Have You Been to All the New Restaurants & Bars in Aspen Yet? 
 
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2018 has seen quite a litany of new eateries popping up around town. Left to right above: Clark’s, Plato’s and 7908. But have you been to them all?

 
 

7908: Of course, if you didn’t make it into 7908 over the summer, make sure it’s on your list this winter for a late-night dinner or drinks. The caviar nachos are already legendary and the decor is beyond reproach. Website

Plato’s: The reception center at the Aspen Meadows just got a fresh re-do and a new menu by chef Jason Thompson. The decor is still, a bit, cold, but the views are fantastic and the food is really tasty and strikes a nice balance of familiar, but inventive.  Website

Clark’s: Opened last June in the old Annie’s location, Clark’s has become an instant classic. (Sorry Annie’s. We still miss you!) The Nantucket theme should be totally out of place, but it works. Plus the food is great. Don’t believe us? Ask Kevin Costner. We’ve seen him there twice! Website

 
Public House Aspen
 

Public House: There was much fuss over who would become the new tenant at the former Justice Snow’s inside the Wheeler Opera House building. Public House slid in without much fanfare, but for anyone looking for a tasty, easy meal this is a great addition to the Aspen dining scene. Website

Henrietta’s: This “secret” speakeasy is named after Jerome’s wife Henrietta. Underneath the old Aspen Times building, the room is everything you would expect of the Hotel Jerome decor. Make sure and call ahead for a reservation. It’s going to be very popular come winter.

Velvet Buck: This will technically be the second winter for the new-ish restaurant inside the St. Regis. There’s a nice bar menu for locals, and uber-Colorado comfort food for those who have travelled for a proper steak or rack of lamb.  Website

 
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EPM Winter House: There are roughly five restaurants in New York that are often referred to as “the best” and 11 Madison Park is currently at the top of the heap. After a successful summer pop-up in the Hamptons (EMP Summer House), co-owners Daniel Humm (its chef) and Will Guidarais will open a Bavarian / Alpine themed EMP Winter House. FYI, you will probably need to make reservations through your American Express card, or do a walk-in with cash. Guess AMEX is finally taking their revenge on those old Visa ads.


 
 
Lighting, Lighting, Lighting!
 
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An empty box can feel chic if you light it correctly. Here are simple tips and inspirations: 

 1) The Trifecta: Remember the three prongs of lighting: Ambient, task and accent. Start with your ambient and then address accent and task as needed.  

 
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2) Dimmers or Death: Getting the dimmer settings right is essential to a properly lit room. For some reason, people often make this an after thought, but it should be just a regular thought. Sometimes the newer high tech switches can get a little confusing, so make sure you understand them so you don’t have to brush your teeth in the dark. .  

3) Be Shady: High quality lamp shapes and picture lights can get expensive, but nothing makes a room look like a few million bucks than really quality fixtures.

 
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4) Manage Your Bulb Guilt: “I want to go energy efficient … but … nothing glows (or dims) like incandescents.” It’s true, but the new bulbs are just so, so much better for the earth and are looking better all the time. Their soft whites are getting very close. And they have dimmable versions as well. If you can leave the incandescents to just one or two figures, pretty soon you won’t miss them.

 
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5) Lighting Hacks: A fun and easy way to avoid costly electrician bills are to get smart lights that are controlled with a phone app. Phillips Hue makes a nice set that connect to your wifi. No wiring needed. The lighting schemes are infinite and they are really nice transition into the smart home universe.

 
 
 
Aspen’s Long Love Affair with Marble 
 
 The Marble Garden (Herbert Bayer 1955) at  The Aspen Meadows , home of the  Aspen Institute

The Marble Garden (Herbert Bayer 1955) at The Aspen Meadows, home of the Aspen Institute

 

Before marble became a decorating staple, it was for a century or ten, a stone more often found in temples, museums, office lobbies, and statuary,

In fact, one of America’s most famous statues, The Lincoln Memorial, was carved from marble quarried only a few miles from Aspen in the aptly named Marble, CO. Despite its exceptional quality, the quarry went bust until only a few years ago.

