2,500-Square-Foot Duplex

Interior designer Tracie Schumacher transforms a dated West Vail duplex into a rustic-modern retreat

When interior designer Tracie Schumacher first walked into this West Vail duplex, she knew its renovation would present some challenges. After all, the 2,500-square-foot residence, situated along Gore Creek, wasn’t exactly move-in ready. “A lot of the interior was dedicated to storage rather than living,” Schumacher explains, while poor space planning “had you staring into blank walls” rather than views of the mountain surroundings. What’s more, “it’s a small space, and with small spaces comes the challenge of maximizing every nook and cranny,” she adds.

Space constraints weren’t the only factor in the eight-month-long transformation. To add function to the home’s small rooms, Schumacher, founder of Eagle, Colorado-based Studio80 Interior Design, and her creative team invented smart new uses for otherwise unused spaces. Near the kitchen, she removed an existing closet and added a large window to create a bright little breakfast nook with an apple-green upholstered banquette and a Hans Wegner pendant lamp. An adjacent empty space beneath the main staircase now accommodates a wet bar designed to blend right in with the rest of the room. “The devil is in the details with small spaces,” Schumacher says, “and even goofy little spots like the bar area can work and look like they were meant to be there.”


Bold colors and geometric shapes add drama to the living room (pictured above and at top). A sleek black limestone fireplace surround and television cabinet clad with herringbone-patterned beetlekill pine create a striking backdrop for the room’s custom gold lacquered coffee table and chandelier by Jean de Merry. “The light fixture is like another piece of art, and its angles kind of echo the herringbone design on the cabinet,” interior designer Tracie Schumacher says. Winter-white sofas by Minotti are topped with patterned pillows by Portland, Oregon-based designer Carley Kahn. 


To accentuate the kitchen’s “interesting negative spaces,” Schumacher incorporated bold dark finishes, including “Raven” countertops by Caesarstone, black antiqued and waxed limestone backsplash tile from Decorative Materials, and the breakfast bar’s custom, hot-rolled metal top and front. The rift-cut white oak cabinets were made by Vail-based Mountain Craft Cabinetry.


An existing closet was removed to make room for an inviting breakfast nook. The banquette is upholstered in apple-green fabric from Perennials. Schumacher also designated space underneath the stairs for a wet bar, complete with a built-in cabinet for storing wine and other essentials. 


The kitchen’s custom stainless-steel hood was made by A.G. Welding & Repair in Gypsum, Colorado. The cabinet pulls are from Rocky Mountain Hardware.


“I wanted to create a cozy spot to sit and look out at the creek,” Schumacher says of this small seating area. A Tucker Robbins lamp made from recycled rubber hangs above an old bentwood chair that was reupholstered with Mongolian fur. 


Schumacher adorned the master bedroom’s beetlekill pine-clad walls with blown-glass sconces by John Pomp and a swan painting inspired by a photo taken by one of the homeowners and recreated by artist Ron Kempton, courtesy of the Denver Art Company. A bed by Costantini Design is covered with a handmade blanket by Dutch textile designer Mae Engelgeer. The custom nightstands are from Highland Interiors.


“The existing bathrooms had been tastefully designed with white tiles, simple alder cabinetry and streamlined plumbing fixtures, so we just added window coverings for privacy and a nice layer of texture,” Schumacher says.



INTERIOR DESIGN Tracie Schumacher, Studio 80, Eagle, CO, studio80id.com CONTRACTOR Todd Rainville, Redcliff, CO CARPENTER Shawn Baldwin, Precision Woodwork Inc., Eagle, CO, 970 376 1476 WINDOW TREATMENTS Gregory Burnett, Points West Window Coverings, Vail, CO, 970.926.7872 CUSTOM UPHOLSTERY/KITCHEN BANQUETTE Cruz Robledo, Silver Scissors Upholstery, Gypsum, CO, 970.471.3760 CABINETRY (KITCHEN, BAR, DEN) Bob Norman, Mountaincraft Cabinetry, Vail, CO, 970.479.0118, mountaincraftcabinetry.com WELDING (Kitchen hood, Living room mantel, Fireplace trim, Metal Kitchen Island Countertop, All railings) Jim Gauer, A.G. Welding & Repair Inc., Gypsum, CO, 970.376.5042    

