Antiques Set The Style
The main floor of the home, where Pam and Jerry spend most of their time, houses their favorite antiques. A beautiful antique carved oak mantel with a mansard top—a spontaneous purchase—became the focal point of the living room. “As the home was being designed, we were in the market for a living room mantel, but had no idea what we were looking for,” says Pam. “In the process of a live auction, I walked over to look at an interesting mantel, gave Jerry an ‘it might work’ look, and two minutes later, Jerry had entered the winning bid. It became the anchor piece that defined the wood species, stain color, and trim profile for the interior rooms of the house. Sometimes you just get lucky.”
Although this particular mantel was bought on a whim, the Hassebroeks usually had arrived at auctions completely prepared. After all, Pam is an engineer, and Jerry, a systems analyst. Armed with spread sheets of preferred items previewed beforehand, all with target prices, they’d bid within their budget—except for the gorgeous carved walnut, glass-front buffet cabinet in the living room. They had been outbid on it, but a week later the winning bidders defaulted, and the auction house offered it to Pam and Jerry at the higher price. They jumped at the chance. Using its large measurements as a guide for calculating the ceiling height during the design of the second level, the buffet piece’s top medallion now nestles precisely under the ceiling beam. It also provides a lovely balance to the mansard fireplace mantel (one of five in the house) across from it.
“As we shopped for furnishings, to make sure what we were purchasing would work at Hassford Gulch, we carried a 3-ring binder with us filled with photographs of the various rooms. Along with photos, we recorded dimensions of spaces, and a list of items to be on the watch for.”
Their pre-planning and organization has paid off beautifully. For example, prized auction finds fill the library and Jerry’s office. The Library has an expansive oak and leather-topped English library table with six drawers (circa 1840); a dark oak bookcase with wild game carvings, probably German, and an oak server with barley-twist legs that echoes the twisting frame of the bookcase; an oak gothic-style fireplace mantel with simulated coals that glow red hot; and two walnut chairs from Italy with carved lion’s-head arms and mauve fabric upholstery. In Jerry’s office, an antique walnut glass-front bookcase acquired during construction required the architects to redesign and expand the ceiling height into attic space above to accommodate it. Antique carved ram’s heads adorn the arms of leather side chairs; a French leather-topped cherry desk and walnut swivel chair once used by Pam’s father fill the office with warmth and character.
A personal expression of Pam and Jerry’s tastes, their antiques exhibit eclecticism. Three antique Indian cooking pots were configured into a wash basin and bar sinks. A Chinese elm table was converted to a wash stand in the main powder room. In the Master Suite, a new chandelier from North Carolina was glazed to match wall sconces discovered in a Vermont antique store. Leading into the Master Sitting Room, teak doors with iron spikes and original painting from a Portuguese building constructed during the colonial occupation of India are most impressive. Also in the Master Suite are a small antique writing desk purchased early in their marriage, and a reconfigured rosewood bathroom vanity originally acquired to furnish their home while living in Taiwan. Throughout their Crested Butte home hang several oil paintings by their favorite contemporary English artist, Charles Neal. His pastoral landscapes remind Pam of the dairy farm where she grew up, and of their many trips to England—”especially the Cotswolds,” she says.