As interior designers in Aspen, it’s amazing to live and work in such a beautiful remote place. Until you need to find just the right lamp, pillow or piece of furniture to complete a space. Then you’re really up Hunter Creek without a paddle.
Of course, we do travel to explore design in cities like New York and Los Angeles, and we have access to unlimited sources on the Internet. But we still love shopping local wherever possible, and there’s nothing more thrilling than discovering a few one-of-a-kind local finds to uplift a space.
That’s why we are always on the hunt around town for the latest home furnishing items. We’ve wandered the downtown mall at night peering in the windows in hopes of a new unexpected Goop-like pop-up. We’ve drooled over the collectible design pieces at the Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery, tucked high above Hyman Ave. And, in a pinch, we’ve scoured the upstairs homewares department at the Miner’s Building right up until 6 p.m. closing, with a few surprisingly good finds.
Thankfully, these days in Aspen, there are so many more options for home décor than the hardware store (if you know where to look!) Here is a list of some of my favorite places to get you started:
Paris Underground – Since 2001, local store owner, Laura Blocker, has shopped antique markets and fairs all over France and Italy to bring home containers of vintage furnishings and artisan-made homewares. Shearling chairs, ceramic lamps, brass mirrors, leather trays and more, right across from the gondola.
Chequers – For over 23 years, this home goods store has been a go-to for contemporary mountain luxe furniture, tabletop items, and accessories galore. Run by mother-daughter duo, Becky Dumeresque and Ashley Ward, and now in brand-new location on the corner of Hyman Ave. and Hunter St.
The Store at Aspen Art Museum – Far from your typical gift shop, last year the store was filled with imaginative home goods and vintage finds, curated by artist Jonathan Berger. And now a second store, Possession Obsession, is offering items inspired by Andy Warhol’s interest in collecting and shopping at antique stores, galleries, and flea markets.
Pitkin Projects – Fine art and whimsical handcrafted wares by artists from all over the world, collected in a uniquely colorful and eclectic style. We are especially in love with the sculptural ceramic side tables by Los Angeles artist Bari Ziperstein.
Alicia Adams Alpaca – Ready to up-style your bedding for extra coziness this winter? Nothing beats the luxurious softness and sustainability of alpaca. Known for their clothing, this store also features alpaca blankets, pillows and throws in every color. Soft organic cotton sheets and duvets are available as well.
Res Ipsa – Inspired by the owners’ travels around the world, this newly expanded store now offers responsibly sourced boho-chic furniture and home goods, custom designed and made in Morocco. Tribal and textural rugs, ottomans, lounge chairs, and more.
Explore Booksellers – Every space is made better with books, and what better way to do so than by supporting a beloved local bookstore? There’s a great selection of art and design coffee table books upstairs. Pro tip: pick books with white or neutral covers, or spines with coordinated colors.
Anderson Ranch Arts Center – This legendary local art center is well worth a visit any time of year. Check out their gift store and seasonal silent auctions for art, sculpture, and occasional furniture pieces by artists in residence. We’ve scored beautiful original works – including a gorgeous walnut coffee table – at reasonable costs.
ReStore – This giant Basalt warehouse by Habitat for Humanity receives a constant stream of donations from Aspen homes. There may be plenty of antlers and overstuffed sofas, but we have found a few highly valuable contemporary pieces at bargain basement prices, and it’s all for a good cause. If you don’t feel like driving down valley, you can easily scout photos of some of their latest items online.
Happy new year and happy shopping everyone!
A Buddhist monk turned interior designer, Matthew Tenzin has been a principal at Aspen-based holistic design firm, Joe McGuire Design, since 2012.