A Renovated Aspen Home Brings Family Together
The interior of the home is warm, inviting and full of light
Sometimes, an unfortunate delay can lead to a fortuitous domino effect.
When Aspen, Colorado, homeowners decided to refresh their mountain home, they hired interior designer Karen White to help them choose carpet and paint. “While the carpet was on backorder, we had more time to talk about the space. First of all, we discussed remodeling the main bedroom, which affected the entry, and after that it turned into a full-scale remodel,” White recalls.
Of course, redoing all the home’s interiors led to a unified look. White chose a spa-like palette, furniture with soft lines, and practical built-ins that offer storage for everything from dog leashes to luxurious linens. Pops of metal add visual interest, whether it’s an antique gold chandelier or a matte black faucet. “The whole house is cohesive, and now the rooms blend harmoniously together,” White says.
The main living area, dining room and kitchen offer the best of both worlds. While the rooms feel like separate areas, they also offer easy connectivity. A bay-style fireplace is the statement piece on the main floor, providing flames on three sides. While the glass enhances visibility between the lounging and dining spaces, the fireplace’s sandstone cladding offers a beautiful backdrop with its velvety feel and mesmerizing striations.
White used the same sandstone, which was finished to make the material impermeable, for the kitchen counters. She kept the existing cabinets, changing their color and hardware. “The owners requested a fresh-looking color, and we ended up with a glazed gray-blue,” she says.
In the dining room, a custom hair-on hide rug adds texture and depth. “We did have to sell the homeowners on the round rug, but it allows for better circulation,” White explains. The geometric pattern of the drapes emphasizes the lines in the rug and tray ceiling, while the modern Saarinen chairs and custom globe chandelier complement the round table.
The living room repeats the warm neutrals and cool grays found elsewhere in the home. And even though the cozy lounge chairs and plush sofas look elegant, White chose the fabrics with the owners—and their yellow lab, Dory—in mind. “It’s really pretty, but it’s easy living,” White said. “You can put your feet up anywhere.” The homeowners agree: “We are there to relax and recharge, so comfort was our primary goal.”
A custom coffee table, for example, features faux leather on top so it can handle drinks, and ottomans underneath slide out to accommodate extra guests. While the younger generations once lounged in the basement, the lure of the new design has brought the family together. “After the remodel, everyone migrated to the main floor, even the kids—they all like to gather in the same place now,” White notes.
Transitional spaces like entryways and stairs also got significantly revamped. The main staircase received a creative treatment with dark stain on the risers and light stain on the steps. The homeowners kept the original railing because they liked the unique pattern, but White suggested painting the gold details black, which made the entryway less traditional. The iron of the railing is now echoed in a new pendant that’s decidedly more contemporary. The stairs to the basement also got a touch of whimsy with navy plaid carpet. “It’s inviting, wanting you to go downstairs and see what’s there,” White says.
The interior of the home is warm, inviting and full of light, which is what the homeowners were looking for in their Aspen retreat. “We wanted to feel comfortable and cozy,” they say. White loves the end result, but she enjoyed the design process as well.
“The homeowners were open to all our ideas,” she remarks. “They wanted to see everything, and it was an easy, fun collaboration.”