Calm, Cool & Collected in Telluride
Art is at the heart of this clean-lined, contemporary home
When a powerful art collection takes center stage, interior design can play a supporting role. That’s exactly the balancing act Casey & Co. Interior Design’s Joanne Brutsch performed for an art-filled new home in Telluride, Colorado.
The homeowners, both retired geologists, have an extensive collection of Native American art that they’ve amassed over decades. “My wife and I first started looking at and buying Native American—specifically Southwest Indian—art back in 1980 on our honeymoon when we found ourselves in Santa Fe,” the homeowner explains. “There’s nothing behind glass,” he says. “It’s sort of a constant presence in our life.”
Inspired by photos of old miners’ cottages, the homeowners worked with their architect—Kristine Perpar of Telluride’s Shift Architects—to achieve a modern interpretation of that look. “I would call it an updated miner’s shack or miner’s home,” the homeowner says. “And the interior was intended to be contemporary.” Built by Evans Construction, the 3,000-square-foot home is divided into three levels.
Joanne Brutsch, of Vail and Denver-based Casey & Co. Interior Design, had collaborated with the homeowners on a previous project, and they asked her to help again with their new place in Telluride. “We knew that the art would dominate in terms of color and pattern, and what we needed and wanted was a pretty neutral background on which to build that out,” says the homeowner. So, Brutsch created spaces that would highlight their collection of art, antiques and artifacts. “Having worked with them before, the aesthetic was to keep things fairly neutral and light and airy, but then pop in color with artwork and pillows,” she explains. Brutsch also brought nature into the mix. “We wanted to incorporate these pretty wood finishes and textural things that are a little more organic,” she says.
The home’s light-filled spaces have contemporary fixtures and furnishings, with a nod to Midcentury Modern. “We kept very clean lines, and there’s just a level of practicality where everything really had a purpose when we selected it,” Brutsch says. “As a designer, we like to do a lot of extra things, but it was kind of refreshing to just have this really thoughtful approach.” The homeowners’ 1970s George Nakashima dining table inspired Brutsch to design a cantilevered walnut-and-leather banquette to provide stylish—and space-saving— seating. A sleek, minimalist kitchen features glossy white cabinetry and Bertoia counter stools, and the living room has built-in shelves for display, a linear fireplace and bold artwork on white walls.
Upstairs, in the primary bedroom, Brutsch kept the décor simple and light in deference to the incredible view. But she added one delightful surprise: a classic Eames lounge chair and ottoman upholstered in mango mohair for relaxing by the window. “We just wanted to add a pop of fun, energizing color,” she says. “With Telluride, just looking out the window is your art.”
Nestled into the town of Telluride, this new three-story home is a modern twist on a vintage miner’s cottage. The interiors are clean-lined and white-walled, providing an elegant backdrop for the homeowners’ extensive collection of Native American art. Furnishings and fixtures add contemporary style with midcentury flair.
LOCATION: Telluride, Colorado
SIZE: 3,000 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms
INTERIOR DESIGN: Joanne Brutsch, Casey & Co. Interior Design, Vail and Denver, Colorado