Edit ModuleShow Tags

Coastal Connection

An Aspen designer combines an East Coast aesthetic with traditional styling to bring a taste of New England to the mountains



Emily Minton Redfield

Eleven years ago, when Barbara Mullen began designing homes in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley, brown leather sofas, indestructible stone-and-metal coffee tables and antler chandeliers were de rigueur. How things have changed. These days, “there are still some second homeowners who lean toward the traditional mountain vernacular,” says the co-owner and principal of interior design firm Caroline-Edwards Inc., “but year-round residents tend to make design decisions based on a more personal aesthetic that has less to do with local geography and more to do with who they are.”

That was certainly the case for a couple with two teenage sons who sought to imbue their 4,000-square-foot Colorado home with an East Coast sensibility. Though from the outside the stucco-and-timber-frame residence looks quite Western, its graceful interiors evoke a Beantown bungalow. “The wife is from the Boston area and the couple really wanted to capture that New England feel,” says Mullen, who made it her mission to identify the region’s predominant colors, textures and furniture styles—and incorporate them into the mountain home. “ 

Inspired by photos of classic New England spaces, Mullen began by selecting linen fabrics in shades of blue. “It’s a color not often associated with mountain architecture,” says the designer, who ignored the “blue is too cool for mountain homes” rule and upholstered the living room’s armchairs with a blue-green fabric that feels warm and inviting. She repeated the hue with the pillows’ patterned fabrics.

The blue mood continues throughout the home. In the master bedroom, a Moroccan rug’s simple blue harlequin pattern complements the floral print on the drapes, while in one of the boys’ bedrooms, a bright blue-striped rug seems to reflect the bold sky-colored walls. The family room sectional sofa sports a casual tweedy linen in a gray/blue tone, and in the dining room, deep blue cushions top the rush seats that surround the walnut table. “It’s where the kids do their homework and the family eats most of their meals, so they wanted a table that was really sturdy,” Mullen says. A sisal rug is equally durable, and a curved iron chandelier with candlestick lights provides a subtle nod to mountain style. Spindle-backed chairs, carved coffee table legs and sofas with English styling emphasize the East Coast aesthetic. To add even more of that classic New England style, Mullen stained the existing wood floors a darker shade. 

Come summer, when the homeowners throw open the windows and doors, there’s no need to swap in warm-weather accessories. The woven wood window shades that let a soft winter light filter in are pulled up, allowing understated linen drapes to billow gently in the breeze. And the blue-and-cream color scheme, which offers plenty of warmth and depth in winter, makes an effortless transition to summer. 

“Some people like to create fresh, seasonal looks by changing out slipcovers, pillows and throws,” Mullen says, “but the fabrics and colors here seem to feel just right no matter the time of year.”  

SEASONAL SWAPS

Now that the days are growing longer—and warmer—interior designer Barbara Mullen suggests approaching your interior design as you do your closet, swapping out heavy and dark fabrics for lighter, brighter ones. Here, she offers several suggestions for changing things up for the warm-weather months.

Opt for spare, not bare, floors “In the summer you don’t have to worry about snowy boots, so swap those big shaggy rugs for smaller, simpler flat-weave versions.” 

Choose breezy window coverings Remove heavy draperies and allow the sheers to stand alone for an instantly summery look and feel. For more coverage, add a second layer of sheers to the drapery rod.  

Swap out pillows “Come summer, the first thing I do is change my pillows to create a new look,” Mullen says. “But don’t just think about lighter colors. Try different fabrics, too. Wools and silks are great in winter, but come June, bring on the linens.” While you’re at it, switch out cashmere and mohair throws with cotton and linen varieties in fun patterns.

 

