From antler chandeliers to those wooden “gone fishing” signs, it’s fair to say mountain home decor in the Centennial State has become a bit predictable. That’s why Summit County homebuilder Pinnacle Mountain Homes partnered with Denver retailer HW Homes on a 2,000-square-foot design studio, which opened in Frisco this month, to present an alternative—but still oh-so-Colorado—aesthetic.

“We are helping Summit County move past bears and pinecones,” laughs Chris Renner, owner of Pinnacle Mountain Homes, which builds about a dozen high-end, custom homes annually, and its contemporary interior design wing, Pinnacle Design Studios. “The entire mountain market is moving toward more modern design with fresh, cleaner lines and taking a more urban look.”

Several vignettes in the new studio showcase contemporary style using HW Home furnishings, but Pinnacle’s six-person design staff relies on hundreds of sources to serve its interior design clients. We got some tips from lead designer Lisa Yates about how to eschew clichés when decorating in the high country.

5280: When it comes to mountain style, what do you avoid—while still giving homes a Colorado feel?
Yates: Do you mean antlers, plaids, and tassels? Even though we’re located in the mountains, we get inspiration from the entire design world. We do try to avoid that kitschy cabin look. That said, if our clients have a log cabin and want antlers and plaid, we try to mix it up. We’ll use lighter colors for the fabric choices and maybe have antlers that are fake and metal. We try to stay on top of the trends and not get caught in that “mountain style” rut.

What are some current “mountain modern” trends in Summit County?
Right now we’re seeing gray as a trend that really works up here. It’s edgier than those dark interiors without being too contemporary. And it pairs well with natural wood. We’re seeing lighter floors and painted cabinets, which also help bridge that traditional mountain look with a more modern finish.

Where can homeowners take design risks in a vacation home?
I like playing in the home theater room; it’s a place that can go darker with the interior, and the mountain themes can actually work in there. I’ve seen plank wood used very well in theaters and even a mine-shaft feel with cool lanterns. And of course the powder room is always a fun place to try something different. We did a powder room with a backsplash of crosscut aspens, and it turned out very well. It’s surprising and definitely says “mountain” without the plaid or antlers.

Pinnacle Design Studio is open by appointment only; 730 N. Summit Blvd., Frisco; 970-453-0727