BackCountry Blog

Kitchen Trends for 2018

Your kitchen at BackCountry is the centerpiece of your home and provides all kinds of possibilities for customization and creative flair. To keep your kitchen from looking like a merely functioning space, it’s good to keep up with trends and find ways to express your own personality (or the personality of your family) through the hardware, furniture, dishes, walls, floors and cabinets.

We’ve combed the world wide web to highlight a few of the big kitchen trends for 2018. So, whether you’re looking to spruce up your cooking space or just thinking about it, we’ve found new color palettes, shelving trends and unexpected creativity.

We’ve combed the web to highlight a few of the big kitchen trends for 2018. So, whether you’re looking to spruce up your cooking space or just thinking about it, we’ve found new color palettes, appliance trends, and unexpected creativity.

Induction Cooktops

An induction cooktop uses an electromagnetic field to heat up a pot or pan while leaving the cooking surface cool to the touch. Induction cooking is 60% more efficient than gas stovetops and won’t overheat your kitchen. These cooktops also eliminate the need for a large range hood, opening the door to creative design possibilities.

Black Fixtures

Black is the new polished silver, or nickel, or whatever surface your current fixtures are. It feels very modern and won’t show wear and tear or water spots as quickly as other finishes. Black is always a good choice because it will work with just about every style and color palette you have going on.

Sage is the Rage

The “it” color for 2018 looks to be sage — which is a gorgeous neutral that brings a calming ambiance to any room. This mossy color works well with rustic furniture and looks particularly good mixed with warm wood and live greenery.

Flat Front Cabinetry

This simple and rather affordable door option really lends a sleek, modern look to any kitchen. Whether it is out of a beautiful grain wood or a white, seamless panel, this trend will always be timeless.

Undercounter Appliances

Appliances and storage are shifting down underneath counters, keeping them clear and small appliances accessible. You can now find microwave “drawers” that load from the top for added convenience.

Marble Walls

While marble itself can be stunning as a floor tile or a backsplash, nothing gives a room a focal point like an entire floor-to-ceiling wall of marble. Just make sure your counters and cabinets are very simple so they don’t compete with the colors and striations in your marble wall.

So, are you totally thinking about making a few tweaks to your kitchen to keep it trendy? If you need more ideas, check out the BackCountry Kitchen Inspirations Pinterest board. And please send us the before and after photos!

Eat Better, Live Better

If you’re like the majority of people these days, you’re probably paying attention to what you’re eating. You are what you eat, right? We’re all savvy enough to know that when we enjoy a healthy diet and exercise regularly, we look better, feel better, and tend to make better choices in life.

So, whether you’re sticking to a resolution, training for the Olympics (um, the NEXT Olympics), or simply avoiding allergic reactions, we have a few recipes that taste as good as they make you feel.

Spring Detox Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower seems to be the go-to carbohydrate replacement this decade. Since everyone has made processed carbs the enemy, we had to find a new vehicle for flavors we love. Thus, cauliflower is the new healthy starch. And while you’ll find dozens of ways to make cauliflower palatable, this cauliflower salad recipe sounds pretty tasty and it doesn’t require too many ingredients to put together.  

Strawberry, Lime, Cucumber and Mint Infused Water

One of the biggest rules of diet is hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! In fact, when most people complain they don’t seem to be losing weight on a diet, it usually comes back to the fact that they aren’t drinking enough water. But water can be boring, right? So, jazz up a jar of H2O with this fruity mint concoction and start washing away the excess calories.

No Sugar, 2-Ingredient Pancakes

Most diets have you avoiding sugar at all costs, with the exception of naturally-occurring sugar in fruits. But man, giving up sugar means you give up so much — especially when it comes to breakfast! We found this recipe for pancakes made from eggs and bananas. That’s it! They may sound a bit too good to be true, but give them a try.

Watercress Soup

Are you aware of the health benefits of watercress? Not only does it work as an anti-aging ingredient, it also treats skin inflammatory conditions and promotes hair growth! But it’s not like you’re just going to grab a batch of watercress leaves and shove them in your mouth. Instead, just make this delicious soup puréd with a lovely combination of flavors.

Seasonal Leek and Potato Pan Roast

Do you have any friends who insist on eating paleo? Are you ONE OF THEM? This roast recipe is loaded with lots of veggies you can make all in one pan. Even better, it’s Whole 30 friendly!

