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House Tour: High Style in Aspen

Even by Aspen standards, 10 years is a long time to build a home. That hardly mattered to Susan Plummer. She spent the better part of a decade orchestrating the architecture, building, design and décor for two of the town’s most anticipated custom homes to hit the market in recent years. The first home sold last fall, but its sister property—a six-bedroom, 10,079 contemporary—is now for sale. The home sits on a hillside in posh Maroon Creek Club, with views looking up at the ski runs of Tiehack and Aspen Mountain. All it takes is one visit to the home, soaking in the beauty of nature and architecture, and you’ll catch yourself suddenly thinking: 10 years is not all that long to achieve alpine perfection. No, 10 years is not long at all.

Coldwell Banker-Mason & Morse, Carrie Wells, Susan Plummer, Plummer House, April 8, 2014.

Plummer, an interior design guru-turned-real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Mason Morse, and her husband Bill, a commodities trader, bore much of the financial and psychological burden of building the home themselves. They discovered the two half-acre homesites more than 16 years ago when the Tom Fazio-designed golf course was little more than an open field.

“This was our fourth residential construction project together, and we were not in the spec building market at all,” recalls Plummer. “But we have a passion for architecture, design and building—so we embarked on this project with great love and perhaps, a little bit of naiveté.”

From the onset, their approach was the opposite of spec. The Plummers selected detail after painstaking detail with the kind of precision usually reserved for professional designers aiming for their next Architectural Digest spread—jetting off to Milan to find the right Moderne furnishings and digging through granite yards in search of the perfect taupe polished stone. They even went so far as to ensure that the great room had the best views of the moon as it rises in the evening. Not that they didn’t assemble a dream team for their dream home either: Chicago’s Michael O’Malley oversaw the design, with Design Workshop and Paul Finger of Columbine Landscape Service Co. overseeing the landscaping and Scott DeWind serving as the owner’s representative. “Whoever buys this home will be very fortunate,” says Plummer.

Plummer House

To that end, the buyer will be sophisticated—perhaps an art collector or a family who likes to entertain. “It is built for entertaining,” notes Carrie Wells, also of Coldwell Banker Mason Morse, who is co-listing the property with Plummer. She cites the main level as an example, which allows for large scale entertaining in the living, dining, den, kitchen, and family rooms. These spaces are also connected to the outside via accordion doors, which open to a large outdoor room, featuring gardens, stone terraces, large reflecting pool, custom 12-person hot tub, LYNX outdoor grill, built-in fireplace and an outdoor movie theater with 7.1 surround sound and large fire pit.

SDS Real Estate, Plummer house, May 25, 2012

For her part, Wells has been particularly impressed with the layering of details throughout the home, noting that “we constantly hear brokers and people in the Aspen building industry say that they have rarely seen this level of detail in a home here.”

However, that is not to say that guests are bombarded with detail after detail in the home. There is a subtly to the interiors. Explains Wells: “It’s only after spending time in a room that you might notice the exotic woods or the beautiful slab countertops made from Labradorite, a semi-precious stone commonly used in jewelry making. It’s difficult to conceptualize the level of craftsmanship that went into this home. Every time I walk inside it, I notice something new.”

SDS Real Estate, Plummer house, June 1, 2012

For example, a guest visiting the house for the first time may initially overlook the ceiling in the living room, dining room and library—which is made of Anigre wood imported from the Ivory Coast. They may also not know that it took one year, four master craftsmen and $1 million to install. Says Plummer: “The plumb lines had to square up perfectly in the middle of the room. One tree was used, evident by the consistent graining around the ceiling.” Similarly, the master bedroom is entirely clad in Japanese Birds’ Eye Maple: ceilings, walls, cabinets, even the curved entry door.

SDS Real Estate, Plummer house, June 1, 2012

And the floating stairs? The staircase spirals up three levels in a sculptural display of artistry, made possible by creative engineering, 3D modeling and “a lot of patience,” says Plummer. (It took two years to build). Since each tread was made of solid wood timber, each landing had to be reinforced with steel in order to enable the staircase to “float” harmoniously between levels of the home.

Harmony is one quality this home has in abundance—harmony between intimate and large spaces, harmony between casual and elegant features, harmony between details. Says Plummer: “The effect is, you feel at peace here.” 

This home is currently on the market for $13,950,000. More information can be found here.

 SDS Real Estate, Plummer house, June 1, 2012

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House Tour: High Style in Aspen

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