 
 Aspen Institute attendees performing “Antigone'“ in 1955

Aspen Institute attendees performing “Antigone'“ in 1955

 

By 1946, over in Aspen, Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke were in full renovation mode, turning Aspen into the elegant, cultural ski community it is today. They hired an Austrian artist named Herbert Bayer to be their in-house artist and creative director. Among many, many other projects, Bayer set out to create a marble sculpture garden. While money was a bit tight, the brilliant Pussy (Elizabeth Paepcke’s nickname) had an idea. Why not just take some left over blocks growing moss over in Marble? 

 
  Anaconda,  Herbert Bayer, 1979 at The Aspen Institute

Anaconda, Herbert Bayer, 1979 at The Aspen Institute

 

Bayer did just that and created his elegant Marble Garden in 1955. As a lovely coda, some 60 years later, the Aspen Institute purchased another marble sculpture by Herbert Bayer.  Entitled, Anaconda (after the steel company, not the snake) it now sits near Anderson Park with a fabulous view of Highlands Bowl.

Anaconda’s marble comes from Tuscany, just like ours. Check out all our lovely custom marble sinks here.

(To learn more about Herbert Bayer and his Bauhaus influences on Aspen, check out Bauhaus100Aspen.org. There will be events all 2019 celebrating the centennial of the Bauhaus School.)

 
 
 
Welcome to Aspen's Newest Supper Club: 7908 - KD's Latest Design
 
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Located at Number 415 on the Hyman Mall –and 7,908 feet above sea level – is Roger Wilson’s new supper club with food by Chef Charif Souki and design by Kristin Dittmar … that’s us. Big enough to accommodate a restaurant, bar and night club, the supper club opened in July and is resting up for the winter season. 

With almost 6,000 square feet to play with, my challenge was to make the room feel grand, but also create plenty of cozy spots. For example, I made sure the lady-finger banquettes had nice deep corners for friends to snuggle while they enjoy an order of the already famous caviar nachos. 

 
 
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Some of my other favorite details include:

  • A custom “dance box,” sort of a “stage for one” just off the DJ booth.

  • Special tables in the night club that can be raised and lowered to accommodate eating, drinking, and late-night dancing. Mind the heels girls!

  • Perhaps my favorite detail is in the one room I never get to visit. The men’s room floor is done in black and white marble tiles which I had specially cut to look like a plaid carpet – just something for the boys to appreciate when their glancing down.  

 
 
Sink Statement
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The bathroom sink may not seem all that important in the scheme of things, but they actually say a lot about a home andits owners. Their function is pretty basic: to wash hands, face, teeth, and the occasional bra. But our interaction with these handsome little sinks are also quite intimate. They are the last stop before getting into bed. In the powder room, they are usually our first moment alone in someone else’s home. 

Sort of like glassware, it’s just a simple vessel for water, but the execution makes all the difference. Here are a few things to think about when designing a sink. 

Round Hole, Square Sink

Some people swear by the rectangle. Some prefer a circle or oval. There isn’t really a wrong answer. It’s really just a matter of preference.

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UP or Down

There’s something sort of nice about the pedestal sink. They are a bit closer and oddly reminiscent of the old-fashioned pitcher and bowl. They also make more of a visual statement. The flush sink is cleaner, classic … and easier to clean. 

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Color

Our selection of marble offers a beautiful array of colors and textures. From the elegant, chic blacks, to subtle shades of pink and gold. It all has to fit into the larger scheme, but nothing feels quite so luxurious as when you tap that razor on the soft, beautiful stone.  

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The Faucet

Sometimes the most expensive part of the sink setup, the faucet is perhaps the clutch aesthetic detail.  Nothing can depreciate the feel of home faster than a cheapo faucet. We love Vola faucets because they are clean, modern and you can get creative with placement.  

