Rocky Mountain Modern

After living in Aspen for more than 20 years, Cecil and Noelle Hernandez decided that they wanted to move to the mountain town’s historic West End. Noelle Hernandez had her sights set on a home that was built in the mid-eighties and had been on the market for quite some time. “It looked so sad and neglected,” says Hernandez, a design consultant and owner of Aspen-based NCH Design. “Cecil took one look and hated it, but I was already dissecting it and deciding what I wanted to do with it.”

After gaining permission for the project from the Aspen Historical Society and embarking on an intensive nine-month renovation, the couple is thrilled with their modern and family-friendly home. “I love it even more than I thought I would,” Hernandez says.


Unhappy with just about every aspect of the house’s style, Hernandez served as her own general contractor and gutted it, replacing windows, floors and doors. “All we kept were the ceilings.” In the living room (and throughout the home), arched windows were replaced with streamlined and simple, blind-clad ones from Kolbe. “The house is so sunny and bright, and I don’t like draperies,” explains Hernandez.

Custom chaise sofas and chairs from Berman Rosetti, accented with an AS Design silk pillow from HW Home and a linen pillow from Ashley Campbell, sit atop a silk-and-wool rug from Denver-based Allure. The custom-made coffee table and end tables are from Boykin Pearce; the glass bowl is from Venini. Hernandez also replaced the flooring with an ageless wire-brushed antique oak.


Hernandez’s background is in kitchen and bath design, so she was more than comfortable taking on the kitchen remodel. “The original kitchen was set up for help; we cook and entertain and wanted it open so guests could come in.” Hernandez flipped the layout so the kitchen is on the other side of the room and opened up the wall leading to the dining room. A modern interpretation of barn doors, designed and crafted by Genesis Innovations, adds drama and closes off the space for more formal dinners.

Genesis was also responsible for the  kitchen cabinetry. A dark finish accented with simple, oversized hardware adds to the contemporary feel. Other unique features include a vent hood from Futuro Futuro, tile backsplash from Decorative Materials and a Gaggenau cooktop.


Perhaps one of the most dramatic transformations in the house is the dining room, where Hernandez replaced the arched window with large sliding glass doors. These doors welcome an abundance of sunlight and slide open for an easy transition from indoors to out, and to create flexible space for large gatherings. “The sun sets on that side; it’s just perfect for evening entertaining,” Hernandez says.

The dining room is a study in restrained, minimalist design. Leather Enzo chairs from Room & Board surround a Boykin Pearce custom table. Hanging overhead is a Satori chandelier from Kneedler-Fauchère. The definitive focal point of the room, Paul Pletka’s Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, was commissioned by Cecil Hernandez through Riva Yares Gallery in Santa Fe.

The Hernandezes also expanded and updated the adjoining deck with a sleek metal railing and “fire ribbon” fireplace. Comfortable Sutherland furnishings from Carter Didlake invite guests to linger.


The master bedroom and bath also received a complete makeover. The fact that Hernandez is a veteran bath designer is evident in this calm retreat. She knew the layout was solid (and there was no need to reconfigure plumbing), and so she focused on the pretty touches: a to-die-for Hastings soaking tub from Hutter+EuroBath and large-scale subway tile from Walker Zanger.


In the bedroom and sitting area, a well-edited mix of clean-lined Donghia furnishings from John Brooks create a serene environment. Donghia lamps and an AS Design silk pillow from HW Home add a small punch of color to the quiet space.

The Hernandezes have been in the home for a little over a year and are thrilled with the results. “I got everything I was looking for. We use the whole house and that makes me happy because no space is wasted.”

INTERIOR DESIGN (as well as selection of all exterior materials) Noelle Hernandez, NCH Design LLC, Aspen, (970) 920-3213, ARCHITECTURE Martin Matta, Matta Design Company, Carbondale, (970) 274-6011, (helped with design and layout of new windows, design of new deck and entry and layout of the stone; worked closely with NCH Design on new stair details and trellis design) BUILDER (general construction) Scott Duryea, Rudd Construction, Basalt, (970) 927-4038, CONTRACTOR (millwork, cabinetry, interior doors, exterior siding) Bertram Schwaderlapp, Genesis Innovations, Loveland, (970) 635-2500, STAIR RAILINGS Custom design in stainless steel, Jessica Adams, Living Design Studios Inc., Boulder/Aspen, (303) 442-2614, WOOD FLOORING Wire-brushed antique oak custom stained wood floors, Arrigoni Woods, Vail, (970) 479-1800, WINDOWS Kolbe, available at Roaring Fork Building Specialties, Basalt, (970) 927-9847, PATIO FURNITURE Sutherland, available at Carter Didlake, Denver, (303) 794-4722, ARTWORK Photo in living room: Howard Cook etchings, 1930, purchased at William R. Talbot Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM, (505) 982-1559,; Photo in kitchen: R. Kenton Nelson, oil on board, 2007, purchased at Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA, (805) 730-1460,; Lithograph above bed in master bedroom: 1932 lithograph, “Frida Kahlo” by Diego Rivera, purchased at Acuna Fine Art, Mexico City; Lithograph near chair in master bedroom: 1932 lithograph, Diego Rivera self portrait, purchased at Acuna Fine Art, Mexico City; Large acrylic on canvas in dining room: “Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe” by Paul Pletka, 2010, commissioned through Riva Yares Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, (505) 984-0330, RUGS (In living and dining rooms) Custom silk and wool rugs, manufactured by Allure Rug, Denver, (303) 871-8848, LIVING ROOM Custom chaise sofas and custom chairs, manufactured by Berman Rosetti, Los Angeles, (310) 855-2567,; upholstered in mohair velvet by Donghia, LAMPS Donghia Faro/Sangre with black shade drum, available at John Brooks Inc., Denver, (303) 698-9977, COFFEE TABLE, END TABLES, ENTRY PIECE, DINING TABLE Custom designs manufactured by Boykin Pearce, Denver, (303) 294-0703, BOWL Glass Bowl / Bright Blue by Venini, Venice, Italy, +39 041 2737211 LEATHER DINING CHAIRS Enzo Chair by Room & Board, Denver, (303) 322-6462, CHANDELIER Manufactured by Sartori, available at Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver, (303) 744-7474 KITCHEN BAR STOOLS Happy Stools by Bonaldo, available at Modern Palette, Denver, (888) 846-4842, PILLOW Flori Design, available at Crate & Barrel, Denver, (800) 967-6696, COOKTOP Gaggenau, available at Discount Cabinet and Appliance, Denver, (303) 292-9380, BACKSPLASH TILE Linea by Artistic Tile, available at Decorative Materials, Basalt, (970) 927-0700, HOOD 48” Streamline Wall by Futuro Futuro, Brooklyn, NY, (800) 230-3565, MASTER BEDROOM KING BED, CHAIRS & OTTOMAN Donghia, available at John Brooks Inc., Denver, (303) 698-9977, SIDE TABLES & DRESSER Knowlton Brothers, Egg & Dart, Denver, (303) 744-1676, LAMPS Vaso by Donghia, John Brooks Inc., Denver, (303) 698-9977, MASTER BATHROOM TUB & TUB FITTINGS Hastings, available at Hutter+EuroBath and Tile, Denver, (303) 298-8453, TILE Walker Zanger, available at Hutter+EuroBath and Tile, Denver, (303) 298-8453,

Categories: Interiors, Landscaping & Gardening