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As Luck May Have It At This Colorado Retreat

Colorado’s high country is the fortunate backdrop of a small-scale, modern timber home interpretation.

Written by Adam Headley

Photography courtesy of Timberlyne


At the Lucky Dog Lodge, the Buena Vista, Colorado, home of Theresa and Brett Ulrich, canine companions are indeed quite fortunate; their pit-mix, Knox, spends his days watching the squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, deer and even an occasional moose stroll across the two acres of surrounding mountain countryside.

While Knox may be living his best life, both Theresa and Brett are quick to add that they’re “lucky dogs,” too. 

“Our home is at the base of Mount Harvard in the San Isabel National Forest, and we chose this spot because we love being surrounded by tall pines and colorful aspens. We are outdoors people and love everything our little town has to offer — the hiking, mountain biking, rafting, paddle boarding, skiing and snowshoeing. It’s like being on vacation every single day,” explains Theresa.

Indeed, nestled among the soaring stands of lodgepole, ponderosa and pinion pines, along with Douglas fir and those spectacular aspens the region is known for, the couple found their slice of paradise in 1,400 square feet of timber home living surrounded by an expansive natural beauty like nowhere else on Earth. 

Both Theresa and Brett are native Coloradans, and after years of living in a large East Coast city, the call of the mountains lured them back to the high country. As they searched for the ideal style and floor plan, a few essential details came to the forefront. 

“We have previously lived in traditional log homes and love the warm and cozy feel of natural wood,” they explain, “but our tastes and lifestyle are a bit more modern. We love the blend of natural wood and modern finishes that we were able to create with a timber frame home.”

They did, in fact, achieve their goal of packing as much livability into the smallest possible footprint required for comfort. In the end, they utilized the entire living space of their home and took some well-deserved pride in employing resources efficiently on every level, from site selection to construction to moving in and making their longed-for lifestyle a reality.

“We wanted a small home that still allowed us to entertain and have a central area for our friends and family to eat, relax and enjoy our lifestyle,” remembers Theresa.

The search for the perfect partner proceeded when the found Timberlyne, a well-known design/manufacturing company out of Wayne, Nebraska. From the initial outreach online until the conclusion of the project a little more than a year ago, Timberlyne provided a thorough process, outlining floor plan options, material choices and construction styles, ultimately arriving at a timber package that worked wonders. 

“They stood out with the modern post-and-beam style that checked all of our boxes,” explains Theresa. “The size, makeup and design options were absolutely perfect for what we were looking for; and best yet, they had transparent pricing and great inclusions that made the buying process straightforward. Staying on-budget was important to us, and Timberlyne was up front, honest and realistic from day one. They helped us immensely through the entire project.”

Cody Wortmann, executive director of marketing for Timberlyne, shares: “The home was based on our ‘Steamboat’ design, with a few tweaks. They flipped the layout so the entrance would fit their property and added a covered entrance/mudroom that’s the perfect drop zone — especially during the winter months.”

Along with Timberlyne, the couple enlisted the skilled services of Salida, Colorado-based Legacy Builders and owner Ed Trail, who led a corps of dedicated carpenters, craftsmen and other contributors. 

“The result was a beautiful home built on-budget and on-time during the harshest parts of the pandemic and through the building supply chain challenges,” comments Brett. “Ed’s team became part of our family, and their quality and workmanship helped us live out our dream.”

Despite the headwinds of unprecedented times, the duo pursued their long-term goal of returning to Colorado to embrace the indoor/outdoor quality of life they had known from years of vacationing, and the advent of remote work assisted in the process. Brett is a human resources professional whose day-to-day responsibilities fit nicely into the relocation. Theresa is retired, but was able to apply her interior design background to finesse the form and function of the home’s layout. In particular, she created a user-friendly kitchen experience, where individuals can gather to cook, converse and enjoy cocktails in comfort.

“Our home is 1,400 square feet, but everyone always believes it to be larger, due to the single-slope nature of the home and the high, 18-foot ceilings in the main room,” says Theresa. 

The efficient layout prioritizes what’s most important to the Ulriches: an adventurous lifestyle, relaxation and design that fits the natural surroundings without significant maintenance. There’s storage for outdoor recreational toys and no shortage of artistic style. 

“Although 1,400 square feet may feel large to some and small to others, for us it’s just right,” says Theresa. “We don’t waste any space, and we use it to its full potential. It’s as small as we could comfortably go to live the lifestyle we have always dreamed of having.” Turns out, fortune favors smart design. 


Home Details


Square Footage: 1,400

Bedrooms: 2

Baths: 2 Full

Designer/Timber Provider: Timberlyne


See Also: A Home with Rusted Roots in Wyoming

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