Homeowner Georgia Baker, a Fort Worth native with a keen eye for style and an inviting Texas drawl, had a new kind of ski lodge in mind when she and her husband, Charles, purchased their Vail retreat. “I was looking for something light and modern, yet sophisticated,” she says, so she recruited interior designer Beth Armijo of Denver-based Armijo Design Group to create a fresh look to contrast with the home’s natural wood and stone construction. Playing with scale, proportion and bold pattern, Armijo abandoned predictable rustic décor in favor of a clean, transitional look anchored by solid furnishings made modern with fresh fabrics.
“There is color, but it isn’t saturated,” says Armijo of the living room. Crisp patterns and soothing earth tones create interest without sacrificing sophistication. The designer used patterns in unexpected places, such as the updated plaid fabric on the backs of the Manor Wing Chairs by Baker. “Although the pattern is bold, the subtle colors—grey, yellow—are timeless,” Armijo says.
The curvy Hancock & Moore sofa, made youthful by Schumacher silk in soft taupe and leather tweed, contrasts with the clean-cut edges of the Kravet cocktail table; two simple upholstered stools provide extra seating. A wool area rug with a tone-on-tone diamond pattern softens oak floors and completes the room.
Take a Load Off
Armijo specifically designed the cream-and-beige-striped bench for the walk-out basement, which creates a dramatic entry to the home’s lower level. Although the designer couldn’t change the scale of the house, she could influence the space through furniture tailored to the space. “Custom design gives you the power to make the furniture the focal point,” she explains.
Framed English garden blueprints surround the bench. “We wanted to fill the wall and create a strong presence to fit the tall ceilings.” An old lacquered faux bois table completes the vignette and adds a touch of mountain rustic. “The juxtaposition of a rustic, organic element next to such a clean and tailored bench is exciting,” Armijo says.
Since this is a vacation home, where extended family and close friends gather for holidays and special occasions, both homeowner and designer agreed that it was important to create several conversation niches, such as the small round table (above) that’s tucked into a corner just a few steps from the front door. Surrounded by upholstered arm chairs, “it’s a nice, quiet place to play games or check your email,” says Armijo.
The dining room is formal yet comfortable and features a showstopping Emanuel Morez Matawi chandelier made entirely of hand-blown glass leaves. It’s a sophisticated riff on the type of nature-inspired fixture you might expect in a lodge-style home and works masterfully here: the leaves add a natural element that pairs beautifully with the not-so-dressy Piedmont table from Hickory Chair.
“Mixing woods is important,” says Armijo of the eclectic dining set. “Wood should go together, but it shouldn’t match.” For further interest, Armijo chose pieces in various textures and scales, pairing masculine leather (on the heavier Delaware host chairs) and feminine fabric (on the delicate armless Chelsea side chairs) to balance the ensemble.
No Muss, No Fuss
The kitchen, part of an open floor plan that makes the main level perfect for entertaining, is Georgia Baker’s favorite space. “It’s just so functional,” she says. To complement the fixed finishes already in place—the artistic backsplash, maple cabinets and granite countertops—Armijo chose low-maintenance saddle barstools with crocodile vinyl seats, which she says is a “very cool, very clean [design].” Tailored nail-heads add interest; backless seats are in accord with the open layout.
The den is a casual gathering place, perfect for small get-togethers. The furniture in this room was chosen for its functionality, and informal lounge pieces like the Baker sofa offer a relaxed look. Supple fabrics—chenille, velvet and leather—beg to be touched, while round silhouettes, most apparent in the Charles Hassock ottoman, add to the softness. Floor-to-ceiling draperies in bold stripes add visual height to the dropped ceiling.
“This is my favorite small space,” Baker says of the library, where she tends to perch on Hickory Chair’s Argonne sofa (above) with her morning coffee and watch deer roam across snow-covered trails. The petite sofa is the perfect size for the quaint nook, but the upholstery treatment, which pieces together different fabrics in complementary colors, gives the piece big style.
One more dining/game table (above) can be found in the light-filled basement. “It’s not so much a basement as it is an extension of the house,” says Armijo. South-facing windows keep the space warm and light, while soft but graphic linen, cotton and velvet keep the look fresh and cohesive.
