Creating this Diamond in the Rough

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Crested Butte, Colorado, Milled Barn Wood

Creating this diamond in the rough literally meant starting out with coal. Or at least coal sheds. Deemed as historic by the local preservationists, the two structures couldn’t be removed from the small pie-shaped lot in historic Crested Butte, Colorado — a former coal-mining town turned ski destination. Owners Joe and Elizabeth LeCoq Currier relished the challenge.

The sheds were cleaned, reinforced on the inside, given new solid foundations and turned into a breezeway-connected master suite and a detached bunkhouse. The original tin roofs were repaired and reused, as were all exterior boards. Then the rough-hewn look was carried through in a new, 1315 square foot structure whose classic Rockies upside down design put the living area on the second floor, well above the winter snow line which often covers first story windows.

A boarded up mine in Montana provided the weathered gray exterior siding, while the rugged and unique interior appointments came from many hours of searching the internet for various recycled materials. This eventually led them to Carlisle who then provided 300-year-old Reclaimed Milled Barnwood, a mixture of Eastern White Pine, Hemlock and Spruce, planks reclaimed from farmhands’ quarters in a Virginia apple orchard.
Crested Butte, Colorado, Milled Barn Wood
“We were thinking old Maine barn, old western mine, old French farmhouse,” says Liz, whose home was featured in This Old House. “The floors tell a wonderful story and Carlisle was very helpful in providing samples and finish suggestions.”

Because of the long process of meeting all codes, and the time taken to find just the right reclaimed materials, the project took over three years to complete. But then it always takes time to transform coal into a diamond.

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