A Quest for Epic Design
Meet Eric Walden of The Fireplace Boutique
Eric Walden is on a quest for epic design. So far that journey has spanned 15 years and included thousands of creations in his studio at The Fireplace Boutique. Walden’s work begins with his clients’ vision and revs up from there. “We use a live design process where we sketch ideas on the fly, tweaking things as we brainstorm organically, so clients can see what it will look like 3-D in their space,” says the soft-spoken creator. “The final product often ends up being completely different than the original idea.” A long list of satisfied clients happily attest to his skills and inclusive approach.
The St. Louis-born Walden has been a Colorado fixture since graduating from Metro State with a degree in product design. A subsequent internship at The Fireplace Boutique turned into a full-time position, and in 2016 he took the helm. The company, known primarily for its lightweight, stone-cast mantels and fireplace surrounds, has expanded its portfolio to include custom fireboxes, fire pits and grills, kitchen-range hoods, chunky geometric focus walls, and media surrounds.
One grand-scale example is a giant (40 feet tall, 18 feet wide) old-world fireplace the team designed for a college in North Carolina. “The columns that held up the shelf looked like 9-foot-tall coffins. We had to piece different mantels together to create the look they wanted. We were able to fashion three standard shelves together to make one massive 18-foot-wide shelf.”
Each project provides Walden and his three-person design team with a creative cycle that never gets old. “With a lot of design, especially product design, you don’t get to see your ideas come to fruition. What we design becomes part of someone’s home, and you get to see their response. It’s so rewarding.”