A Condo With a Unique Stamp
Interior designer Danielle Hickman helps a family add their own personal touches to a Deer Valley, Utah home
The homeowner and his family have been skiing in Deer Valley, Utah, for more than 30 years. “I grew up skiing here with my parents, and so have my children,” he says. The family-owned a small condo for many years—until it became too small to host the large family gatherings that had become traditional, especially during ski season. Deer Valley, a family-friendly resort, has more than 2,000 groomed acres (all skiing, no boarding) and 930 acres of glade skiing. In summer, lifts provide access to 67 miles of alpine biking trails and six hike-only trails. “I watched the resort grow for three decades, and it never crossed my mind to look for a home outside of Deer Valley,” he says.
When one of the Stein Eriksen Residences became available, the homeowners made an offer practically the moment they saw it. “I am a quick decision-maker,” the homeowner says with a smile in his voice. He goes on to say that the decision was easy. The ski-in, ski-out residence is in the heart of Deer Valley and is serviced by the legendary Stein Eriksen Lodge. “And, in an important way, it connected our past to the future,” he adds.
Because the condo was already built, the carpets, fixtures and finishes were in place but not exactly what the homeowner and his family had in mind. “But we did think that whoever designed this … did a wonderful job of making the spaces work,” says the homeowner. The 6,000-square-foot home is on five half-levels and has five bedrooms, five baths and a powder room.
Even before the purchase, the homeowners knew they wanted to work with interior designer Danielle Hickman of Salt Lake City-based Domichel Hickman Design Studios. They had seen several of her interiors and liked what they saw. “The entire development has the same neutral wood-and-steel finishes,” she says. “It was up to us to take what we were given and create something unique.”
As Hickman walked through the space with the owners, it quickly became apparent that they wanted a warm and inviting space for living and entertaining. But also something bright and playful. “We love color,” says the homeowner. “It brings joy.”
And then there was the homeowners’ extensive, eclectic art collection. “He started sending images of vibrant and bold art pieces,” says Hickman, “and this was my imaginative jumping-off point.” In each room, she visualized a neutral palette of warmed-up whites, creamy off-whites and fawn grays. “The focus was always on the art,” she explains. Everything else—fabrics and furniture—had to work together to create a balance and a breathing space that allowed the art to shine.
The home’s neutral décor is enlivened not only by the owners’ colorful art collection but also with splashes of crisp blue—in the cushions, the rugs and some upholstery. The unique color is a reflection of the cloudless Utah sky that’s framed by the home’s large curtain-free windows.
Because mornings and evenings in the mountains can be cool, even in summer, Hickman chose bigger and heavier furniture (like the large sectional in the living room) to provide “grounding.” Soft chenille and bouclé, vintage velvet, furry mohair and alpaca, hair-on-hide and natural leather provide comfort and character. “Texture adds the kind of warmth that makes you just want to snuggle up in front of the fire,” she says.
When asked to identify their favorite room, the homeowners didn’t hesitate: They love their lower-level theater. Beyond the comfortable seating and the popcorn maker, there’s a big feature—the show-stopping quartzite bar. “Behind the bar … we put in and backlit with dimmable LED diodes … an entire slab of quartzite,” the homeowner says. “We wanted to make it worthwhile for guests to go down there … beyond the screen, of course.” It certainly is a showpiece, but just one of the unique things that the owners did to personalize this residence and make it their own.
HOW TO EXPRESS YOUR UNIQUENESS
Interior designer Danielle Hickman of Salt Lake City-based Domichel Hickman Design Studios offers tips for “putting your own stamp” on already-built properties. “If your condo has a great layout, you won’t have to do much to take it to the next level,” she says.
CHANGE OUT THE LIGHT FIXTURES Consider it jewelry for your home. Choose what you want to adorn with a dramatic light fixture by deciding which areas you want to stand out. Is the focus on the kitchen island, the dining table, the great room? Don’t choose them all; that dilutes the drama. WALLS ARE AN EASY PROJECT Maybe just a fresh color of paint. Or add a little interest with the new textured, softly colored wallpapers. KITCHEN AND BATH CABINET HARDWARE are another easy and relatively inexpensive upgrade. Popular finishes change every few years—from oiled bronze to polished brass to flat black. Switching out the hardware is a nice way to keep current without spending a lot of money. Compare it to buying a new pair of earrings. LAYERING RUGS is another easy way to update your home. Most condos come with wall-to-wall carpeting. You can take it out. Or you can layer interesting and colorful rugs on top of the carpet. Everyone will notice the rugs. No one will notice the carpeting.
DINING ROOM RUG by Regency Royale FRAMED ART from A Gallery MASTER BATHTUB by Visual Comfort CHANDELIER by Visual Comfort MAKEUP STOOL by Wardell’s Upholstery ENTRY CHANDELIER by Visual Comfort BUNK BEDROOM WALLCOVERINGS by Phillip Jeffries from Town Studio GREAT ROOM LOUNGE CHAIR by Bernhardt from HELM home LOUNGE CHAIR ON HIDE by Spinneybeck PILLOW by Mark Alexander from John Brooks PILLOW by Castel from John Brooks COFFEE TABLE from Old World Antique Reproductions SIDE TABLE from Old World Antique Reproductions KITCHEN BACKSPLASH by MIR Mosaic from Venetian Tile & Stone Gallery