2019 Legacy Award Winner: Interior Designer Beth Slifer
Slifer Designs | Vail, Colorado
Photo by Jennifer Olson
Beth Slifer came to Colorado when she married Rod Slifer, a Colorado native who was the mayor of Vail and the first realtor in the Vail Valley. That was 35 years ago. “I arrived at a very good time,” she says, “just when people were wanting to convert their properties from ski camps—piling as many people in as many beds as possible—to well-designed second homes.” She founded Slifer Designs in 1984 “with myself, a bookkeeper and one other professional designer,” she recalls. It has grown to 30 employees and is one of the largest interior design firms in the West.
A ski-in, ski-out residence in Snowmass blends a modern approach with organic and rustic elements, to create a multi-faceted texture design. Photo by Stoval Studio.
Over the years, Slifer has been on the cutting edge of mountain style—from resort chic to mountain contemporary, from stylish elegance to no-fuss organic. She notes that the sterile, linear look of past decades has been replaced with a style that’s more comfortable, more colorful and more clearly reflects the owner’s personality. “I enjoy helping my clients identify how they want to live,” she says. Do they entertain? Or are they envisioning a sanctuary? Do they have children, grandchildren and pets? Often, her Vail Valley clients invite Slifer to create her signature mountain ambience in their primary homes all over the world.
Under Beth’s direction, Slifer Designs has successfully overseen many multi-million-dollar projects—private homes, ski clubs, golf resorts—and won numerous awards, including being inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame. But the projects closest to her heart are the pro bono design work she’s done at Roundup River Ranch (Paul Newman’s camp for seriously ill children) and Bright Futures (safe houses for women and children escaping violence at home).
When she mentors the next generation of interior designers, she tells them that the most important thing to remember is: “This is a business, and people entrust us with their hopes, dreams and their money. It is our job to create a home that exceeds their expectations.”
This home is high in the mountains overlooking Beaver Creek. The design combines a contemporary aesthetic with rustic touches and neutral finishes. Photo by Stoval Studio.
Opened Slifer Designs in Vail in 1984.
BEFORE INTERIOR DESIGN
Slifer taught high school English literature, worked for Citibank New York, owned Atlanta's renowned Significane House gift store, worked for Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign, was special assistant to the administrator of the EPA and was a product manager for Velsicol Chemical.
Meeting Rod Slifer on a blind date while living in Washington D.C.
Grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, immersed in her mother’s interior design and antiques store.
When she opened Slifer Designs, she defined a new mountain style, transforming dark, dated ski camps to well-designed homes for families.
Vail Valley Partnership, Vail Local Marketing Board, UC Depression Center, Roundup River Ranch.
As seen in the May/June 2019 issue