 

Check out our full sink selection here.  

 
 
David MeyerComment
Pondering The Clean Lines in Your Home? You Have the Japanese (and 19th-Century Germans) To Thank
 
  Painting from The Tale of Genji (c. 1021) and a 19th Century German living room in the Biedermeier style.  

Painting from The Tale of Genji (c. 1021) and a 19th Century German living room in the Biedermeier style.  

 
 

Vogue editor Diana Vreeland had something of an obsession with Japanese culture. As she put it, “God was fair to the Japanese. He gave them no oil, no diamonds, but he gave them style.”  Indeed, their fondness for clean and harmonious lines dates all the way back to the early 14th century when the original tatami rooms came into style. It only took Europe 500 years to catch on. Well, not exactly ...

  Not much has changed by way of Japanese interiors since the 14th-century: The lovely Masuya Yushinan Hotel carries on the tradition.  

Not much has changed by way of Japanese interiors since the 14th-century: The lovely Masuya Yushinan Hotel carries on the tradition.  

  Biedermeier furniture on 1st Dibs

Biedermeier furniture on 1st Dibs

There was at least one movement in the early 19th century that valued form over ornament. Called Biedermeier, the furniture style was popular in Germany from 1818 - 1848. A burgeoning middle class started decorating their new and improved homes with a new style that emphasized clean lines and minimal ornamentation. The philosophy was in line with their sensible, utilitarian values, but the results were quite beautiful. To the modern eye, they look traditional, but it really was a radical departure from the incredibly ornate stylings of the time. 

Biedermeier furniture
 
 
Summer Chairs for Summer Lounging
 
  Steve McQueen cuddles with his wife, Ali McGraw in the mid '70s

Steve McQueen cuddles with his wife, Ali McGraw in the mid '70s

 
 

It’s time to get outside and enjoy that warm air. What makes the out-of-doors even more enjoyable is some great furniture. Whether you're poolside or mountainside, here are a few chaises, loungers and side chairs to inspire your pleine air dreaming. 

 

 

The Outdoor Sofas

 
 
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The Light Woods

 
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The Basket Weave Lounger

 
  The Standard Spa, Miami Beach  

The Standard Spa, Miami Beach 

 

 

 

The Adirondacks

 
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Color for When You're Getting Color

 
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Summer is for Sharing

 
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Spagetti Straps

 
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The Floats 

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From Victoria Beckham's Instagram to yours, have a great summer! 

 

 
Tips from Tipis
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Interior Design can learn a lot from the Native American Tipi – Dakota from ti, “to dwell” and pi, “to use.” (talk about all-natural, locally-sourced materials.) The Ute (Aspen’s native peoples) use the word tipi, as do the Lakota, but the older word is tipestola, “she or he lives in a sharp pointed lodge.” Blackfoot people call it niitoyis; the Kiowa, do-heen

As the legend goes, after First Man and First Woman were created, the Creator designated a Helper to look after them. When winter blew in and the people were cold, the Helper, inspired by a rustling Cottonwood leaf, gave him the idea for the tipi, which is basically a large leaf wrapped into a cone. The Helper made the tipi not just shelter, but a home, with a facade upon which people would paint their dreams, and a smoke hole to see the stars.  

 Left: Did you know that the door of the tipi is always faced towards the East to greet the morning sun?  Bottom right: A more modern-inspired tipi design. 

Left: Did you know that the door of the tipi is always faced towards the East to greet the morning sun?  Bottom right: A more modern-inspired tipi design. 

Tipi: Home of the Nomadic Buffalo Hunters, written and illustrated by Paul Goble is a beautiful archive of traditional tipi designs. With a deep knowledge of archival black and white photos – and a bit of creative license – he has illustrated these magical abodes in vibrant colors, elegant patterns and strikingly modern designs.

Inspiration can come from anywhere. 

