Style & Simplicity

Style & Simplicity

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style & simplicity

I recently completed work on a lovely home in the Boulder Country Club neighborhood, one that perfectly illustrates a philosophy so often missing in interior design: great style can be incredibly simple. Bring an editing eye to your space and remember that sparsely-furnished isn’t just for the ultra-modern home, large rooms don’t require a ton of furniture, and great design is about what you put in as much as what you leave out.

 

Designer Spotlight: Stephanie O.

Designer Spotlight: Stephanie O.

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Without a doubt, fashion designer Stephanie Ohnmacht is one of the best and most exciting things happening in the Colorado style scene. Stephanie has had an amazing year- she appeared as a designer/contestant on Season 1 of Project Runways: Under The Gunn, presented her SS14 collection in her first solo fashion show at the Clyfford Still Museum, and was just named 5280 Magazine Editor & Reader’s Choice fashion designer in their annual Top of the Town edition. As she prepares to present her SS15 collection at the ENK Vegas show during MAGIC in August, she was kind enough to dedicate some time to this edition of Designer Spotlight

Describe the overall style of your current collection? 

When creating my Fall/Winter 2014 collection, I was looking to create understated feminine pieces with tailored details. There is a mix of black, navy and texture to highlight subtle details. All of the pieces are made for a modern woman with a busy lifestyle who wants to look sharp and still be comfortable.

How does your personal style influence your designs?

I make clothing that I want to buy from the store but just can’t find. I personally demand my clothes to be functional, unique, feminine and modern.

Who is the woman who wears your designs? Where is she wearing them?

The Stephanie O. woman wakes up in the morning with a full schedule and a need for a wardrobe that gets her through the day looking stylish. And if she gets the chance, she can seamless squeeze in time for cocktails with friends that same night.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Inspiration for pieces in the collection comes from two places. The most tangible inspiration is living a busy life and always looking for the next great wardrobe staple. I design pieces that I wish I could find when shopping. Secondly I love art and I integrate colors, lines and textures from that influence into the textiles and designs I create.

If a woman owned only clothing designed by you but was allowed one other piece, what would that piece be?

Only one piece? I’m torn choosing between a gorgeous belted wool coat or a chunky sweater.

What is the place of accessories and jewelry in your looks?

My pieces are designed for minimal jewelry and accessories, although my favorite accessory is the shoe. So there is always room for that fabulous shoe!

Which contemporary designers do you support and why?

I tend to get little crushes on new US contemporary designers each season. Right now I’m loving Rebecca Taylor for her modern feminine approach and Rag & Bone for modern tailoring.

Where do you see your designs in 10 years?

In ten years, I hope my clothing continues to appeal to a wide range of women and still be modern enough to be cool but classic enough to be timeless.

How do you feel about trends and how do/don’t they affect your designs?

I don’t design around hyper-trends, but there are still underlying trends that I watch such as colors, silhouettes and use of textiles.

What are the items a woman should splurge on?

I believe in splurging on core pieces that you will wear often. They will fit beautifully and last for a long time.

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Killer Collaboration

Killer Collaboration

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I love collaborations, especially with other female business owners in Colorado, by far leading the nation in women who get.shit.done. I don’t know what it is about our state, but it attracts so many top-caliber female entrepreneurs and visionaries; Among them is the High Priestess of Paleo, New York Times Bestselling Author, blogger, & Colorado-native Juli Bauer of PaleOMG.

With Juli’s recipes, I’ve finally found the balance of food that is healthy and good for my body, which is great (and no small feat for someone who has the palette of a 8-year old). Even better? She’s interested in fashion, devoting her Friday posts to outfits she’s created for her book tours and appearances, photo shoots and events. Scrolling through her style selfies, I was amazed to learn that she is sans stylist; With a natural eye for composition, proportion and color, Juli is perfectly suited to go it alone. But it’s always more fun together! So now I’ll be styling this lovely lady for an upcoming photo shoot.

Please stay tuned for photos from our shop and in the meantime, order her cookbook!* I can’t say enough about it, and neither can the commentariat at Amazon.

*I don’t care if you’re Paleo, Paleo-lite, gluten-free, Athiest, non-denominational, vegan**- these recipes are incredible for any and all eating orientations!

**Just kidding. Not a good cookbook for vegans!

Local Style: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

Local Style: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

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For this edition of Local Style, I spoke with furniture magnates Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams who recently celebrated the opening of their Signature Store in Cherry Creek as well as their company’s 25th Anniversary. A mainstay of the furniture industry, their line has populated the floors of mainstream retailers Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, and Pottery Barn, but the opening of each Signature Store designates the availability of their product to these stores only: If you’re looking for a Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams sofa, you’ll have to visit their Denver showroom. Which is amazing, particularly the art they’re curated. Here are Mitchell and Bob in their own words-

Describe the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams style:

Mitchell: Since we started the company 25 years ago, we’ve designed furnishings that we’d want in our own homes. And our style has developed out of the special synergy between us: We’re truly lucky we like so many of the same things—and that a lot of other people have felt the same way about what we’ve created. We make classic pieces you’ll want to live with for a long time. We’re not fans of hard-edged modern; we prefer clean and simple lines combined with our top priority: comfort, in every sense of the word.

