Design Around It

Shannon Adamson, Q Interior Design, Denver, (303) 778-7072, “Jean de Merry's Lumiere chandelier is as much a piece of sculpture as it is a chandelier. Its thin metal rays mimic the form of long-needled pine boughs, making it equally at home in a Colorado mountain getaway or a Manhattan penthouse. Softly glowing spheres are nestled among the rays, softening the overall look. And it's available in several sizes, ranging from 30 inches to a grand 60 inches in diameter as well as custom sizes. This is an instantly classic piece with timeless appeal—the Lumiere chandelier can work in a traditional or contemporary space.

In a way, this piece represents the movement in Colorado's design community toward a more modern, refined aesthetic—particularly in mountain spaces. The region's leading designers are boldly redefining mountain design with cleaner lines and modern forms that accentuate the beauty of natural materials.”

Available at John Brooks, Inc. at the Denver Design District, (303) 698-9977,

Heather Mourer, One Home, Denver, (720) 946-1505, “The Frank modular sofa is the latest sofa design by the prolific Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia. I just saw it at the Milan fair, and it's incredibly comfortable and very versatile. Its thin profile, nickel-varnished or polished legs, and small, cushy-yet-solid freestanding cushions can be placed to add additional support for the back anywhere on the sofa. I love it! The perfect combination of comfort and beauty.

Design in Colorado is developing dramatically at a very quick pace. We just completed a penthouse in Vail, not with the expected antlers and green-and-red plaid fabrics, but with clean and modern, yet warm, materials, fabrics and furnishings. It still feels like Colorado, but it's today's Colorado. Also, our furniture showroom now carries high-end world-renowned lines such as Knoll, Vitra, Maxalto, Agape bathrooms from Italy and de Sede, generally only found on the coasts. It's a great, exciting time to be a designer in Colorado.”

Jeff Elliott, Jeffrey P Elliott Interior Design, Denver, (303) 860-0109: “With the renewed interest in the post-mid-century work of George Nakashima, Paul Evans and Phillip Lloyd Powell, the current contemporary design trend is organic and free-form. The massive wooden planks and raw-edge details of the 1970s are chic again. An exceptional local manufacturer, Mori Furniture Design, offers dining tables and cocktail tables with various types of wooden slabs set atop stylish ebonized bases. My favorite piece is the Kumo table. This piece can be customized and would pair nicely with styles ranging from Asian antique to formal modern.”

Available at TOWN at the Denver Design District, (303) 282-8696.

Yvonne Jacobs, Slifer Designs, Edwards, (970) 926-8200, “I enjoy incorporating wallpaper as a design element in my clients' homes, especially when it is as fun and beautiful as Jaima Brown's collection. The Persia Paisley wallpaper in Seaglass combines color and elegance for a room lacking warmth. These colorful, elegant and original wallpapers are perfect for our environment in Colorado—they're long-lasting and able to withstand the sun streaming through the many large windows of our clients' homes.

I believe that the future of design in Colorado will continue to evolve and become more sophisticated with less clutter and more clean lines. I see the future filled with bolder design, strong use of color and clients willing to take more risks and blend styles to create an eclectic look. And I see the design industry offering more and more sustainable furnishings, fabrics and fixed finish options, not because it's a trend, but because it's the right thing to do.”

Cara Hines, Studio Como, Denver, (303) 296-1495, “I'm fascinated by the use of materials and textures in unexpected combinations, like fine crystal next to rusted metal, or chrome alongside heavy rough timber. Colorado is a perfect place to explore these juxtapositions. We represent a convergence of histories and ideologies, as well as rugged individualism.

This is what Colorado design is for me: rugged frontier meets simple sophistication. Design here should and can reflect these dynamically opposed, yet intrinsically intertwined dualities. We have a unique history and future. We're not L.A., and we're not New York City. And there's no reason for us to try to be anything other than what we are. We did not necessarily grow up with a deeply embedded sense of elegance and sophistication in this rugged region; it's being transplanted here by the mix of people and cultures passing through and moving in. I think it's critical that we embrace where we've been while welcoming the future, and we can do this in our environments by incorporating natural woods and rustic textures with simple, classic, sophisticated forms from around the world.

Moving forward, I think we'll be making a bigger impact with fewer things and a greater attention to detail and quality of life. This is the aesthetic and lifestyle we strive to emulate in our showroom. One product line that captures this is E15. They create beautiful products, such as the Bigfoot Table, using sustainably forested wood in simple, elegant shapes and proportions. They honor the natural imperfections of the wood—such as cracks  and knotholes—by letting them be.”

To discover more distinctive pieces and how the experts say they inspire great design, pick up the October issue of CH&L.

Categories: Entertaining, Furniture & Accessories, Interiors