trilogy-partnersWhen looking into a company within the Summit County area that’s reputable and can manage your construction work at a high standard, you will need some clear indicators. That’s why choosing a member from the Summit County Builders Association can provide you with the quality you need in getting the job done. One such member is our team here at Trilogy, and there are many reasons why you should a member.

  • Supporting NAHB at a local, state and national level, the Builder’s Association provides their time, effort and expertise in maintaining a higher standard.

  • In order to form an even stronger network, members recruit others such as contacts and colleagues. They’re then able to work towards their goals together.

  • Membership means that many will receive non-dues funding thanks to advertising and sponsorship.

  • With a group of resourceful individuals, you can get business and property tips from others invested in your success.

Viewing these reasons, it is clear to see why so many are choosing our services. Being an SCBA member allows us to attain and surpass a standard which we feel our customers deserve. When you have an idea of what you want for your property contact with us to see how we can help you.

Mike Rath is a member of the Trilogy Team and the president of the Summit County Builders Association (SCBA). He is now bringing the same dedication and commitment to the SCBA that he has brought to Trilogy Partners.

As a non-profit organization, SCBA is committed to maintaining an effective networking forum and progressive education regarding the building industry in the Colorado mountain region. The SCBA Board of Directors is the rudder of the organizational ship. With Rath at the helm for two years as acting President, there is great confidence his leadership skills will positively impact SCBA’s growth and the community’s awareness for the most sustainable path for home design, building and land development in Summit County.

Exciting plans are already in the works, as the new president lays the foundation for the SCBA this year. The Board already has a campaign in place to invite in more members from the region, unifying the progressive industry for the betterment of businesses and homeowners alike.

Secondly, Rath is thinking universal, as he was instrumental in designing a blog site for global marketing. Pay close attention Rath makes innovative decisions for the future of SCBA!


If you’ve ever watched “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” on television you know that most of the homes they renovate or rebuild are for families with children. And most of the children end up with “theme rooms” based on questions from the crew of designers. For instance, if a child loves outer space, then he ends up with a bed that looks like a space capsule. A little over the top for sure, but it points out the importance of choosing “one thing” around which to build a room. You probably won’t be choosing “space” for your space, but certainly you can decide on something upon which to build.

Find something, anything, that reflects the chore characteristics of the “room to be.” Obviously, if you’re decorating a library, you might start with a desk. But you might also start with your library of books… line them up and study the colors as they blend together book after book. Maybe you have a favorite pillow, or an old coffee table. Once you find that one thing. Study it. Really study it for all it’s subtleties. Let it tell you how to decorate the rest of the room.

I recently helped a friend decorate a media room. He was at a loss. Should he go dark… light, bold, bright? He didn’t just want the room for watching movies he also wanted it to be a great place to hang out. He’d been spending months just looking at sofas unable to choose a color. My friend is also a collector of movie posters. He’s planning on hanging some of those posters in the media room. I asked him to choose his favorite poster, and he chose a vintage “Gone With The Wind” poster that was a cherished gift from his father-in-law. I asked him what he liked about the poster. He liked the movie he said. But he also liked the colors… the way they blended together.  “It’s got energy,” he said. Of course, he’s right. The entire background of reds and oranges is Atlanta in flames. But if you look at how Gable and Leigh stand out… the reds and whites in her dress and the greenish whites in his shirt, you end up with a pretty neat combination of colors. I suggested he concentrate on the colors worn by the two actors first. Suddenly a light went on in my friend’s eyes. Now he’s out shopping for couches and chairs and he’s decided on a wall color. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

I got to thinking the other day about whether we’ll be building very many bookshelves in the future. Seems most of the people I know are snatching up Kindles or iPads instead of real books. What would a home be like without books, bookshelves, and a comfy chair by the fire to settle into on a rainy day? I’ve got an electronic reader myself, but you know. There’s nothing like the feel, the smell, and the just plain look of a book. I love my e-reader. But I love my bookshelves as well and I don’t think a house is quite a home without real books on display.

