LKW Business Partners Take An “In Sync” Approach to Interior Design

Best friends and business partners Jamie Critchlow and Kayce Newell celebrate 10 years at LKW Design Associates
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An Aspen home designed by LKW Design Associates embraces bright colors and bold fabrics. The multi-colored custom rug from Tai Ping remains a favorite for the design team. | Photography by Kimberly Gavin

Starting a business with your best friend might seem taboo, but to interior designers Jamie Critchlow and Kayce Newell, it’s ideal. Over a decade ago, the friends met while working together at an interior design firm. It was there that they bonded over their similar taste in design aesthetics.

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Principal designers at LKW Design Associate Kayce Newell and Jamie Critchlow stand in front of their many showroom samples.

“We decided to take a leap of faith,” says Newell. “We were both ready to pivot away from heavily rustic and traditional design and into something more updated.” So, the friends began LKW Design Associate in Critch­low’s spare bedroom. Now, 10 years later, their studio in Edwards, Colorado, is a base camp for projects in the Vail Valley and beyond.

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Flanked by beautiful framed art, a cozy fire- place brings the living room together in a private residence at The Ritz Carlton Club in Vail.

While the interiors created by LKW Design Associate vary in style, the design team leans toward approachable luxury. “Kayce and I generally agree on designs, but every now and then, we have to tell the client ‘you’re the tie­breaker,’” Critchlow says. Fortunately, the clients they work with are often well­ traveled and culturally inspired. “They come to us with new and exciting ideas that push the envelope,” she says.

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Onyx planks from Stikwood are placed in a chevron pattern to create a statement headboard wall.

There’s no steadfast format to how the firm tackles resi­dential projects. “Some people want to see three options while others just want to make adjustments to one,” Critchlow explains. Both designers play a role in every project because they believe their best work is produced together. Even outside the office, the business partners are in sync; unintentionally, they both had children at the same time, not once, but twice.

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Hanging art lights above matching pastel paintings by Kim Kimbro elevate the stairway in this Avon abode.

Being in the mountains, it’s no surprise that the design firm often works on vacation homes. According to Newell, the approach to designing a second home is different from a primary home. “I always encourage clients to bring in their own art collections,” she says. “That personalization can really make a vacation house a home.” Critchlow adds that second homes should be built with functionality in mind. For example, if the owners are planning to spend winters at their abode for skiing, the interiors should reflect that, with décor selected to withstand snowy footwear and mudrooms with storage space for gear.

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LKW Design Associate matches a cozy breakfast nook to the painted kitchen cabinets.

As a free resource to potential clients, LKW Design Associate offers a downloadable PDF that Critchlow and Newell have coined the “project planning pack.” Says Critchlow, “Clients come to us at different stages. This tool is intended to allow homeowners to see where they’re at and pose questions to us.” Hiring an interior designer can be a research ­heavy task, and the PDF eliminates much of the guesswork. “While it’s a way for people to get to know us, it also helps determine if we’re the right fit for their end goal,” says Newell.

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Kitchen cabinets are painted with a custom Sherman Williams inky blue. Off the kitchen, a white antler chandelier hangs above a grand dining table.

Categories: Interior Designers