When HGTV posted a call to entry for their annual Designer of the Year awards, the team at Rumor Design + ReDesign knew exactly which house to submit: a guest-house-entertainment-enclave that one of their clients had built on their property, across from their main house on Butcherknife Creek.
This year’s Designer of the Year awards had voters choose their favorite spaces in six categories — Waterside Retreats, Countryside Escapes, Living Large in Small Spaces, Color and Pattern, Kitchen and Dining, and Dramatic Before and Afters.
At less than 800 square feet, this particular space fit perfectly into the Living Large in Small Spaces category.
“This was our first submission to the HGTV Awards,” said Cassie Crooke, Rumor’s marketing director. “We have submitted projects to Mountain Living Magazine’s annual Home of the Year contest but never something national on this level.”
After five weeks of open voting and over 30 million page views, Rumor Design + ReDesign’s space was voted as the People’s Pick winner in the Living Large in Small Spaces category.
It was Sierra Fallon who designed the space for her clients in 2019.
“The owners gave us a lot of freedom in the design while also expressing their own individual styles,” Fallon explained of the process. “One had more eccentric design ideas, and the other had more modern ideas, and that combination made the space more interesting.”
The goal for the space was to create a guest house where family and friends could spend a few nights, as well as an extra space for entertaining. The end result is a sleek, modern, fun guesthouse with no detail left unnoticed.
Pattern and color play a role with blue cabinets and fun tiles — elements that Fallon said make the space exceptional. The floor features heated tiles, while the ceiling is wooden, giving the space a warm, cozy feel. A covered patio outside helps extend the livable space.
Fallon noted that the “modern mountain vibe” is a design style that is currently becoming more popular not just in mountain towns but across the country.
“This space fits into that niche really well,” she said. “But there are also so many different style elements within it that set it apart: modern, eccentric, rustic. It doesn’t necessarily fit into one specific category, and that’s what sets it apart; it’s not expected.”
Fallon said that designing a small space is always a fun challenge.
“You have to consider space more thoughtfully,” she said. “You want everything to be functional and have a purpose but also to be comfortable.”
Other finalists in the Living Large in Small Spaces category were several apartments, a tiny barn home, a pool house and an open-air structure — but ultimately, it was Rumor’s downtown designer dwelling that took this year’s award.
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.