Jalapeño Turkey Burgers

If you’re trying to avoid red meat but miss the joy of eating burgers, give these patties a try. They come with a little kick! Just make sure you wash your hands well after handling the jalapeños.

Once you find a recipe you like, share it with the world! Better yet, share it with your friends at BackCountry at the BackCountry Cooking Club. And make sure you post pictures of the finished product — we love looking at food pics!

Where Are You Headed in 2018?

It may still be cold and wintery outside, but summer is coming up in a few months. It’s peak vacation time and it’s never too early to start planning for the trip of your dreams. Even though living in BackCountry is like living in a travel destination itself, it helps to get out of your bubble and see what the rest of the world is doing.

We searched around the web for ideas of where to travel to this summer (and possibly fall) that aren’t the usual vacation go-tos. Enjoy this list and promise to send us photos of your unique vacation spots this year!


Escape the summer heat and head for the Land of Ice! Iceland is a Nordic island nation defined by dramatic landscapes with volcanoes, geysers, ice caves, hot springs, and lava fields. It’s also one of the hottest travel destinations around. Many people travel to Iceland in winter to see the Aurora Borealis, but high tourism season is summertime, where tourists can enjoy moderate temperatures and 21 hours of daylight. One of the big destinations is the Blue Lagoon – a crystal blue geothermal pool with spectacular views in every direction. The sulfur- and silica-rich water is known for its natural, age-defying healing powers.

Detroit, Michigan

Why visit Motor City? Well, for starters, Lonely Planet has named it the second-best city in the world to visit in 2018 (Seville, Spain came in first). But mainly, Detroit has been one of America’s biggest comeback stories. After filing for bankruptcy four years ago, this city has been gaining momentum over the last few years. Detroit will be ready for its close-up in 2018, thanks to improved infrastructure and several chic new hotels, as well as stadiums, parks, and a burgeoning creative class. In addition, the QLine streetcar launched this year, making it easier to get around.


Are you as fascinated with food as you are adventure? This incredibly diverse South American country has so much to offer you. From the highly-rated restaurant scene in Lima (three of the world’s top restaurants can be found here) to the adventures along the Amazon to the historical trek to Machu Picchu, you will find yourself challenged in new and exciting ways. Peru even makes for a lively family vacation — you’ll find that many Peruvians speak English and are very welcoming to tourists.

Azores, Portugal

Are you looking for a little diversion off the beaten path? Portugal is a hot travel destination these days, but while everyone is headed to Lisbon, you should head to the Azores Islands instead. These nine pristine islands boast stunning natural beauty, charming fishing villages, turquoise water beaches, and excellent cuisine. These islands are considered some of the best-kept secrets in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, so hit this unspoiled paradise before they become overrun.

Puerto Rico

What about a vacation that gives back to an American community? Last September, Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, knocking out power, damaging infrastructure, and leaving thousands of residents without a home. Since then, hotels and communities have been hard at work restoring tourist areas to continue their main source of income for the island. Today, many of the hotels are open and the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport is fully operational. In addition, most parts of the island have made tremendous progress with clean-up and many beaches and tourist areas are open. By traveling to the island during this restorative time, you’ll help thousands of Puerto Ricans keep their jobs and support their families.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Looking for a good road trip? Pack up the car and head south to Albuquerque to check out their new entertainment hub, the $40 million One Central complex, featuring a sleek bowling lounge and upscale stores and restaurants. Down in historic Old Town, the Sawmill District is a recently revived creative center, inspired by the state’s indigenous culture. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you’ll have access to all kinds of hiking trails and mesa vistas. You’ll also get to experience the striking Sandia Mountains from inside an alpine sled-style ride that plunges riders down the mountainside in a vertical drop of 380 feet. This mountain coaster doesn’t open until fall, so make this an end-of-summer destination.

Marchin’ in Like a Lion

The month of March is known for many things. The whole “in like a lion, out like a lamb” proverb. The chaos and intensity of March Madness basketball brackets. The big St Patty’s holiday that turns the Chicago River and everyone’s liver a lovely shade of green. Colorado’s snowiest month (typically). Whatever you love best about March, we have activities here at BackCountry that will help you celebrate everything else that’s fantastic about this month.


Friday, March 9, 7pm, Sundial House

Geeks Who Drink will host a trivia night at the Sundial House where neighbors can face off and show off their mad trivia skills. Create a team of 6-8 people ahead of time or come solo and join a group when you arrive. Indulge will be open for business throughout the event. Participants must be 21+ and register by Friday, March 2.


