Kiva Style: Former Tipi Residents Build a Rammed-Earth Home

Working with earth, wood, glass and crystals, Tom and Flame Lutes have created a truly sacred space in the Colorado high country.

“I cut down two ponderosa pines purely for the sake of view and because I didn’t think they were very ­pretty,” Tom says. “I went through a lot of agonizing about it—‘what gives me the right to do this?’ But I cut them down. And then we were looking for a way of framing up the bedroom in a natural way and holding the roof up, and I thought, ‘What about those trees lying down out there?’ I hauled them in, and they became structural supports for the roof—and they’re gorgeous. They’re a headboard, and they’re bearing the whole roof. It was a good life lesson—what I had pushed away as ugly, later I had to bring back into my life and embrace as absolutely beautiful.”
Photo By Laurie Dickson