Img_9377No, no, I´m not talking about haunted houses. I´m referring to what author Alain de Botton says in his book The architecture of happiness. According to him, there is a language buildings and objects speak when we look at them, and our fondness or distaste of them comes from the relationship we establish between those buildings and human beings whom we like or do not like. In other words, they remind us of people we´ve encountered in our life.

That happened to me when I visited Brasília, the capital of Brazil, for the first time. I was very excited I was going to see the buildings I knew housed the big decisions in this country.The Congress, the Senate, the Alvorada palace. I was going to actually be there and experience the work of architect Oscar Niemeyer, the man who designed that city, built in the 1960´s, during the government of President Juscelino Kubitschek.I was finally going to have a glimpse of what these two men thought Brazil should look and be like.

I was very disappointed when I got there. As I tried to connect with the buildings, they didn´t even try to connect with me. They were mute. Concrete giants enclosed within themselves.

That´s when I began realizing what de Botton says. Those buildings, and Brasília as a whole, for the landscape is uniform, reminded me of what I find most obnoxious in certain people, especially when they are powerful: selfishness, lack of empathy and that attitute of owning the world. In a paradox, I felt suffocated in a place where empty spaces are abundant. There are no sidewalks, there are almost no trees ( in a country full of trees), the air is dry to the point of gasping. The only positive aspect of Brasília, for me, is the people: kind, friendly, warm. And that takes me to another realization about my country.

For many decades now, Brazil has been trying to be modern, developed, respected. And in some ways we´re reaching that. But the concept of modern in the minds of our past leaders (and some present ones, too) was linked to the idea of rupturing with the past at any cost. For thecountry of the future, anything that resembled our colonial past had to go.Wood, brick, clay, intricate shapes, bright colors either resembled Europe, or the jungle, or the slave quarters. In the anxiety of finding a face in the mirror that could match the idea of new, they chose concrete. Cold, mute concrete. Had they looked more closely, they´d have seen that´s not the Brazilian face. The Brazilian face is every face. And that´s where novelty is: in diversity. Instead of wasting time and money trying to build huge concrete structures to show up to the world, they should have tried to build a fair society first.



You think that look is new? I saw it in the ’80s


Predicting trends makes news. Business, fashion, design, dog breeding – you name it, and it has a trend. Trends also make you feel old if you see them come and go, and then come again. I’m sure I’ve seen what today’s prescient design pundits are predicating is new several times already. I’m confused when I pursue magazines. I don’t know whether I’m looking at home design magazines from our century or the 1950s. Been there, done that. The people buying these magazines must be born after 1985 as everyone else (who still has a memory) would think déjà vu, not new.

The most obvious repeating interior design trend is a traditional look enlivened with modern art or a few carefully chosen pieces of contemporary furniture. This approach appeared first in the 1960s and was associated with the decorators Billy Baldwin and Albert Hadley. What design writers neglect to point out when they write about this look and predict “a new, young take on traditional,” or whatever breathless clichés they use, is that it’s only interesting when the traditional pieces are good and the contemporary even better. Otherwise, both genres appear ungainly when together. Boring traditional, mixed with boring contemporary creates . you get the idea.

The trend of high-concept contemporary architecture surfaces once a decade. This ranges from pristine iterations of houses and condos that look like Richard Meier or Hugh Jacobson designed them, to more whimsical Frank Lloyd Wright offspring with odd angles, bright colours and lots of natural materials. You see these updated Wright clones in Aspen, and other places where people talk about being environmentalists, and build sensitive 25,000-square-foot houses that are supposed to blend into nature. I have nothing against big houses, but faux environmentalists are annoying.