 
By the Foot: Judging (and Decorating) with Books

Books have long been a staple in home décor. Believe it or not, some people have a lot of them because, well, they read a lot. More often though, one has shelves and they need something to go on them – no judgement here. We’re not exactly sure how far back this dates, but at least since the turn of the last century, booksellers realized they could unload a lot of inventory to newly built home libraries not selling by title, but by distance. 

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“By the foot” was born and was as efficient as it was déclassé. Jay Gatsby (America’s most famous icon of “New Money”) bought his books by the foot – easily spotted in the days when you still had to slice the pages. 

More recently, we’ve embraced the fact that books just look cool – literally judging them by their cover. They can be organized by color, stylized or wrapped in the paper of your choosing.  You can go vintage leather, or clean and modern. You can pick your various topics, or just get the classics, a small accent or a whole wall. No matter your style, they add a bit of class and warmth to any room. 

 
When Flying Was Fabulous

Off Season around Aspen usually means hopping on a plane and seeing what's happening in the big wide world. It’s always fun watching Facebook fill with photos of far-off jungles, unfamiliar mountain tops, and interesting new dishes.  

While there are some very stylish first class cabins and private planes that get you to where you want to go, one often forgets the early days of flying were exercises in design and branding as much as they were in service and safety. 

Before deregulation, they had to be. With subsidized ticket prices, airlines needed to do more than just offer a cheap seat. "Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet" by Keith Lovegrove wrote a wonderful book that goes into the highly designed world of mile-high service. 

 
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It's all about elegance in the '50s and early '60s. Above, dinner is served on a Lufthansa first-class flight to Munich in 1958.  

 

United Airline 1968 - Airline Style at 30,000 feet

Hard to believe this is what United Airlines used to look like in 1968 

 

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The orange, the leopard print, the Star War's-esque lighting panels ... yikes ... perhaps things went a little too far.  

 

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And speaking of too far ... those short-shorts. 

 
David MeyerComment
December Book Club: Time to Toast the New Year!
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From the "bible of all cocktail books" to a rare Prohibition era song book, this month's coffee table book club will get your year off in style.   

 

 
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Death & Co.: Modern Classic Cocktails

Ask pretty much any mixologist and they will cite Death & Co. as the cocktail bible. Clocking in at over 500 recipes, the book is not only filled with unique and innovative flavor combinations, it also serves as, “the complete education to buying and using spirits.”

 

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The Savoy Cocktail Book

Gentility mixed with prodigious debauchery characterized London's high society in the 1930s. When The Savoy Cocktail Book was first published, it became an emblem of the era.  Also, the illustrations painted throughout are outstanding. 

 

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Chiltern Firehouse: The Cookbook

If you're looking to a more modern zeitgeist, look no further than the Chiltern Firehouse Cookbook – the first half is dedicated to cocktailing. Popular amongst former presidents, royals, Hollywood celebs, and the international jet set, Chiltern Firehouse is hotelier André Balazs’ pièce de résistance in London’s Marylebone neighborhood. The book invites you into this impossibly glamorous world with guides to all the classic cocktails as well as instructions on making crystal clear homemade ice and yummy syrups.  

 

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The Home Bartender’s Guide and Song Book (1930) 

Published at the end of prohibition, this is as legit a cocktail book as you can find. Proving the old adage that every generation thinks they invented sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, the “songs” (which are more just naughty limericks) and illustrations are racy enough to shock our 21st century sensibilities. The recipes range from delicious to mysterious. For example: 

The Canvas Back: Three parts Whiskey, Two parts Vermouth Cinzano, One part White Satin Gin, Two parts lemon juice, five drops Curacao, Five drops Angostura Bitters, Shake well with ice and serve. 

 

 

David MeyerComment
A Guide to Vintage Ski Posters

Before the camera came along, illustrators filled the world's magazines and billboards with their clever and colorful hand-drawn compositions. As the travel industry took off – concurrent to the ski industry's – so to did the advertising for the myriad mountains across the American West and the Alps that were eager to drum up business.  

Today, these posters have become retro-chic  – bordering on retro-cliché. If you're interested in the real thing, the Omnibus Gallery has one of the most impressive collections of lithographs in the world.  

Here's a quick recap of the styles, trends and evolution of the glamorous ski poster, gone but not forgotten. 

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THE MONEY SHOTS: Hospital air brah!!

 

 

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THE BEGINNERS: a.k.a when a skier dates a non-skier

 

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THE ANTHROPOMORPHICS: A polite snowman? A skiing / pipe smoking polar bear? Whaaaaaa?! 

 

 

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THE DREAMATORIUMS: No gravity on the left and a happy child in-step with his parents ... dare to dream.

 

 

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THE FUTURE: Have to start 'em young! 

 

 

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THE MOUNTAIN GAZE: Oh, the longing and love of the great sublime. 

 

 

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THE MALE GAZE: "It's a bit nippy out here isn't it?"

 

 

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MORE MALE GAZE: Sex sells, right?  

 

 

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THE MINIMALISTS: By the late '60s / early '70s geometric design came into fashion. 

 

 

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 ILLUSTRATION IS DEAD: God save photography.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

David MeyerComment
Boot Warmers, Blankets, Bar Carts: Make Sure Your Home is Après Ready
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They are predicting a slightly colder winter here in Aspen, so you’ll want to have things nice and cozy when the snow finally does come. (And it will come!)  

Blankets: Everyone loves to cozy up after a chilly day on the slopes. Gorsuch's Hudson Throw is classic, colorful wool on one side and snuggly coyote fur on the other.  For the none-fur set, One King's Lane has a large selection of cable knit cashmere throws that will keep even the thinnest blooded human nice and warm.  (Good price too.) 

 
 

Bar Carts: A decorator friend once referred to the bar cart as the “Prada bag” of the living room. It does serve as a posh little accent to the well-outfitted room (or office). And when you have guests over for après drinks, you don’t want the booze set out on just any old thing. These mid-century designs elevate cocktailing to an almost religious-like ceremony.  

 
 

Boot Warmers: A boot warming rack is money well spent when sliding into a dry, warm boot on a cold morning. And if you really have issues keeping your footsies from freezing, might you consider these heated socks by Lenz. You can adjust their temperature with an app on your phone. They are the talk of the gondola!  

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

David MeyerComment
Another Wild and Wonderful Halloween in Aspen

The lives of local Aspenites tend to revolve around three things: events, holidays and snow. While snow has and will always remain a sacred, holy experience, a curious thing has happened to the other two. The events have morphed into holidays (e.g. "And a happy Food and Wine to you, sir!") and the holidays have turned into grand events. Halloween marks that sweet spot where holiday tradition meets prodigious eventing, plus costume prizes. Thanks to its offish-season timing, and the Aspen proclivity to always take things to the next level, Halloween has become the local's holiday, par excellence. 

The quiet, quaint streets fill with costumed revelers from neighboring valleys far and wide. They hop. They dance. They do Halloween like no one else.  

 
 A living work by Roy Lichtenstein 

A living work by Roy Lichtenstein 

 Day of the Dead and Bull Dogs

Day of the Dead and Bull Dogs

 Edward Scissorhands trims the Carribou hedges

Edward Scissorhands trims the Carribou hedges

 And a French Kiss!!  

And a French Kiss!!  

 

Images courtesy May Selby and the Aspen Times

 Party time. Ex-cel-lent! 

Party time. Ex-cel-lent! 

 Louis XIV, by the Grace of God, King of France and Navarre ... and a Basic Witch

Louis XIV, by the Grace of God, King of France and Navarre ... and a Basic Witch

 ya man!

ya man!

 Kiss 

Kiss 

 When they open Caribou to everyone ... they mean everyone! Even the vikings. 

When they open Caribou to everyone ... they mean everyone! Even the vikings. 