LIVING ROOM  CHANDELIER Jean de Merry, 323.655.9193 SOFAS Andersen Line by Minotti, from Studio Como, Denver, studiocomo.com SWIVEL CHAIRS Portofino Swivel Chairs by Minotti, from Studio Como, studiocomo.com CUSTOM COFFEE TABLE Braverman Furniture, Colorado Springs, bravermanfurniture.com RUG Floor Coverings by CPA, Denver, 303.722.4700 LAMP & SIDE TABLE Booklamp by De La Espada, from Studio Como, studiocomo.com PATTERNED PILLOW FABRIC Carley Kahn, Portland, OR, carleykahn.com GOLD MOHAIR PILLOW FABRIC By Glant, from Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver, kneedlerfauchere.com DARK GRAY PILLOW FABRIC By Pollack, from Egg & Dart, Denver, egg-and-dart.com GREEN SCULPTURE Owner’s collection DRAPERY FABRIC By Great Plains, from Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver, kneedlerfauchere.com FIREPLACE SURROUND Belgian Blue Stone, from Decorative Materials, decorativematerials.com WOOD PANELING Beetlekill wood with natural stain FIREPLACE AND MANTEL A.G Welding & Repairs, Gypsum, CO, 970.376.5042    

KITCHEN  CUSTOM HOOD A.G Welding & Repairs, Gypsum, CO, 970.376.5042  CABINETRY Bob Norman, Mountaincraft Cabinetry, Vail, CO, mountaincraftcabinetry.com  CABINET HARDWARE Rocky Mountain Hardware, from Alpine Builder’s Hardware, Edwards, CO, alpinebuildershardware.com  COUNTERTOP Caesarstone in Raven  BACKSPLASH Carbon Black Brick, from Decorative Materials, decorativematerials.com RANGE Viking DISHWASHER Asko SINK & FAUCET Blanco BARSTOOLS By Mark Albrecht, from Suite New York, suiteny.com    

BREAKFAST NOOK/ BAR  BANQUETTE FABRIC Plushy/Lime Punch, by Perennials PILLOWS The Blue Chair, thebluechair.org CUSTOM TABLE Braverman Furniture, Colorado Springs, bravermanfurniture.com PENDANT L37 Pendant by Hans Wegner, from Hive Modern, hivemodern.com PHOTOGRAPH Mike Crabtree, crabphoto.com    

DINING ROOM  CHAIRS Ligne Roset, from Studio Como, studiocomo.com CUSTOM TABLE Braverman Furniture, Colorado Springs, bravermanfurniture.com GLASS-FRONT CABINET Mountaincraft Cabintry GIRAFFE SCULPTURE Owner's collection

DEN  CABINETRY Mountaincraft Cabinetry RUG The Scarab, thescarab.com LOUNGE CHAIR By Poltrona Frau, from Studio Como, studiocomo.com FLOOR LAMP Deadstock Floor Lamp by Castor, from Studio Como, studiocomo.com PAINTING By Heidi Jung, heidijung.com SCULPTURE Owner’s collection   

MASTER BEDROOM  RUG Floorcoverings by CPA, Denver, 303.722.4700 BED Costantini, from Phoebe Marsh, Denver, phoebemarsh.com CUSTOM NIGHTSTANDS Braverman Furniture, Colorado Springs, bravermanfurniture.com EURO PILLOWS Lekker Home, lekkerhome.com   BLANKET Mae Engelgeer, mae-engeleer.nl WALL SCONCE By John Pomp, from Town, Denver, townstudio.com  SWAN PAINTING By Ron Kempton through Denver Art Company Inc., Denver, 303.773.6250    

Categories: Condos