All Tucked In
Armijo is a big fan of fabric headboards for their texture and color, which are sometimes lacking in traditional frames. In the only guest room with twin beds (above), she took advantage of the room’s tall ceilings with tall, graphic headboards. “Rooms with twin beds are so much fun to design,” says Armijo. “It’s like you have a mini-vignette built right in.”
In the master bedroom (above), she opted for Hickory Chair’s Chelsea headboard. Its plush curves contrast with the blunt edges and strong texture of the Murano chests. Armijo prefers chests over nightstands because they ground the room and add symmetry. Extra storage is a bonus. Then, in the designer’s signature way, she played with scale and pattern, choosing oversized table lamps from Visual Comfort to fit the tall space.
To round out the generous layout, Armijo added a seating area (above) with cozy chairs in a modern floral print, contemporary floor lamps and formal drapes.
Perhaps it was Armijo and Baker’s symbiotic relationship that led to the successful outcome. “I’m so thrilled with the result,” says Baker. “Beth’s youthful eye and talent brought everything together perfectly.”
Architect: Scott Turnipseed, Scott S. Turnipseed AIA, Eagle, (970) 328-3900, sstaia.com
Interior Designer: Beth Armijo, Armijo Design Group, Denver, (303) 877-3343, armijodesigngroup.com
CUSTOM FURNITURE Walnut Street Woodworks, Denver, (303) 297-9515, woodworkstudio.com ARTWORK Rodgers Naylor, available through various galleries, (303) 838-5678, grnaylor.com; Etchings by Mark Thompson, Knox Gallery, Denver, (303) 820-2324, knoxgalleries.com LIVING ROOM Laurel Sofa by Hancock & Moore, Hoff Miller, Denver, (303) 698-0800, hoffmiller.com WING CHAIRS Manor Wing Chairs by Baker, Baker at Town, Denver, (303) 282-0125, townstudio.com TABLE Four-Drawer Cocktail Table by Kravet, Denver Design District, (303) 733-1891, kravet.com GUEST ROOM HEADBOARDS Candler Twin Headboards by Hoff Miller, Denver Design District, (303) 698-0800, hoffmiller.com CHEST Ermitage Three-Drawer Chest by Grange, Denver Design District, (303) 777-1866, grangeny.com CHAIR Cantrell Chair by Hickory Chair, Hoff Miller, Denver Design District, (303) 698-0800, hoffmiller.com MASTER BEDROOM LAMPS Ginger Lamp with Drum Shades by Hwang Bishop, Shanahan Collection, Denver Design District, (303) 778-7088, shanahancollection.com HEADBOARD Chelsea Headboard by Hickory Chair, Hoff Miller, Denver Design District, (303) 698-0800, hoffmiller.com CHEST/NIGHTSTAND Murano Chest by Hickory Chair, Hoff Miller, Denver Design District, (303) 698-0800, hoffmiller.com DEN SOFA Simply Baker Sofa by Baker, Town, Denver Design District, (303) 282-8696, townstudio.com OTTOMAN Charles Hassock, Hoff Miller, Denver Design District, (303) 698-0800, hoffmiller.com DINING ROOM DINING TABLE Hickory Chair, Hoff Miller, Denver Design District, (303) 698-0800, hoffmiller.com HOST CHAIR Delaware Host Chair by Hickory Chair, Hoff Miller, Denver Design District, (303) 698-0800, hoffmiller.com SIDE CHAIRS Chelsea Side Chair by Hickory Chair, Hoff Miller, Denver Design District, (303) 698-0800, hoffmiller.com CHANDELIER Matawi Morez by Emanuel Morez, John Brooks Inc., Denver Design District, (303) 698-9977, johnbrooksinc.com LIBRARY SOFA Argonne Sofa by Hickory Chair, Hoff Miller, Denver Design District, (303) 698-0800, hoffmiller.com COFFEE TABLE Ermitage Oval Coffee Table by Grange, Denver Design District, (303) 777-1866, grangeny.com
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