 
 
David MeyerComment
October Book Club: This Time, It's Personal

In this month's edition of our coffee table book club, we have three titles that speak to how our inner selves reflect the spaces we inhabit, and vice versa.  

 

 
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The Home Within Us: Romantic Houses, Evocative Rooms by Bobby McAlpine

 
 

“What we crave in this life is an outer beauty that reflects the gorgeous world inside us. I am speaking about the house within us ... One of the strongest ingredients in keeping you who you are, your physical environment also keeps you in full awareness of where you are. If you can find your way to live in the house without you, then you not only create an enormous, broad, and lovely offering to yourself, but also to your "pack" – your family and friends. You will also inspire anyone who has not yet been able to make this connection. Such is the power of rooms.”

 
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The Private World of Yves Saint Laurent & Pierre Bergé 

Pierre Bergé passed away last month. The true end of an era. While he has long since sold off his and Yves Saint Laurent's (his former business partner and lover) incredible collection of homes, art and furniture, it's still sad to think how their dazzling world has been scattered to the wind. At least we have the photos. Their homes, villas, and apartments in France and Morocco reflect the many interests, passions and fantasies of these complicated and influential men. 

 
 A Mondrian hangs in their famous Right Bank Apartment

A Mondrian hangs in their famous Right Bank Apartment

 
 Their seaside Deauville estate in Normandy

Their seaside Deauville estate in Normandy

 Yves' "Bachelor" apartment in Paris where he went to, um, have fun. 

Yves' "Bachelor" apartment in Paris where he went to, um, have fun. 

 
 
 
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American Writers at Home by J.D. McClatchy 

There is nothing more private and more sacred than the writer’s room. From Victorian mansions to rustic stone cottages, this book is a fascinating historical look into the rooms where America’s greatest literary works were created. 

 Louisa May Alcott's writing desk

Louisa May Alcott's writing desk

 
 
David MeyerComment
Highlights from the High Point Furniture Market

Known amongst design insiders simply as “Market,” the High Point Furniture Market held each October and June in High Point, North Carolina is design mecca for anyone who makes their living in the furniture and design trade. 

Held in the furniture manufacturing capital of America, the Editor-in-chief of House Beautiful (America’s oldest publication), Sophie Donelson, describes the 11 million square-foot showcase as, “the most concentrated moment of what’s new, trends, colors, profiles, what are people going to be talking about, what we should be paying attention to.”  

For an interesting read on the history of furniture making in High Point, check out this Architectural Digest article. Or have a quick scroll through some of our favorites from the most recent show: 

 This new table design has a nice Sérgio Rodrigues thing going on, but no rainforest was hurt in its making, one hopes...

This new table design has a nice Sérgio Rodrigues thing going on, but no rainforest was hurt in its making, one hopes...

 
 Comfy, soft throws on a snowy night ... yes please. 

Comfy, soft throws on a snowy night ... yes please. 

 Clean, mid-century lines with a rustic finish

Clean, mid-century lines with a rustic finish

 
 Finding a good console is always serendipity at work.

Finding a good console is always serendipity at work.

 Won't your house guests be charmed! Comes in custom leather colors. 

Won't your house guests be charmed! Comes in custom leather colors. 

 
 Comfy and clean 

Comfy and clean 

 Cross bow cotton rug 

Cross bow cotton rug 

 
 Ignore the bedding, but the detailing on the bed frame is very elegant. 

Ignore the bedding, but the detailing on the bed frame is very elegant. 

 
David MeyerComment
American West Vs. the Alps: Who Does Design Better?
 

America Rules!

Das is Wünderbar

 
 
  Ralph Lauren's Telluride Ranch bedroom

Ralph Lauren's Telluride Ranch bedroom

  Some fall leaves in Germany

Some fall leaves in Germany

 

Of the many aspects that set Aspen apart, the unique blend of architecture is high on the list. While its 19th-century Victorian roots can be found in towns across American, less common are the Swiss/Alpine style chalets that were popular among Aspen’s postwar settlers. Many of them direct from the Alps, Paepcke-era residents wanted Aspen to look like their homeland.  

