As a child, Kevin Stephenson spent many summers camping on his family’s old mining claim in the Black Hills of South Dakota, roaming the pine-laden lands by day and swapping campfire tales by night. He found himself returning to those memories amid his bustling life in Denver with his wife, Tricia, and their two children. “I always wanted a place where I could re-create that experience for my own family,” shares Stephenson, a principal architect at Boss Architecture in Denver.

After a yearslong search, the family found an idyllic property—11 acres of evergreens and aspens neighbored only by deer, elk, and foxes—near Fairplay. Stephenson began building a four-story jewel-box cabin with a simple, industrial facade of black steel and corrugated metal siding. “The color that disappears into the forest best is black,” he explains. Planks of cedar line the porch and balcony alcoves, adding visual warmth and texture to the modern exterior. Inside, modern furnishings in black and charcoal gray tones echo the simple-yet-striking exterior. For a burst of color, Stephenson commissioned Denver artists Jaime Molina and Pedro Barrios to paint a vibrant mural that spans the four levels of the cabin.

Sited on a natural clearing, the structure’s lean footprint leaves room for wildlife to roam—including a cow moose and her calf that frequented the property earlier this year. “They are undeterred that the cabin is there; they come right up to it,” Stephenson says. Floor-to-ceiling windows on each level provide a front-row seat to nature’s show. “You experience the full strata of the forest,” Stephenson says.

An eight-year labor of love, the cabin grew alongside the Stephensons’ children, who are now in college. The couple hopes their children will eventually bring their own families, so the cabin acts as a gathering place for generations to come.