Bob: People have described our style as quintessentially American, and we like that. It has elements of our favorite design periods, like mid-century modern and the late 60s to early 70s. It’s also about creating rooms that are serene and calming, a place to recharge away from the busy outside world, where you can relax and entertain with ease. You can get a sense of our style in our books, The Comfortable Home, and our newest one, Who We Are, which shares not only our way of looking at design, but of entertaining, doing business, and helping others, too.

What are the biggest influences on your work?

Bob: Movies, fashion, music, pop culture, our travel. We draw inspiration from so many places—it might be a trip to the market or a far-off city. And we love looking at fashion and home magazines and websites.

Mitchell: We also like to look backwards, especially to the periods from the 1930s to the 1970s, and find pieces we can modernize for life today. For instance, for our upcoming Fall 2014 Collection, we’ve take the traditional secretary and made it current in style and function for the modern home office. And something else we do: think about not only how people live today, but how they’ll want to live in the future…the kind of houses they’ll choose and the types of furnishings they’ll want for them.

How do you see your brand working within the style landscape of Colorado?

Bob: If you like comfort and relaxed living, with a touch of elegance and style, there’s something for you. We’ve trained the Design Associates in our stores to help you find furnishings that fit the way you live, no matter where that is. Our store in Denver has more than 7,000 sq. ft. of room settings with many different looks, scaled for different size spaces. I think our style is especially suited to Colorado’s natural beauty—we like working with soft and subtle colors and clean lines that make a statement while letting a great view take center stage.

What piece(s) in your showroom are must-haves for every home?

Mitchell: If living comfortably without sacrificing style is your goal, here’s what I’d suggest: a truly comfortable sofa, of course; an upholstered bed (so great to lean against and read); and upholstered dining chairs (your guests will want to stay at the table for hours).

Bob: Good storage and display for my collections are also musts for me. I love a great-looking bar cabinet that helps keeps entertaining needs together, as well as a media console (I’m a big movie watcher) and bookcases that let me get creative with my collectibles. And I’d have to add dog beds: I have two French bulldogs, Lily and Violet, and our company makes dog beds in pretty much any fabric you’d like—you can get them to match your sofa.

What do you consider the best design trend of the last 10 years?

Mitchell: We’re not big on trends—our goal is always function and style that will last. However, being around someone as talented at arranging things and creating room settings as Bob has made me appreciate the eclectic look…although he’s a master at layering in accent colors, textures, and accessories so that even a room with matching pieces takes on its own unique character. And I do love the way our lines have gotten cleaner and our shapes more modern— even when the pieces are traditional in style…I’ve always been modern at heart.

In a home, which pieces are splurge-worthy and where can you take shortcuts?

Bob: Invest in a great dining table. it can truly be the heart of the house…the place everyone gathers around…and it can also be a great workspace. If you’re using something every day, and will be for a long time, it makes sense to invest. Also, the core pieces—your sofa, your bed, your dining chairs. Our way of putting a room together is to choose timeless over trendy for these pieces. Then you can always update by changing out accent pillows, rugs, lamps, and accessories.

Mitchell: Also, investing in fine-quality bed linens and towels—they’re a touch of luxury you can enjoy experiencing on a daily basis.

Fill in the blank: I wouldn’t be caught dead putting ___ in my home.

Mitchell: Unfortunately, I’m going to have to say a recliner. Yes, we’ve made some good- looking ones over the years, but to me a great plush armchair with an ottoman gives such great comfort and such great style.

What are your favorite eras/decades for furniture and/or design?

Bob: Currently our influences are coming from one of our favorite eras – the fun and freedom- loving late-1960s to early 1970s, with its special kind of modern that developed from new advances in technology. You find it in everything from the movies to the music and fashion of the times. But we’ll also always love mid-century modern and are very inspired by its design and architecture.

In your own homes, what are your most prized/favorite items?

Mitchell: We’re both collectors—from Outsider Art to iconic modern chairs to photographs–so our furnishings get mixed with vintage pieces and antiques, of course. And the clean and simple lines of our pieces make mixing easy to do. My husband, Tim, has added to my collections with interests of his own, as diverse as rare books and vintage cigarette lighters. Although now I’ve got a rare book of my own to contribute: I edited a book called CRISIS about growing up gay, and the actor Richard Chamberlain, my childhood crush, contributed a chapter. Last week I got to meet him in person, and he signed a copy of CRISIS for me—I’ll treasure it forever.

What are your other interests/hobbies?

Bob: From a very early age, my mom and aunt took me with them to antique shops and flea markets, and it stuck. I still love it and try to find time to look around in every city I’m in. Gardening is also a big passion for me. My husband Stephen and I have a beautiful garden at our home in North Carolina, and we just finished landscaping the terrace of our new condo in Washington, DC, which includes an herb garden and a miniature “lawn” of sedum planted amid the patio pavers.

Mitchell: I guess you could say my parents planted a passion in me at an early age for equality, and I’ve been working for it ever since. Several years ago, I co-founded a nonprofit called Faith in America, dedicated to educating people about how religion-based bigotry is used to justify discrimination against LGBT Americans (www.faithinamerica.com). As I see it, equality is an important part of our definition of comfort—it’s much more than the sit of a sofa; it’s how you feel in your own skin and how comfortable and free to be whom you truly are in this world.