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Clean & Serene

Thoughtful updates, timeless finishes and contemporary furnishings take a 1980s Aspen home from funky to fabulous



Gibeon Photography

Forbes magazine recently named Aspen one of the most expensive cities in the world for luxury real estate; one single-family mansion was listed for a cool $90 million last year, shattering previous price records. Purchasing one of the resort town’s older homes isn’t necessarily a less-expensive alternative; residential remodels typically involve extensive demolition, reconstruction, and the outpouring of money—lots and lots of money.

But designer Joe McGuire knew how to work with the potential he saw in the 5,025-square-foot, six-bedroom residence in a private neighborhood on the edge of town, exercising refreshing restraint when he led its recent renovation. Despite the dramatic transformation of both the home’s interior and exterior, McGuire modestly describes the process as largely cosmetic.

“When we toured the house, I thought it had good bones,” remembers McGuire, principal of Aspen-based Joe McGuire Design. “It was a dated, eighties-style home with beige walls and worn oak floors; but on the plus side, it was big and roomy. The owners wanted to create a family retreat where they could entertain friends, and they really didn’t need or want a full-scale remodel.”

Now that the renovation is complete, McGuire describes the project with trademark humility. “We simply elevated the home to a level the homeowners would enjoy,” he says. Even in Aspen, it seems, excellent design doesn’t always have to be an expensive undertaking.

Simple white roller shades keep views unobstructed and let the natural light illuminate the living room. The Charles sectional sofa by B&B Italia is from Studio Como, and the contemporary paintings are by Austrian artist Ilona Guenther-Primas. The colorful Missoni poufs are from All Modern, and can pull double-duty as ottomans or extra seating. The Tyne cocktail table and Arden area rug are both from Room & Board.

McGuire refreshed the kitchen—which had been previously remodeled—with white paint, and added a trio of Alo barstools by Poltrona Frau. The counters are fabricated stainless steel. The existing oak floors on the main level were refinished in a neutral gray hue by Ragged Mountain Flooring.

Saarinen Executive chairs from Knoll surround a Corbett dining table from Room & Board; the glass Modo chandelier overhead is by Roll & Hill, from Studio Como. The framed photos of the town of Aspen are by Ross Kribbs from the Nugget Gallery.

McGuire chose comfortable furnishings with clean lines and soft textures in the open living area, leaving plenty of space for the family’s grand piano. The Womb Chair and ottoman are by Knoll, and the vintage gold light fixture over the piano is from online luxury dealer 1stDibs.com. The painting is by Ilona Guenther-Primas.

A handsome platform bed built by Stephen Anderson of Aspen Custom Woodworking takes center stage in the zen-like master bedroom; Anderson also built the floating nightstands. Soft textiles and blankets create a cozy atmosphere in a guest room, where hidden drawers in the white West Elm bed frame provide unobtrusive storage; floating nightstands are also from West Elm.

With a bridge that connects the yard to the living area and a spacious curved deck for outdoor entertaining, the home’s new dark gray exterior paint emphasizes its clean architectural lines. 

Design Details
Interior Designer
Joe McGuire, Joe McGuire Design
joemcguiredesign.com

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