The overriding trend emerging from the Covid pandemic is the desire to move out of large cities and escape to the mountains. The pandemic has proven that many jobs can be performed just as well remotely and with children homeschooling there is no longer the requirement to live inside a school district. So what are you waiting for? Don’t know where to start? Let us help.


1. Choose Your Lot Carefully

Those killer views may come at a “steep” price. The best views are often on steeper lots requiring specialized designs with careful planning for things such as driveways (switchbacks/heated driveways) and multi-stories on the home built into the mountainside. Multi-stories in a home can make design elements such as interior elevators more of a necessity than just a desirable feature (a topic we will explore in more depth in our next blog). We are happy to walk the lot with you and tell you if your dream home can be built on it.  

2. Consider room oxygenation systems

The effects of altitude can be felt as low as 5,000 ft by those susceptible. The lowest elevation in Summit County (at Green Mountain Reservoir) is 7,947 feet classifying the entire county as high altitude. Adding oxygen to bedrooms can eliminate altitude sickness and its symptoms, especially important if this will not be your full time residence. You and your guests will then get to enjoy all the mountains have to offer rather than spending a visit suffering from headaches, nausea, fatigue and insomnia. The room oxygenation system is built into the mechanical system, completely out of sight with just a small sensor measuring oxygen levels and barometric pressure mounted in the bedrooms.

3. Maximize outdoor potential to increase living spaces

Just because there is snow on the ground does not mean you cannot enjoy your deck! With over 300 days of sunshine a year in Colorado, carefully designed outdoor spaces such as outdoor fireplaces on south facing decks, sheltered from the winter winds will extend the time spent outside. Also think of direct access to the powder room from outside so that in these times of Covid, guests can be safely entertained outside without having to enter the home at all.

4. Well planned kitchens are a must

As more people are eating at home the popularity of online cooking classes is growing, as is the demand for specialized equipment.
Breckenridge Highlands Modern Kitchen
Design a dedicated prep space/pantry/storage area for all the latest must have gadgets from tableside raclette melters to smoking cloches, air fryers to tortilla presses and dutch ovens to rice cookers. Just because you have to have the gadgets doesn’t mean you have to have them cluttering up your counter space.

5. Dedicated rooms are in – open plan floor space is out

Due to the sudden increase in people working remotely and homeschooling, the popularity of separate living, family room, dining and office spaces is on the rise.

Homeschooling young children while trying to work from home may cause issues if one living space has to be multi-functional serving simultaneously as an office, school, tv room, eating and play area. 
Solutions such as working from the kitchen table also presents temptations that can lead to the dreaded “Covid 19”! We are still waiting for Alida to bring us some homemade cinnamon rolls…
If separate rooms are not an option or do not appeal consider office nooks or reading recesses.
Barn doors are another great way to create separation in a room when needed without sacrificing space.

6. Build a bigger garage than you think you will ever need

You WILL fill it in no time with all the outdoor equipment you WILL accumulate for all the mountain outdoor activities you WILL take up! Skis, snowboards, snowshoes, snow mobiles, mountain bikes, road bikes, golf clubs, fishing gear, rafts, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, campers, tents, back-packs, atvs… 
Space over the garage is also ideal for creating a separate office with dedicated access allowing clients to be accommodated without the need for them to enter personal space within the home.
Arapahoe Architects can help you create a livable design to accommodate the new home-focused lifestyle. Call us at (970) 453-8474 or email us at
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