Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Green Mountain Falls Vacation

[This is summer and Traditions has invited guest writers to tell their summer stories.]

Bring Home Your Mountain Vacation

Pikes Peak Colorado

               In the heat of the summer, why not ditch the hot windy Midwest for the cool mountain air?

               Recently, I (I being Traditions' guest writer for the summer) vacationed in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado. Everything about the trip was peaceful and gorgeous. We stayed in this beautiful old craftsman style house that has been in my friend's family since 1940. The craftsmanship in the home was detailed, yet natural. 

A sign directs us in life

                By definition, a vacation home should be smaller, more intimate and charming, not to mention the plain fact that there is less to clean. The essential features to a proper vacation home are a front porch, rock fireplace, a comfy couch to sit on, bedroom, kitchen and bath. The porch to sit on in the cool summer evenings, the couch and fireplace to relax on and around which to tell tall-tales, the bathroom to wash up, the kitchen to fry up the day’s catch of Rainbow trout, and the bedroom, of course, to lay your head down after the day’s work.  I call it play.

Leather is indestructible

              Green Mountain Falls, at an altitude of 7,800 feet, is located north of Pikes Peak and 10 miles west of Colorado Springs, off U.S. Highway 24. The town population has less than 700 year-round residents, as most folks now-a-days prefer to commute, or just come for the summer. 

               It is tucked in a peaceful mountain valley and its natural assets include three creeks, waterfalls, a lake, rugged cliffs, forests, wildflowers, and abundant wildlife. The nature we witnessed on our daily hikes was breath-taking. One day, we hiked to the top of a mountain and then over to the town reservoir. From there, we could see Pikes Peak covered in Aspen and pine in all of its glory; it was simply amazing. 

Aspen leaves rustle in the wind

               The trip got me thinking, though: How can I bring the relaxing, effortless feel of this vacation home with me? I think it comes down to one central idea: be natural in your design. The mountains are all about serenity where nature speaks softly. 

Shapes and patterns

To give your home the feeling of a cabin retreat, it is great to use rich colors and textures, like brown leather. It adds a woodsy, refreshing feel to your home. Adding simple but beautiful accents in different shades of green will give your home a lush, fresh feel. You can do this by adding pillows or throws. 

Pillow with fern and maple leaf

               The most important thing to remember is to live in that place of serenity that the mountains encourage. Find a few special pieces of artwork that show beautiful landscapes reminiscent of the mountains and add those to your home. A Meissenburg sign is an ideal way to give your home a cabin feel. Most have customizable words, indicated by the green arrows in the picture. 

Add your own place name

               In the end, it's all about making your home feel like an oasis from everyday. All you need is find your happy place and go from there. And if you bring back a woodsy pillow or a sign of the great times, you will always remember the great time.