INTERIOR DESIGN Barbara Mullen, ASID; Richard Mullen, Maggi Whitmer, Caroline-Edwards, Inc., Aspen, Colo., 970-920-3331, barbara@carolineedwards.com, carolineedwards.com FABRICATION The Home Stitchery, Colleen Fawley, The Home Stitchery, Carbondale, 970-963-0894 PLASTER WALLS Roaring Fork Painters, Aspen, Colo., 970-920-0229, roaringforkpainters.com SPECIAL FINISHES Bob Levy Decorative Finishing, Basalt, 970-927-5009 BOYS SITTING ROOM COFFEE TABLE Jasper, John-Brooks, Inc. Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, michaelsmithinc.com LEATHER SWIVEL LOUNGE CHAIRS Holly Hunt (and Holly Hunt Leather), Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver, Colo., 303-744-7474 hollyhunt.com DESK CHAIRS Jiun Ho, TOWN, Denver, Colo. 303-282-8696, jiunho.com DRAPERY FABRIC Donghia, John-Brooks, Inc. Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, donghia.com RUG Mitchell-Denberg, Egg and Dart, Denver, Colo., 303-744-1676, egg-and-dart.com FAMILY ROOM COFFEE TABLE AND WOOD FRAME CHAIR Charles Fradin, Charles Fradin, Los Angeles, Calif., 818-980-4814, charlesfradin.com LAMP Christopher Spitzmiller, Mecox Gardens, Los Angeles, Calif., 310-358-9272, christopherspitzmiller.com SOFA JJ Custom, John-Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, jjcustominc.com SOFA FABRIC Jasper, John-Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, michaelsmithinc.com WINDOW COVERINGS Conrad, Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver, Colo., 303-744-7474, conradshades.com LIVING ROOM COFFEE TABLE Paul Ferrente, John Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, johnbrooksinc.com SOFAS Rose Tarlow, John Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, rosetarlow.com, SPINDLE BACK CHAIRS Millbrook Chair, Scalamandre, Scalamandre, New York, N.Y., 631-467-8800, scalamandre.com, ROUND END TABLE, Dessin Fournir, Kneedler Fauchere, Denver, Colo., 303-744-7474  dessinfournir.com TUFTED LOUNGE CHAIR JJ Custom, John Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, jjcustominc.com X BENCH Formations, John-Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, formations.com LOUNGE CHAIR PILLOW Raoul Textiles, John-Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, raoultextiles.com OFFICE DRAPERY FABRIC Hodsoll & McKenzie, Shanahan Collection, Denver, Colo., 303-778-7088, zimmer-rohde.com DESK Manheim-Ruseau, John Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, hhruseau.com, GLASS LAMP, Antique, Paris Underground, Aspen, Colo., 970-544-0137, parisunderground.com, LOUNGE CHAIR Rose Tarlow, John-Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, rosetarlow.com LOUNGE CHAIR FABRIC Classic Cloth, Kneedler-Faucher, Denver, Colo., 303-744-7474  MASTER BEDOOM MOROCCAN RUGS Antique, Isberian Rug Company, Aspen, Colo., 970-925-8062, isberianrugs.com CHAISE LOUNGE Charles Fradin, Charles Fradin, Los Angeles, Calif., 818-980-4814,charlesfradin.com DRAPERY FABRIC Raoul Textiles, John Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977,  raoultextiles.com BEDSIDE LAMPS Allan Knight, Egg and Dart, Denver, Colo., 303-744-1676,  allan-knight.com NIGHTSTAND Jasper, John Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977,  michaelsmithinc.com ANTIQUE NIGHTSTAND from owners’ collection ENTRY CONSOLE, Antique, Black Tulip Antiques, Denver, Colo., 303-601-3872 RUG Antique Turkish Oushak, Isberian Rug Company, Aspen, Colo., 970-925-8062, isberianrugs.com SETTEE Jasper, John-Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, michaelsmithinc.com SETTEE FABRIC Rose Tarlow, John Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, rosetarlow.com SIDE TABLE Therien, Therien, Los Angeles, Calif., 310-657-4615, therien.com BOY’S BEDROOM BEDDING C&C Milano, John-Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, cec-milano.comNIGHT TABLE Henry Beguelin, Henry Beguelin, Aspen, Colo., 970-920-2925, henrybeguelinbycn.com RUG Mitchell Denberg, Egg and Dart, Denver, Colo.303-744-1676 GREEN CHAIR Rose Tarlow, John Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, rosetarlow.com LAMP Christopher Spitzmiller, Mecox Gardens, Los Angeles, Calif., 310-358-9272, christopherspitzmiller.com BOYS BEDROOM BED Charles Fradin, Charles Fradin, Los Angeles, Calif., 818-980-4814,  charlesfradin.com DRAPERY AND BEDDING C&C Milano, John-Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, cec-milano.com LOUNGE CHAIR Jasper, John-Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, michaelsmithinc.com  LOUNGE CHAIR FABRIC Rose Tarlow, John Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, rosetarlow.com LAMP Baker, Chuck Wells, Denver, Colo., 303-744-8584,  baker.com ARTWORK Caio Fonseca, from Owners Collection, caiofonseca.com DINING ROOM CHANDELIER Rose Tarlow, John Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, rosetarlow.com DINING CHAIRS Formations, John-Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, formations.com DINING CHAIR FABRIC Rose Tarlow, John Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, rosetarlow.com DINING TABLE Dennis and Leen, John Brooks, Inc., Denver, Colo., 303-698-9977, dennisandleen.com

Get more content like this:  Subscribe to the magazine | Sign up for our free e-newsletter

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Also Enjoy

The Top 15 Mountain Homes of 2017

Before we dive headfirst into 2018, let's reminisce about the past year's most popular home features.

The Benefits of Oxygen at Altitude

Here’s to an incredible mountain stay, full of all the right kinds of breathtaking adventures.

Hamilton Aguiar’s Silver Reflections

Dreamlike landscape paintings of winter forests bathed in a silver mist.

Add your comment:
Edit Module

Get Mountain Living in your inbox...FREE!

Subscribe to our weekly newsletters, High Points (select magazine plus web exclusive content) and Out & About (high country events and happenings) for more inspiration! Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags