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Design

An Outdated Aspen Living Room is Given a Chic Redo by Ruthie Sommers

July 21, 2020
For her family’s 1970s ranch-style retreat in the Rocky Mountains of Aspen, Colorado, the Los Angeles and Aspen-based Ruthie Sommers jazzed up the outdated sunken living room with icy and airy tones and luxe textures that felt true to the home’s alpine setting. The pièce-de-résistance? A 20-foot-long banquette dressed in striking blue mohair, the fabric that sparked the whole scheme. “I didn’t want the room to feel too creamy or stuck in a 1980s timewarp,” she says. “That peacock color is just electric!”

Before the Transformation

Take a Seat

“I intentionally gave this room a bit of a clubby vibe. It’s a cozy spot where people can sip a drink after a hike in the summer or a long day on the slopes in the winter. I specifically did not include a TV because this area is really for sitting by the fire, soaking in the stunning views and chatting with one another. It’s a tiny space, and not only does the huge banquette make it feel bigger, but it also promotes conversation.”
Curtains and roman shade in Sonora  with Belton Tape on the shade; banquette in Regal Mohair; throw pillows in, from far left, Cloud Toile with Pierre Silk Gimp Extra Narrow, Tempesta with Meyer Brush Fringe, and Chevron Velvet; all Schumacher. Walls and fireplace painted in Cornforth White, wood floors painted in Wevet, both by Farrow & Ball.Francesco Lagnese
“I nearly fell over when I first saw that fringed white fabric!” Sommers says of the textile used for the curtains and roman shade. “It’s so timeless—it could be from the ’50s, the ’60s or 2020—and it looks a little wild to me, like Colorado. There’s a cowboyesque feeling to it yet it’s so elegant.” Sommers went all in with her commitment to white and painted the fireplace, floors and walls in it too.

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Pattern Play

“Admittedly, it’s hard for me to get away from that boho Indian-blockprint look—I love it! I was particularly drawn to the one I used on the armchairs in this room because it has a touch of brown in it, and the blues don’t quite match the peacock color of the mohair sofa, making it seem less preppy in a good way. The oversized repeat can be matched or not, depending on your preference. It’s so versatile that it can go in a laidback room like this or it could skew more formal.”

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Details, Details, Details

“In a world that’s increasingly full of catalogue designs and furniture, customizing components with trim is one of the most important things you can do to give a space a unique point of view. I go zonkers over even the tiniest trim.”
Lampshade in Mohave 177182 with Pierre Bobble Fringe 65511, Schumacher.Francesco Lagnese
“The linen bobble fringe along the bottom of the blockprinted raw-silk sconce shades feels so Aspen- meets-Paris—chic, but not overly fancy. It’s a touch that makes me smile every time I walk into the room.”

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