Inviting style of the billy barr

By Kendra Walker

Prior to the recent addition of the billy barr in the Elevation Hotel, the hotel lobby was not being utilized as a social hangout destination. That inspired the design team to create a space that felt authentic and approachable for locals and visitors alike. The space was designed to celebrate all the things that make Crested Butte a unique, beloved destination. They were also intentional about creating a space that was cozy and comfortable—somewhere guests can stay and linger at any time of day. 

Who is billy barr? 

The billy barr’s mountain aesthetic was named for local environmental researcher and advocate, billy barr. Since 1970, billy barr has been living in a secluded cabin in Gothic just north of Crested Butte. barr has been meticulously collecting daily snowpack data and wildlife observations that have helped shape climate science in the Rockies. Now in his early 70s, barr continues to gather data for the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and puts more than 200 miles on his skis every season.

Style guide:

Here’s how to create a similar vibe to the billy barr in your own home and transform your living space for a true hospitality experience.

Add cozy layers

The design concept for the billy barr was built around the idea of being comfortable and cozy year-round. Utilize warm colors and soft materials to play into that cozy aesthetic, and layer different materials and textiles, such as rugs, throws and pillows.

Mix and match seating

The goal is to create a friendly space for friends and families to eat, drink, hang out and spend time together. Maximize seating options that face each. Play around with different furnishings and mixed seating options that play nicely together. They don’t have to match, as long as they have one very important element in common: comfort.

Go vintage

Some of the billy barr’s most notable features are the local artifacts and memorabilia on loan from the Crested Butte Museum and Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. Hang vintage ski posters, mountain art, snowshoes or Nordic skis on the walls for a similar ski lodge effect. 

Make it comfortable

billy barr’s design team wanted to create an environment that feels like someone’s home living room—nothing should look too precious to touch. Sprinkle in minimal decor such as plants, wood vases and books for an inviting feel.