A common mistake in decorating a mountain home is to make it look too 'mountainy', says AD100 interior designer Michael S. Smith. “So many places are decked out with red plaids and antler chandeliers, it’s like walking into a Christmas sweater," Smith told Architectural Digest. Smith is critical of mountain and beach homes that feel impersonal, “A lot of vacation homes feel unlayered, as if they don’t belong to anyone in particular. My goal was to impart personality to the decor, so it feels like a living home rather than a place that gets closed up for a large part of the year.”
The 22 ski and mountain home interiors featured below avoid decorating clichés, and exude a sophistication that reflects the urbanity of the owners. Designed by Smith and other great decorators such as Bill Sofield, David Easton, Markham Roberts and Stephen Sills, these homes have beautiful decorative rugs, custom made furniture, antiques and fine art that reflect the home's mountain setting as well as the history of the land.
A red and blue antique Oushak rug complements a black and gold damask covered wing chair,rustic wood bookcases and white stone fireplace in an office and library in a house in Saint-Moritz, Switzerland designed by Studio Peregalli.
A Studio Sofield designed living room in Aspen, Colorado with spellbinding mountain views has a mix of styles all pulled together by a Spanish rug visible in the two images below.
Bill Sofield chose a gold and grayish-blue Spanish decorative rug to pull together chairs and sofas of different styles and create a contrast with the rustic stone walls and steel framed windows.
A wood staircase complements the rug and adds warmth to the seating area.
Pera Oushak Rug 3207Y is handmade with handspun wool yarn in the authentic Turkish knot and has not been chemically washed. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.
The Morena Oriental Rug has hundreds of subtle shades of blue and gold expressed in a 17th century Spanish pattern. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.
A gray oriental rug picks up the gray in the Waterworks tub and contrasts with rustic wood ceiling beams in the master bath of a Big Sky, Montana home designed by Markham Roberts.
The Kiraz Oushak Rug has a background of many shades of gray from silver to dark gray with accents of blue, brown and white. The warm browns balance the cool grays and blues and make the Kiraz Oushak Rug very easy to decorate with. Kiraz is not chemically washed which means the colors are true and the rug is safe for children and pets. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.
A gray custom flat-weave decorative rug anchors a brown leather sofa and gray faux-horn side tables that contrast with rustic wood ceiling and walls in a Big Sky, Montana living room designed by Markham Roberts.
ellow, blue and white cotton and silk fabrics contrast with the texture of a custom blue geometric rug in the Aspen master bedroom by David Easton.
The Sigma Oriental Rug 1804BC blue and cream rug is handmade with hand spun wool and is not washed with chemicals so it is safe for children and pets. It is stocked in sizes 4'x6', 8'x10', 9'x12' and 10'x14' and can be custom ordered in other sizes and colors. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.
A cream, blue, tan and coral oriental rug adds refinement and reflects the owner's urbane lifestyle. Moss rock and pine paneling add rustic contrast to the suede leather upholstery in the living room of a Big Sky, Montana ski house designed by Michael S. Smith.
An intricate cream, beige, red and blue oriental rug provides contrast to the rustic birch bark wallcovering in the Big Sky sitting room by Michael S. Smith.
A blue and red oriental rug adds the feeling of home in the media-game room of the Big Sky home designed by Michael S. Smith. Custom leather chairs with smooth rounded backs create a contrast the with rugged moss rock of the fireplace.
Rustic wood columns contrast with a luxuriously textured gold custom decorative rug. White built-in bookcases add crisp contrast and sophistication to the Big Sky home's dining room.
A large beige oriental rug anchors a four-poster bed and upholstered chairs set in the window alcove of the master bedroom of the Big Sky home designed by Michael S. Smith.
A fragment of a circa 1900 arts and crafts decorative rug adds sophistication and comfort to the master bath in the Big Sky home by Michael S. Smith.
Designer Madeline Stuart's Navajo influenced custom decorative rug complements vintage cowhide stools, a free form wood low table, rosewood and leather sofa and concrete walls of a living room in a Montana retreat.
In a Napa Valley bedroom, a cream and coral decorative rug anchors a seating area that overlooks the valley floor 1,400 feet below.
A brown custom silk rug and polished dark brown wood floor and ceiling contrast with coral sofas in the winter garden room of Giorgio Armani's ski-cottage in Saint Moritz, Switzerland.
Two seating areas are defined by custom gray and beige decorative rugs in a Santa Fe, New Mexico living room designed by Wilson Associates. The textured cream sofa fabric resonates with the rock fireplace and contrasts with the smooth polished floors.
A blue geometric rug with a large scale pattern adds energy and movement to a living room designed by Kelly Wearstler.
Tall cathedral ceiling allow the homeowners to enjoy spectacular snow covered mountain views from this Big Sky living room designed by Michael S. Smith. Softly textured apricot and coral sofas and an oriental rug with blue and coral accents give this room an elegant personality and a feeling of deep comfort.
A white daybed provides spectacular views of lake Tahoe through the pine trees while a black custom decorative rug adds sleek contrast to this guest living area in a house designed by architects Roderick Ashley.
David Easton traditional great room in a mountain house near Aspen, Colorado juxtaposes refined and rustic textures and uses custom decorative rugs to define seating and dining areas.
A cream custom decorative rug anchors green stools, cream and taupe upholstery and a white stone fireplace in the living room of the Aspen home by David Easton.
A cream floral needlepoint rug anchors cream, beige and blue upholstery in another seating area of the Aspen living room designed by David Easton.
Studio Sofield's custom decorative rug evokes snowflakes and adds a soothing feeling to the bedroom.
A custom blue decorative rug makes the red leather upholstery pop. The rug's round shape balances the straight lines of the cream sofa and the tall windows of this Aspen living room designed by Stephen Sills.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 9, 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.