Sunday, March 11, 10am, Downtown Denver

This foot race is a family-friendly event that centers around the Irish celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day and spring. Runners are encouraged to wear green. The post-race party has been voted the best, and thousands of dollars are donated to Volunteers of America from the race. Reserve your spot today!


Friday, March 16, 5pm, Sundial House

Avoid the drunken mobs downtown this holiday. Instead, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at a venue that is stumbling distance from your house! Wear your best anti-pinching green outfit and join your neighbors at Pikes Pub.


Sunday, March 18, 10am – 12pm, Solstice Park

BYOB – Bring Your Own Basket! Find as many of the 3,500 candy and toy-filled eggs scattered throughout the park as you can, and enjoy the Easter Bunny, Little Bo Peep, and a Petting Zoo. Be sure to visit Jackie Garcia, BackCountry resident and RE/MAX realtor, for additional goodies. It’s sure to be an egg-cellent time!

Get a Jump on Spring Cleaning

Yeah, we know, spring doesn’t really come to Colorado until May-ish. But once it hits, the days will be longer, the sun will be shining, and the temperatures will be comfortably warm. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time outdoors instead of indoors scrubbing appliances? We’re just suggesting you knock out a few cleaning/organizing items on your list now so you won’t be overwhelmed by a big spring clean later.  

This is a good time of year, actually, to get a little steady cleaning done. Because of the cold winter weather, you and your family have been spending a lot more time indoors, thus making things more messy than usual. Find a day (or weekend) to get everyone out of the house and then you can start tackling your list.


This is the ideal time to go through your closets and pull out the winter clothes you thought you were going to wear this season but never did. It’s still cold out, so anything you’re not wearing can be donated to Goodwill or the charity of your choice so someone else can stay warm. Other items worth purging are makeup, costume jewelry, expired medicine, toys, magazines, spices, and freezer food.


In the wintertime, everyone is coming in and out with snowy and muddy boots from their outdoor winter activities. This is not really a chore you can let slide, so make sure you’re running a mop over the entry hall and kitchen floors regularly to stay on top of the debris. While you’re at it, get down in those hard to reach places like behind the stove, refrigerator, and freezer. You will be so glad you did!


Don’t let dingy window treatments dampen the few hours of sun you’re getting in the winter months. Wash fabric draperies according to instructions and clean blinds with cotton socks over your hands. While you’re in “the zone”, take down shower curtains as well and wash them in the washing machine with baking soda and vinegar.


You’ve been shut inside for the past few months with germy garbage cans in your kitchen and bathrooms, so take them outside and blast them with the hose, followed by a disinfectant. Let them dry in direct sunlight. If you have toilet brushes, bring those outside as well and immerse in a solution of one part bleach to six parts water. Let these dry outside as well. Also – what’s going on inside your microwave? Go ahead and wipe this down with a towel doused in soapy, warm water.


Clear surfaces (and the air) of these tiny particles everywhere you can. Start at the top by cleaning your ceiling fan blades with a pillowcase (you put it over the blade and pull it off slowly, capturing the dust inside the pillowcase). Next hit all of your desk, dresser, and table-top surfaces as well as lampshades. Finish it off by dusting the baseboards with a cotton sock. Remember – all of this is moot unless you’re remembering to change out your HVAC filter every month.

Taking a weekend here and there before May to do a little pre-cleaning will make your actual spring cleaning less hectic. You might even have time left over to throw on a fresh coat of paint or give your home a new look. Once the weather gets warmer, it’ll be the ideal time to tackle the garage or clean all of your windows. But don’t think about that right now – enjoy the winter while it’s here and load up on all the hot beverages and Netflix binging sessions that you can until then.

Turn Snow Day into Crafts and Activities Day

Remember when you were a kid and you would get so excited to get a day off from school because of snow? Now, as a parent, it’s not so exciting, is it? Well, if you’re stuck inside the house all day with the kiddos while the snow is piling up outside, enjoy quality family time with these crafty ideas.

Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Let’s start off easy – you have a stack of coffee filters in a cabinet somewhere, don’t you? Coffee filters make perfect snowflakes because they absorb watercolor paint really well. This is a relatively simple craft that you can pass over to your co-parent or an older sibling if you need to sneak out because of cabin fever.

Egg Carton Penguins

Who doesn’t love beaked flightless waterfowl? They’re pretty much the mascot for snow days, right? If you have an egg carton and basic craft supplies, you and your kids can make these adorable penguins while singing along to the “Happy Feet” soundtrack.

