Unveiling The Little Nell’s Chic New Lobby + Living Room
Symmetry and coziness define the newly designed spaces in the Aspen hotel
Completed in time for the 2020/2021 Ski Season at Aspen Snowmass, the central gathering space of the hotel was designed in an artful manner by Señor Bustamante who was a professional sculptor and painter prior to embarking on a career in interior design.
“When I first met Luis Bustamante and saw his work, I knew he was the right interior designer for Aspen,” said Paula Crown, of the Crown family who owns Aspen Skiing Company and The Little Nell and whose artwork graces its walls. “Luis brings his formidable talents as an artist in understanding nuances of scale and flow.
Upon entering the hotel lobby, an emphasis on geometric design comes into immediate focus. A round brass table is set in the center of the vestibule on a square-shaped, geometric-patterned rug, which rests beneath. A screen wall made of oak separates the lobby and double-sided fireplace.
Displayed on either side of the fireplace are bright, bold examples of Bustamante’s work in the form of diamond shaped paintings–one gold, the other blue. These are accented by framed black and white photos from Aspen’s original ski days, which are set in vertical niches on the wood-burning fireplace.
The open floor plan of the split-level space allows for vignettes of various seating arrangements. New chairs, ottomans and tables are placed around the room. Guests are welcome to unwind and enjoy wine, ordering from the hotel’s award-winning cellar. Colorful coffee table books about art, design, skiing and sustainability are housed in a wood-paneled bookcase in the living room. In the living room, a black and white carpet made of European wool provides an abstract design element.
In describing the renovation, Julian Castillo with Luis Bustamante Interior Design, noted, “In all of our work, our goal is to match the aspirations of the client with two basic principles: classical order–involving symmetry, rhythm and definition of regular spaces–and the close relationship between space and art.
“Because Luis Bustamante’s background is in sculpture,” he continued, “he conceives space as a whole piece of art, where there is a strong interplay and balance between the materials, lighting, furniture and artwork. That balance is reflected in spaces between Classicism and Modernity, seeking lightness and a nod to something fun. Then there’s the place–in this case, Aspen and its surroundings–as the other source of inspiration.”
In response to nature and the climate in Aspen, especially in winter, coziness abounds in the finished product. The feeling of being embraced, warm and protected is felt throughout the stylish space.
Additional modifications to the ground level of the hotel include a mirrored ceiling in the elevator corridor, as well as textured wallpaper through the lobby and the stairwell leading to the lower level of the hotel.
The Little Nell lobby is just the first of a series of spaces that Señor Bustamante will be transforming this year, culminating with a new Aspen Mountain Club in 2021.