June 6, 2018

Mountain Living:
An Aspen Walkthrough

Colorado is home to awe-inspiring, mountainous terrain, bustling wildlife and dense, evergreen forests. When you’re an interior designer in Aspen like Julie Schlafer, you keep all of these components in mind, allowing your designs to complement the riveting scenery.

This home is full of expansive windows with sweeping views of the surrounding landscape – how do you incorporate so much natural lighting when planning the interior lighting?

We worked extensively on the lighting plan. One of the biggest things we had to take into consideration when designing was the location of the sun at all times of the year. The windows are on the larger side so the interior gets a lot of natural light, which meant the majority of artificial light was only needed for evening use - entertaining friends, family dinners, lounging after a long day, etc.

There are a number of rooms in the home that flow together into one big, open space – what are some things you do to tie those spaces together? Similarly, what are some things you do to differentiate them?

My main goal was to tie the living and dining spaces together. A sleek wood ceiling treatment along with cove and recessed lights suspended on a light shelf span the full length of the space, creating continuity and adding drama. To separate the spaces, I went with two very different statement chandeliers and accent lights - tapping into a more traditional style in the living room, and more a contemporary aesthetic in the dining area.

The number of pendants above the kitchen island are quite unique – I love that you went with clear glass – how did you land on that island lighting?

I wanted something simple which wouldn’t detract from the views of the statement hood and cabinetry. I wanted to keep the drama of the height of the room. I used the smaller matching chandelier so as not to detract from the spectacular views of the mountains.

Vaulted ceilings can be tricky – what are some lighting elements you used to highlight that feature in the kitchen and dining area?

The first thing we had to consider was the general design layout of the space. Once I had a good understanding of that, I had a light shelf installed to accommodate the cove uplighting, which came out gorgeous. The last thing was the recessed lighting - I added spots throughout the ceiling to add more layers of light to the space. All of these elements assisted in making the space seamlessly flow together.

We love the LZF fixtures in the bedroom, the wood is a nice play on the sweeping views of the surrounding forest. Did you go with LZF because of the material?

I was looking for something a bit more lyrical - something with movement that felt natural - which is why LZF was the perfect fit. The curves and organic forms bring a touch of femininity and grace to an otherwise geometric and neutral room.

The Hammerton Studio Gem Bezel Chandelier in the living area is such a unique piece, almost mirroring the natural beauty of Aspen itself – is that what you were going for?

The exterior of the home and surrounding area has many boulders that pop up naturally in the landscape. This was a play on bringing the gorgeous mountain landscape of Aspen into the interior. The sconces and lamps are additional accents I picked to coordinate with the boulder theme.

In the bathroom, you captured a truly spa-like quality - how did lighting play into this space?

The master bath is the romantic focal point of this home. It’s such a multi-facetted space so it’s important to consider a number of things, like making certain faces are lighted properly. We used a combination of recessed directional lighting and decorative sconces, which ensured that the space had multiple layers of light to accommodate varying bathroom tasks like shaving or applying makeup. Over the tub, we wanted to add something contemporary yet dramatic, so we went with the Crystorama chandelier, which created the feeling that water droplets were cascading from the ceiling towards the bath. It’s my favorite space in the house and was so much fun to design.

Finally, what is your overall design philosophy?

I want my clients to be calm and comfortable at home, living in a space that effortlessly meets their wants and needs. I design to make things move freely, creating balance throughout and making sure it feels natural. Every client has their own unique personality, and I try to capture that in the home - each and every time.

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