An Interior Designer Remodels her own Home in Snowmass
A Texas designer opens a new office in Aspen, and with that, she designs her family’s dream home (and showhouse) in Snowmass
When Laura Umansky began her career as an interior designer in Houston, Texas, she took after her father who designed and built his own home. “Just seeing that someone could do that with their own hands and their own mind allowed me to never doubt I could do it myself”, says Umansky. And in 2007, she founded Laura U Design Collective.
Having grown up on Colorado ski trips in the winter and camping excursions in the summer, Umansky knew she wanted to make the state her full-time residence. Years later, when a client brought her to Aspen in 2014, she decided to take the leap. Before the calendar year had ended, she and her family bought a 1995 4 bedroom 3 ½ bath, home. When the pandemic hit their priorities shifted and they made Snowmass their primary residence.
When it came down to design, Umansky brought in her colleague and creative director at Laura U Design Collective Gina Elkins to assist in the renovations. “Gina and I considered every aspect of my family’s lifestyle and preferences when making our design decisions. She really dug into what we needed and how we live to create the space that would be most conducive for us,” says Umansky.
Umansky and her husband Michael flock to the kitchen for quality time with their daughters around the island, even if it’s just to supervise homework. Because the kitchen has always been such a popular gathering spot in their family, they knocked down a few walls to expand the space. As a self-proclaimed renovation junkie, Umansky didn’t shy away from making big changes. “I designed the home to have cozy, close moments where the rooms are darker and then soaring bright spaces, like the kitchen and great room. I love the tension and emotion this type of contrast can evoke,” says Umansky.
As Laura U Design Collective makes its debut in Aspen, Umansky chose to take a new approach to design. Her home is decorated to showcase her firm’s services, meaning that just about everything in her family home is available for her clients. “The house (Mountain Lane Showhouse) allowed us to demonstrate our foundation-to-furnishings process and introduce our firms’ craft to a new market,” says Umansky. In doing so, she sourced items from the best in their respective fields, having had 15 years in the industry, she knew what she wanted.
Within the Snowmass community, Umansky and her husband proudly join the Anderson Ranch Arts Center on their National Council. Anderson Ranch recognizes human beings’ lifelong need to develop personal creativity and to discover, learn and grow. Their mission stands to help artists hone their skills and engage in meaningful dialogue around the arts, which resonated with Umansky and her team. In addition to acting on the National Council, Laura U Design Collective has partnered with Anderson Ranch to be the beneficiary of the showhouse’s ticket sales.