Nowadays, there is a healthy mix of both Alpine and American Western styles, sprinkled with international modernism. How exactly are they different? How are they the same? And most importantly: Which is better? 

 

Similarities

 
  Quintessential "Swiss Chalet Style"  (Photo: Wiki) 

Quintessential "Swiss Chalet Style"  (Photo: Wiki) 

  Typical American log home with green trim

Typical American log home with green trim

 

Both styles have wide sloping roofs to acommodate large amounts of snowfall. Both are clad in wood, often with a stone base.  

Ornament

 
  Massive logs and soaring windows define this Western home

Massive logs and soaring windows define this Western home

  Flower boxes, murals, and wood carvings decorate this Bavarian house. 

Flower boxes, murals, and wood carvings decorate this Bavarian house. 

 

When it comes to ornamentation, American style goes for big windows, and lots of them. Our nation’s fondness for size is reflected in the scale of the rooms and materials, with giant beams and columns, multiple roof lines and meandering floor plans. In the Alps, they like to keep the buildings symmetrical and simple, and use painted murals, lots of flowers and ornate wood carvings to add a sense of grandeur.

 

Logs vs. Panels

 
  A log-lovers paradise in Arizona

A log-lovers paradise in Arizona

  A bedroom in Switzerland(Photo: AD)

A bedroom in Switzerland(Photo: AD)

 

American western homes are all about logs, both inside and out, whereas in the Alps, they prefer either wood paneling or stucco. The paneling can be rustic or more ornate like the bedroom pictured above.  

 

Influences

 
  Classic American West by Ralph Lauren Photo: AD

Classic American West by Ralph Lauren Photo: AD

  Traditional Alpine Chalet living roomPhoto: AD

Traditional Alpine Chalet living roomPhoto: AD

 

Of course each style is informed by its environment, culture and history. The American West reflects hard-scrabble pioneers making the best with limited resources, bringing with them what East Coast artifacts they could manage. The Alps have been settled by more or less the same peoples for millennia and speak to centuries of decorating traditions. 

 

A Summit

 
  A Kristin Dittmar designed home in Aspen

A Kristin Dittmar designed home in Aspen

  View of the Matterhorn from Switzerland  

View of the Matterhorn from Switzerland 

 

Let's all agree that you can’t go wrong with clean modern, bright design whether you prefer the old world of the Alps, or the champagne powder in Aspen.  

 
David MeyerComment
Introducing the Coffee Table Book Club
 

Every month we’ll be recommending our favorite, fabulous, rare, big and beautiful books from the KD Design Library. Put these babies on your coffee table and your guests won’t be able to put them down (or sometimes so heavy they won’t be able to pick them up!)


September: “Back to School” Essentials:

 
 Girl talk in Greece aboard the M.Y. "Illyris" (1970) 

Girl talk in Greece aboard the M.Y. "Illyris" (1970) 

 

1.  Sayn-Wittgenstein Collection Photographs by Princess Marianne Sayn-Wittgenstein (2006) 

 

Marianne, Dowager Princess zu Sayn-Wittgenstein is a 97-year-old Princess who really lived la dolce vita, (or whatever the German translation of that is). A talented photographer she is something of the Slim Aarons of the European aristocratic set, except an actual Princess, not that the Sayn-Wittgensteins are the Bourbons, but still pretty glamorous. Anyway, this book is like getting invited onto the chicest yacht in the Mediterranean – one last gasp of summer before its time for fall jackets. Speaking of ... there are also some wonderful Alps skiing photos to get you excited for winter.

