Clearly, the word “conventional” is not in designer Erin Iba’s vocabulary, and the designer didn’t hesitate to push the envelope for her clients’ mountain retreat. Although Iba prides herself on introducing elements that are often unexpected, her designs always stay in sync with the homeowner’s style and taste. In this case, she was charged with melding the wife’s desire for texture, pattern and color with the husband’s propensity for a style that was more modern and raw. “It was my goal to make sure neither of them felt like they were giving something up,” says Iba, who had worked previously with the couple on their primary residence.
There was one thing, however, the husband and wife did agree on: While both grew up skiing in the area, “neither of them wanted anything to do with the traditional Western style that once defined the region,” Iba says. Oddly enough, the 1970s duplex the couple purchased—with its antler chandelier still intact—was exactly that. “My parents have a vacation home in the area, and we wanted our kids to have that up-the-street relationship with their grandparents,” the wife explains. “So when this place in their neighborhood came on the market, we bought it. It also had a good two-level layout, so the kids could be downstairs and leave the upper level for us.”
“When people walk in here, I want them to say to my clients, ‘You have great taste and style.’ If it looks like me, I’ve failed.”