Midwestern Mountain Living

Natural materials and rustic design bring Colorado charm to a nonfunctional back yard.

By Lauren St. John
Photography courtesy of Chesterfield Valley Nursery


Homeowners Jim and Ann Lindeman have always had a passion for lofty living, but their love for the lifestyle was recently strengthened when the duo started calling a chic cabin in Tabernash, Colorado their home-away-from-home. Inspired by the alpine panoramas and natural aura of their vacation home, they were determined to transform their nonfunctional Chesterfield back yard into a cozy retreat worthy of a mountainous setting. 

To bring their picture-perfect plan to life, the couple enlisted the help of longtime friend and landscape designer Bob Graeler of Chesterfield Valley Nursery. “Bob has visited our home in Colorado, so we knew he would be able to echo the same look and feel in our outdoor space here,” says Ann. 

Included in the homeowner’s dream design was much-needed entertaining space, which was instantly created by the redesign of their original, oversized deck. Stunning stone steps lead you to a spacious patio and swim-in pool, which was completely rebuilt to solve the structural issues of their previous, problematic pool. Both areas are accented in natural materials to give a nod to the river rock found in the breathtaking Colorado landscape. “We wanted to mimic the natural feel of boulders and the textured terrain found in Tabernash to give the back yard a lodge-like feel,” explains Bob. 

A man-made waterfall frames the custom-designed pool and built-in hot tub and provides a gorgeous view for guests hanging out in the lower level of the patio. This social hub is home to a top-of-the-line outdoor kitchen and sizeable fireplace, which are clad in a gray stone pattern that complements the sandstone-colored pavers that cover the area. “The outdoor kitchen and fireplace are things we can use year-round, and they really make the space feel like an extension of our home,” mentions Jim. 

Patches of purple columbine, the Colorado state flower, are strategically scattered throughout the yard to add another touch of alpine ambiance to the newly renovated outdoor oasis. Cobalt blue accents in the patio furniture, a mix of Missouri natives and an extensive palette of reclaimed materials put the finishing touches on the multi-level patio makeover. “These small details added a certain significance to the project and pulled the entire look together,” says Bob. 

“We wanted something unique with design elements that reminded us of being in Tabernash, and now our back yard is more beautiful than we ever could have imagined,” Ann explains. Although the view from this homey hideaway isn’t the Rockies, the rustic comforts found in Jim and Ann’s back yard help to bring the mountains to the Midwest.

Landscape Designer: Chesterfield Valley Nursery, Bob Graeler, 636-532-9307
Pool: The Pool Specialists, 314-731-0055