Shivery Snow Paint

If you want to enjoy the snow but do so from the warmth of your kitchen, here’s a creative little endeavor – bring in a container of snow and turn it into shimmery paint. You’ll end up with puffy art that’s icy-cold to touch!

Snowman S’mores

Nothing keeps kids docile and compliant like snacks – so plan ahead with the ingredients and put together these snowman goodies. They go very well with hot chocolate.

Cardboard Tube Olaf

If you’re dealing with a house full of kids who know every word to every song in “Frozen,” then definitely stock up on toilet paper rolls, construction paper, and googly eyes for this one. Nothing chases away the winter blues like your own little cardboard Olaf!

Frozen Bubble Science

If you’re concerned your kids’ brains are atrophying while away from a classroom environment, take them outside briefly for a fun little science experiment. All you need are bubbles and enthusiasm!

Netflix and Ch-ch-chi-chi-ill

Maybe you took the kids out for sledding or hiking out on our trails here at BackCountry and now you’re all wiped out from your snow adventure. There’s nothing wrong with putting on Netflix and vegging out with blankets and popcorn. Here’s a list of family-friendly Netflix shows with a winter theme that everyone can enjoy.

We hope these activity suggestions keep you and yours occupied during this wintery weather. And if all else fails, just send them over to a friend’s house!

Hand Crafted Valentines From the Heart

Since kids don’t exactly have a disposable income, their Valentine’s Day gifts to family and friends tend to be projects cobbled out of construction paper, scissors, and markers. So this year, mark out a “crafternoon” on the family calendar and give your kids a creative boost with these clever ideas we found online.

Recycled Seed Paper Heart Valentines

Valentine’s Day is all about giving flowers, right? What if you could give someone flowers that thrive in their own yard? This valentine idea is perfect for kids to give classmates or relatives and is pretty easy and inexpensive to put together.

One in a Minion

Who doesn’t love the “Despicable Me” movies? Laugh away while your kids put together Minion Twinkies treats as valentines – and it’s so easy!

Pokémon Valentine’s Day Cards

Capture hearts in addition to the elusive Pikachu. This is a fun and simple project where you create a Pokémon ball with the Valentine’s Day message inside. You can even go here for clever V-day messages to put inside.

Tissue Paper Heart Suncatcher

Do you save tissue paper and boxes from holidays and birthdays with the intention of reusing and recycling? Then you probably already have the supplies for this eye-catching craft. This is also a good project to turn over to the babysitter or a grandparent on parent’s date night.

Valentine Popsicle Stick Frame

Popsicle sticks are the main ingredient to so many craft projects – so we had to include one on our list. This gives your kids the opportunity to make a gift they can wrap and give to their favorite relative (is that you?) or someone else they’re “sweet” on.

Fingerprint Heart Ornament

Sometimes, the best gift is a keepsake you can put away and drag out for those sentimental family moments. This heart-shaped craft is easy to put together and makes a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for parents/grandparents. It also makes for a nice Christmas tree ornament in December.

We hope these ideas work for your family, or at least inspire you to create your own original love-themed project for the holiday. And, of course, please share your photos of your valentine masterpieces – we would love to see them! If you want to organize a group of crafting kids one afternoon, check in with us to see if we have any available room at the Sundial House.

Put a Little Fab in February

It’s February! The month when resolutions fizzle out, chocolate consumption goes up exponentially around the 14th, and you realize you only have a few weekends of glorious skiing before the spring breakers hit the slopes.

Some refer to February as a “doldrums” kind of month because we’re deep in winter. But we disagree – we have as much fun indoors as we do outdoors, and our calendar proves it! Come strut your stuff onstage at the Sundial House, learn to roll raw fish and rice together, and meet your new neighbors. Hope to see you at all of our BackCountry events this month!


Friday, February 9, 6pm, Sundial House

It’s time to bust out all of those amazing hidden talents to impress the neighbors! All acts and ages are welcome and each will have five minutes to put on their best performance at the Sundial House. Space is limited to the first 20 entries, so register today!


Friday, February 16, 4-6pm, Sundial House

No one should be left out of the holiday of love! We’re throwing an interactive Valentine’s-themed show for youngsters (and kids of all ages) in our community room. We’ll also have happy hour pricing at the bar. It will be fun for the whole family!