The interiors of architecturally pure houses and condos are often severe. They usually feature difficult art, a.k.a. badges of superior intellect, and uncomfortable furniture. This kind of art and furniture is bought by the self-identified aesthetically fearless who see themselves akin to those who first championed the Impressionists. I’ve noticed this trend advertised with copy that speaks about “a new seriousness” and “curating your life as you decorate.” Original architecture and art should be encouraged, but the caution about the Emperor’s new clothes must always be applied.

Neutral is not a trend in 2011. It needs a rest for a few years before it can be novel again. That said, I did see a reference to it -the editor thought up the brilliant idea of featuring the “new” grey and “new” beige. It looked like the old neutrals to me, but then I recall the first tone-on-tone rooms from the 1960s. Perhaps my eyesight is failing and I’m missing a breakthrough in colour strategy.

The most pervasive trend this year is rampant eclecticism. The intensely idiosyncratic mixing of periods and odd objects can be traced back to the 1930s to decorators Rose Cummings and Tony Duquette. They had eccentric, wonderful taste, not to mention rooms with superb proportions in which to display their possessions. The current Architectural Digest cover is a perfect example of a failed attempt in this category. It’s a large, undistinguished New York apartment that I assume is fairly new. It looks expensive; this likely makes it a success for its owners. The room blends the brazenly flashy with disingenuous reproductions. It’s the kind of style design writers love because they can apply it to any agglomeration and claim it’s fabulous.

The truly enduring trend in interior design, one you never see on a magazine cover, is “desperation to be admired for the way you live.” Many are insecure about how they decorate and hence want what others want. There are very few who are trendy if, in the best possible sense of the word, they live in an original manner or have a unique, erudite perspective. When you look back on those in the past century who were this kind of trendsetter, they had ideals about how a person should live and build. The way they furnished their houses and condos was an outcome, not an end in itself. Now, it’s the other way around. People furnish a home and assume a sophisticated life comes with it. The result is they end up living in someone else’s idea of chic. Put that headline on a magazine cover.


The Home Depot Foundationannounced the grantees of a new round of funding for their Partners in Sustainable Building (PSB) program last week.  More than 135 Habitat for Humanity affiliates across 42 states will receive grant money to help pay for sustainable homes.  Habitat will receive $3,000 for each home that is Energy Star certified, and $5,000 each for higher green home certifications.

The PSB program was launched by The Home Depot Foundation in 2009, and has already helped fund over 1,500 Habitat homes nationwide.   It is expected that this year’s grantees will build over 2,400 homes through the program.

“We believe that healthy homes are the building blocks for thriving, affordable and environmentally sound communities,” said Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation. “Through our partnership with Habitat for Humanity, we are focused on bringing the practical financial and health benefits of green building and maintenance to families of modest incomes. By showing that green building and efficient maintenance of a home can truly keep more money in a family’s wallet, we also hope this effort has a ripple effect on all homeowners nationwide.”

The homes save their residents money every month by drastically reducing energy costs.  Here are just a few examples of the savings:

  • One PSB homeowner in Rushford, Minnesota reported that her heating bill averaged only $2.50 per day during January.
  • In Fort Bend, a Texas homeowner who recently moved from his mobile home into a PSB home reported energy savings of $500 a month.
  • After months of 100+ degree temperatures, a homeowner in Grayson County, Texas reported that her highest electric bill was only $100.
  • In St. Louis, Missouri a homeowner saved so much in utility bills that she was able to purchase everything her children needed for the new school year, an annual expense she could not previously afford.

For Habitat, the partnership continues its commitment to quality, energy efficient housing for low-income families.  “Our collaboration with The Home Depot Foundation is providing Habitat affiliates with the resources to continue building energy-efficient homes in neighborhoods throughout the country,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO, Habitat for Humanity International.   “At the end of our $30 million five-year effort, 5,000 families will have benefited from this partnership.”

Photo courtesy of The Home Depot Foundation.

