Pour on Western Design Inspiration with a Visit to These Luxury Ranch Properties

With today’s trends favoring the eclectic mix, well-designed luxury ranches are proving a hotbed for New England interior inspiration. Perhaps it’s the common penchant for a deep-seated leather couch in front of a large stone hearth and a tartan pillow that binds the ranch-style home with those of the Northeast. For those looking to add a touch of the Wild West to their Connecticut home, these three ranches, spread out between Montana, Colorado and Wyoming prove that not only is high design alive and well in the frontier, but the most enduring element is authenticity.


The 40-suite Amangani in Jackson Hole is anything but your typical dude ranch (it is an Aman Resort, after all). Combining the brand’s signature Zen-like ambiance with a Western aesthetic was no small feat for interior designer Ed Tuttle, who says, “The design may be considered less rugged than many of the Wyoming lodges, but it represents an architectural style of the West of a relatively contemporary nature.” Perhaps the most visually arresting area is the double-height main lounge, whose wide center staircase and soaring redwood-paneled ceiling plus stone fireplaces offset the two-story view of the surrounding mountains. The guestrooms’ neutral tones evoke a subtle Western feel with rawhide and woven rattan chairs, black terrazzo tables, pine-stump stools and paneled clear-heart redwood walls. The building’s materials are similarly natural-based, including stone fireplaces, slate floors and Douglas Fir and cedar log frames around the exterior amanresorts.com


Privately owned by a Connecticut resident, there’s no denying the luxury quotient at this 6,600-acre, all-inclusive ranch property. Nestled between the John Long Mountains and the Deerlodge National Forest, with four miles of private river frontage on Rock Creek, the Ranch is nothing short of a cinematic spectacle of Big Sky country. And the indoor styling and detailed work of acclaimed Western interior designer Jet Zarkadas entices guests to return year after year. Zarkadas relies on her signature flea-market finds from neighboring ghost towns mixed alongside roughhewn Western antiques, antler- and hoof-adorned lighting, saddle leather and cowhide-covered seating. The most captivating interior element is the impressive collection of vintage photographs from the state’s archives scattered throughout the property. From the decadent canvas tents (glamping, indeed) to the spacious five-bedroom, log-cabin homes, her dedication to authenticity and indigenous materials is clear through accents like vintage vinyl-tablecloth covered pillows, a collection of transistor radios in the bookshelves or the antique tractor grill used as the front panels of the open kitchen in the Buckle Barn. theranchatrockcreek.com.


Dunton Hot Springs Ranch, near Telluride, was built on the remains of a bonafide ghost town. As a result, the interiors strive to reinforce the resort’s authenticity, referencing the history of the town with actual artifacts discovered during the renovation, including a copper tub on wheels, whose origins harken back to the town’s brothel. (Wheels allowed them to move the tub from room to room.) Wonderfully genuine and anything but hokey—even the teepee comes off as a sincere place of rest—Dunton’s design style is remarkably pared down. No visit would be complete without logging some time in the saloon, where the original bar top boasts the carved signature of Butch Cassidy, who, according to the staff, in 1898 robbed his first bank and then hid out in Dunton for a spell. duntonhotsprings.com.

A version of this article appeared in the December 2014 issue of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens with the headline: Ranch Dressing.