Cover A stunning spin painting by Damien Hirst and a chandelier by Vincenzo de Cotiis take centre stage in the dining room

Enveloped by nature’s beauty but close enough to walk to town, this home was designed by Sara Story with the owners’ love for the arts in mind

Venetian plaster walls and blackened steel all around lend the perfect backdrop for the clear dual purpose of this 7000sqft contemporary home in Aspen. Enveloped by nature, it allows the appreciation of the spectacular mountain views around. On the other hand, it offers a blank canvas for the owners’ impressive art collection. Nature’s creations and man’s genius in one place—the best of both worlds, indeed.

The artworks interspersed with vintage and contemporary furniture make for playful interiors. An Andisheh Avini piece that hangs above a Charlotte Perriand console welcomes guests at the entry, like a prelude to a treasure trove about to unfold. “My client wanted to go light on any renovation and embrace the architecture as it was, focusing more on art, furniture and lighting,” says Sara Story, founder of her eponymous interior design firm, who was at the helm of the makeover.

About a year in the making, the project started with redesigning and decorating the interiors. The second phase focused on the outdoor spaces and in creating a lush landscape with more chillout areas during warmer months.

Both used for entertaining, the living room and the dining room use plush seating in a balanced mix of neutrals and vivid colours for that welcoming ambience. Picture windows allow natural light to come in, bathing the space with warmth on sunny days. The foliage outside blends seamlessly with furniture pieces sourced from around the world: a rare four-part coffee table from 1980 Belgium, a pair of Gianfranco Frattini chairs from London, a Kagan sofa and FJ Hakimian rug from New York. The living space is peppered with pieces by Alexander Calder, Takashi Murakami, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Raymond Pettibon, Diana al-Hadid. “My client is involved in the art world and [they] travel frequently,” Story says. The den is decked with the nine-piece Who Saw Who by Robin Rhodes and the wooden figure titled Man Blows Brains by Skylar Fein.

The home also makes use of lighting to add points of interest and drama to every room. In the dining, a hanging metal chandelier by Vincenzo de Cotiis illuminates the gold-rimmed dining table and the Carlo de Carli chairs upholstered in woven leather from Laos. An imposing spin painting by the British contemporary artist Damien Hirst is mounted above a striking emerald sideboard by Demorais.

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Above A bright yellow faucet complements the bold B-A-N-A-N-A-S! wallcovering from Flavor Paper in the girl’s bathroom

In the den, a showcase of lamps in interesting forms take centre stage. There is the vintage vibe from the Fifties Italian floor lamp by Stilnovo; a contemporary Canadian-made pendant lamp by Gabriel Scott; and a Sixties triple sconce by Lita. “The client did not want cookie-cutter lighting. Each piece serves a purpose and is beautiful on its own. The Vincenzo de Cotiis fixture in the dining room is particularly unique, almost a work of art,” shares the designer.

Even the vestibule landing and the stairway are maximised to showcase conversation starters like the video panel by the Israeli contemporary artist Michal Rovner, the statement Hairy Fisher Beast chair by Haas Brothers and the rabbit fur hide from Dualoy.

Curves and subtle lines give the primary bedroom a cosy feel, while textures like fur and suede evoke timeless elegance. On one edge of the custom-tufted bed is a stark Juan Genoves painting, a perfect complement to the room’s muted hues of greys, browns and beiges. The Lindsey Adelman ceiling light that hangs above a pair of settees and ottoman is a perfect spot for reading or having a night cap. The primary bathroom is like a refuge from the chaos of the city (just a short distance away) with verdant surroundings peeking through the Roman shades. A freestanding tub is angled just right to receive natural warmth from the sun. A horsehair wall light by Apparatus Studio gives soothing amber hues at night. “The primary bedroom comprises layers of neutrals and textures,” Story says.

There is an explosion of colour in the girl’s bedroom. The wallcovering with charming shades of pink and rose by Porter Teleo adds a feminine touch, while a teal ceiling lamp by Iacoli & McAllister brightens up the room. A customised purple bed upholstered in mohair fabric, a desk chair in fuchsia and a Damien Hirst artwork add touches of colour. The bathroom’s B-A-N-A-N-AS! Wallcovering contrasts with a big round mirror and a pair of Sonneman dimmable lights. “We designed a playful kid’s room with floral graffiti wallcovering by Porto Teleo,” describes Story.

Nothing short of impressive are the two guestrooms that are also filled with valuable artworks and furniture pieces. In one, a royal blue wall is blended with an assortment of prints on soft furnishings; a Marc Pascal ceiling light serves as the focal point and a Calder painting reverberates the owners’ love for colour.

The gallery, meanwhile, echoes a mid-century feel complete with neon lights and a Niki de Saint Phalle sculpture sitting on a pedestal. Contrasting with the rest of the house is the powder room that radiates an old-world charm with mirrors by Gio Ponti for Fontana Arte as well as a 1964 piece from the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Rome perched on a tile and stone wall.

Another favourite spot for entertaining is the media room complete with a mini bar for the owners’ preferred libations. It radiates an old-Hollywood feel from the leather seats, brass sconces and Knoll Ultrasuede wallcovering. “They wanted the space to function well for entertaining as well as for their family,” Story adds.

With fantastic views and well-curated furniture, lighting and artworks, there’s barely a need to change the structure. The design team and the owners succeeded in staying close to nature while still providing a retreat from the bustling city life and in offering a blank canvas that the owners can use for future collections.


This story was originally published in Tatler Homes Philippines Vol. 28. Download it for free on Magzter

  • ImagesSara Story Design
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