark, steel-clad, flush-mount built-ins (which cleverly hide a TV); the warm European oak floors and blond hemlock ceiling; and the aluminum-and-glass transom windows that frame the clouds as they drift in over the peaks. Here’s to taking in nature—from the comfort of your own sofa.