Source: by Dawn Killough

I don’t know if it’s just me or what but almost every design magazine I come across seems to feature the same interior designers doing approximately the same thing over and over again. Elle Décor looks like Better Home and Gardens looks like Traditional Home. Even the new Lonny Magazine seems to have fallen into the same trap. The website is very cool. But as for the contents: have we really exhausted creativity to the point that we need to publish the same basic design concepts over and over again? And why do all of these designs make the rooms look cluttered?  Does every square inch of space have to have something in it?  What about clean emptiness? As homes get smaller and space becomes a scarce commodity do we really want to be cluttering up each and every room with multiple layers of accessories?  I think not. In the case of design, I say we go back to the idea of less is more. For once I’d like to see a room featured in an interior magazine that actually looks lived in. The worst are the staged rooms. I mean, fantasy is fine. But not at the expense of beautiful but practical design.

I can remember right after my brother and I decided to build our first house, I called my mother on the phone. “Mom,” I said. “We’re going to build a house. And I don’t know anything about interior design. Can you help me?”  She laughed.”Nope, I’m not an interior designer.” Wise words from Mom. A lot of people think that anyone can do interior design. Often homeowners will tell us, “No, we don’t need an interior designer. I can do that.” When I hear that, all I can do is sigh as I think to myself, “when you get sick and need an operation, do you perform one on yourself?”

Good Interior Design

Good interior design is an equal mix of talent and experience/education. A few of our homeowners have one of these necessary elements. But none so far have had both. And there’s also the element of time. Most owners have work, family, and plenty of other things on their plates already. And so they simply don’t have the time to do a first rate job shopping and selecting materials. Which means that the builder, who is also not an interior designer, ends up acting as the owner’s design assistant.


It Just Doesn’t Make $ense

From a financial standpoint, an owner acting as an owner/designer usually doesn’t make sense either. Designers make most of their income by buying items at wholesale through their dealer network. They then charge the client retail for the design elements. This standard markup means that the owner receives, in exchange for paying the retail price, design services, shopping services, advice, and most importantly, a practiced, skilled eye. In some cases the designer may choose to charge a flat fee and then pass on savings to the owner. But in most cases, adding a professional interior designer to the design team doesn’t cost more money than the “do it yourself” approach.

Hire a Designer

After my Mom refused to help me on my first house, I hired an interior designer. Sure, it cost a little more money than I would have spent had I acted as owner/designer. But my designer saved me a lot of time and ultimately, it was some of the best money I ever spent. The home sold the day we finished it. It turned out beautifully and looks as current today as it did 11 years ago when it was finished. I went on to do several more homes with this interior designer until I gained experience and discovered I had a talent for interior design. At this point Trilogy brought interior design in house. Since then, we’ve been awarded and published and are widely recognized as a top interior design firm. And I advise all my clients to do exactly what I did on my first home. Hire an interior designer. And reap the rewards.

About a decade ago my brother and I bought 2 lots in the Highlands Development in Breckenridge. On one of them we decided to build a spec home.  We needed a design concept and the one I came up with involved a story. After all, I did come from the movie business, and a good movie (or project) always begins with a good story. The story of this house would be this:  Once upon a time around the early 1900s a man named Caleb (don’t ask me why his name was Caleb, it just popped into my head) decided to build a home for himself. He’d been building homes for other people all his life, and now it was his turn. Caleb was a saver. Over the years after each project he had taken the leftover materials, beams, siding, boards, and saved them in a big pile behind his tiny cabin. Until one day he decided he had enough of these leftovers to build an entire house.

So, with Caleb’s Journey I first began to design and build using reclaimed and recycled materials. The result was fantastic. Not only were we doing something good for the environment, but the reclaimed siding made the garage doors look fantastic and truly original.  The reclaimed flooring and ceiling cladding gave the interior great depth of character. I’ll talk more about my use of reclaimed materials in later postings, but here’s some photos of the home we called Caleb’s Journey.

965 N Ten Mile Dr. , Unit A1 Frisco, CO 80443
Phone: 970-453-2230

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