 
 
 St. Moritz 1972: Wolfgang Bierlein and Teresa Sayn-Wittgenstein

St. Moritz 1972: Wolfgang Bierlein and Teresa Sayn-Wittgenstein

 Sir Sean Connery on the beach 1980

Sir Sean Connery on the beach 1980

 

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2. Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life by Miss Piggy, as told to Henry Beard (1981)

 

If you have kids heading off into the world for the first time, this book has tons of great advice. For example:

  • On Kissing on the First Date: Here is my little rule: If he picks up the check, give him a peck; if it was Dutch, no such luck.
  • On Traveling: Never begin a trip of any kind before noon.
  • On Being the Perfect Party Guest: Never offer to bring anything, it implies the hosts are too incompetent to shop or cook for themselves.  Never bring a “gift”. A small gift will be graciously accepted and then tossed in the garbage. A lavish gift could be awkward because they might mistake you for a delivery person and tip you. On the other hand, it is very acceptable to receive a gift, also to ask where it’s from and how much it costs. 

Also there is an entire chapter called: How to Avoid Weight Loss in the Lean Years

 
 
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3. London Birth of a Cult: Hedi Slimane (2005)

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There’s nothing like those fresh fall concerts at which you sweat your @#@#@ off. Hedi Slimane has been a “/slash photographer” for almost as long as he has been the darling of the fashion world (Dior then YSL) and never was he more in his element than in the early aughts following around British rocker Pete Doherty of the Libertines and then Baby Shambles. (This is right before he started dating Kate Moss.) This gorgeously designed photo book captures the band, its fans, London and perhaps the very essence of “cool” itself, which appears to smell really, really bad. Happy Fall!

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David MeyerComment
Inside Skull and Bones 

Decorating tips when letting animals into the house

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While animal trophies (usually of the taxidermy variety) tend to conjure images of hunting lodges or man caves, antlers and skulls can be an elegant, contemporary and totally ick-free accent to a room.  

Whether they are real or fake, new or antique, there is something both aesthetically striking, and something oddly comforting about these abstracted pieces of nature in your midst. Skulls, of course, can be a little more of a statement, but interesting nonetheless. At the Columbine store on Durant Street, you can find everything from T-rex skulls to cave bear skeletons to a woolly mammoth skeleton replica. Not for everyone, granted, but if you are looking for a dramatic statement in the foyer ... 

Whether as a lamp or a chandelier, a single statement or a full wall, the right piece can be positively bonafide. Except for ivory. No ivory ever!  

 Mid-century antler 

Mid-century antler 

 Traditional European trophy wall 

Traditional European trophy wall 

 These antlers give the room a touch of life 

These antlers give the room a touch of life 

 A more contemporary version of a trophy wall

A more contemporary version of a trophy wall

 Book ends 

Book ends 

 Golden antler table lamp 

Golden antler table lamp 

 The gorgeous twirl of these horns makes the room 

The gorgeous twirl of these horns makes the room 

 
David MeyerComment
To The Manor Born: Ping-Pong’s Posh History (and Future)
 

This Friday, August 25th, we're very excited to unveil our custom designed ping-pong table. Made entirely from the Carrara marble, this elegant, made-to-order show-piece will be a beautiful addition to any room. Come this Friday and test your skills with our tournament and plenty of free cocktails. 

If you're having a hard time imagining Ping-pong tables anywhere but the basement, you may be surprised to learn that the game was actually born in the tony smoking rooms of English country houses.  

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Victorian England marked high tide for the British Empire and with that world domination came lots of big houses, big parties and a robust class of idle rich. The legend goes that British soldiers on leave from India came home with a fun new parlor game that required only a flat surface, some books and a golf ball. A modified champagne cork would do in a pinch. And so it came to be, table tennis, whiff-whaff, or Ping-pong which an industrious British manufacturer packaged, trademarked and later sold to Parker Brothers. 

By the 1920s, Ping-pong had become a bona fide thing, with the founding of the International Table Tennis Federation and first official world championship in 1926. Today Ping-pong is enjoying a Millennial resurgence at social clubs like SPiN, which has branches across the country and of course soon to be the Birkin Bag of your Aspen home. 

P.S. In addition to the Ping-pong table, we also have a line of custom marble sink, side tables and sculptures.