Saturday, February 17, 2-4pm, Sundial House

Join the executive chef behind Roll It Up Sushi Truck for a tasty, informative culinary experience where you’ll learn to create all styles of sushi rolls. After the class, the group will sit together for a meal that includes your own handmade rolls as well as catered sushi and sides. Learn more.


Third Friday (every month), Sundial House

Are you new to the neighborhood? We’d love to meet you! Come enjoy a complimentary glass of wine, courtesy of Indulge Wine Bar, and meet the CCMC Staff and other new members.

Celebrate the Outdoors in Winter, Too.

Everyone loves hiking and biking in the summer. And fishing and kayaking and paddle boarding and white water rafting and… we could go on and on. Come winter time, people are breaking out the skis and boards and heading to the mountains. And while Colorado is famous for its snowy slopes, you’ll find other winter outdoorsy activities for the whole family.

Granted, as a BackCountry resident, you have access to our parks and trails and the BackCountry Wilderness Area all year round. But if you’re looking to venture out of our gated community, here are a few suggestions:


Lace up and take to the ice in downtown Denver’s Skyline Park. Skating is FREE and skate rentals are $6 for kids and $8 for adults. You can also purchase a season pass for unlimited skate rentals.


Like flying down a snowy mountain but not into skiing or boarding? Go tubing instead! Coca-Cola Tube Park at the Winter Park Resort features four lanes as well as a covered conveyor lift ride back to the top.


Glide across a snowy meadow on the back of a steel horse – or snowmobile, to be more precise. Grand Adventures offers five riding locations to choose from and it’s the only tour that offers rides along the Continental Divide.


Whip effortlessly through evergreen forests and snowy trails while being pulled by a team of 10-12 trained dogs. Good Times Adventures runs an awesome 6-mile tour along the Swan River Valley. It’s a unique, interactive, and thrilling way to experience the Rocky Mountains.


Ice fishing season usually runs December to late February, when the ice is typically solid and conditions are right. Make sure you hit a tackle shop for advice on the best bait to use. Grand Lake in Granby is a worthy stop — catches of lake trout more than 32 inches long have been reported!

Don’t these activities sound like a blast? What are you waiting for? Throw on those snow boots, slip on your fleece-lined waterproof gloves, zip up your down-filled jackets, and head out for a fun-filled adventure in the Colorado snow!

You Are Where You Sleep

Your bedroom is your retreat — the safe place where you relax, wind down, and dream. You spend at least a good 1/3 of your day in there, so shouldn’t this be the most comfortable room in the house?

Whether you’re moving into a new home in BackCountry and need master bedroom décor ideas or you’re looking to update your current bedroom, here are a few suggestions to help you surround yourself with style as you kick back at the end of your day.


Having a romantic vibe in your bedroom is more than just canopy beds, chandeliers, and cashmere throws. Choose softer colors like pinks and beiges for a more feminine appeal and use passionate colors like red, ivory and black for a sexier allure. You can opt for sophistication or go for whimsical, depending on your taste. The more luxurious the texture, the better. Try velvets, silks, chenille, linens, and lace. Accent the room with upholstered furniture, faux fur pillows and colored lamp shades.


Getting a rustic, farmhouse feel is pretty simple. You can usually use the furniture you have or repurpose pieces from a thrift store. Whatever wood is exposed, distress it. Cover your white walls with planks of wood. Remove any doors and replace them with sliding barn doors. Put craftsman-style molding around windows. When it comes to materials, stick to white linens and light-colored neutrals. Deer or steer heads make a nice wall accent.


If classic and mainstream styles bore you, because you are only intrigued by the unexpected, go your own way. Fill your bedroom with unexpected treasures – trinkets from your travels, art you found in your parents’ basement, sheet music from classical composers, antique signs from a small-town grocery store, and so forth. Colors don’t have to match, and the more textures, the merrier. The cacophony of styles will reflect the crazy and creative soul underneath.


Many people are drawn to the minimalist style. It’s clean, clutter-free, and visually pleasant. With the bare minimum of furniture, a few pieces of art, and a few houseplants, your bedroom becomes an open space that feels bigger and welcoming. Keep the wall art to only 20% of wall space. Keep counters clear and floors bare. Colors should be neutral with no patterns, and let as much natural light flow into the room as possible.

Hopefully these style suggestions will inspire you to design the ultimate personal sanctuary in your home. Does your bedroom have a unique style? We’d love to see photos of it, so tag us (@backcountryco) on Instagram!