Telluride residents think there’s something spellbinding in the air. Their town, a former mining location, is situated in a box canyon with towering mountain walls and a colossal waterfall. Old mining shacks still dot the landscape, which was also once embedded with lead, copper, gold and silver. “People talk about how there’s some sort of magic released by the minerals in the mountains,” says Brandon Quattrone, who cofounded Los Angeles interior design firm Consort with Mat Sanders. “The idea infiltrates. When you’re here, you’re out of breath because it’s close to ten thousand feet above sea level, but it’s more than that. You feel affected because of the environment; it’s just so intense.”
Quattrone and Sanders got to experience Telluride’s bewitching effect regularly in developing the interior design for a modernist ski home belonging to their clients, a couple with two kids. Doing their due diligence, they traveled there from Los Angeles during each of the four seasons. “The house has a lot of windows,” Sanders says. “We wanted to see how things changed during the year. In wintertime, it’s pure hot white all around you. In the fall, there’s bright yellow everywhere, and in the spring and summer, there’s the most beautiful green.” The surrounding environment is especially prominent, given the home’s remote siting. “The house is the last one on a road that dead-ends into a mountain where a mine used to be,” Quattrone says. “You can’t go any farther.”
Clad with wood, stone, metal and glass, the contemporary residence—originally designed by local architect Eric Cummings of E Cummings Architect PC and built by Allison Construction—features a steeply pitched roof and was inspired by a historic local farmhouse-like structure once used as a boardinghouse for miners. “That heritage, the architecture and the surround influenced the colors and textures we chose,” Quattrone says. “Whenever you have such a strong natural palette, you don’t want to introduce too much; we love the high-contrast colors you see in the landscape.” Inspired by the lushness of spring and summer, the designers covered the walls of the den with a deep shade of green Farrow & Ball paint. They then outfitted both the living room and den with cream-and-black wool rugs and sofas covered with vintage steel-colored military canvas. A chocolate-and-cream wool rug fills the dining room with earthy color and texture, as does a vintage rust-hued Indian rug in the entry. “The environment you see through the windows acts like a wallcovering,” Sanders says. “We wanted the interior to be able to transition with the seasons.”
In addition to layering texture and adding punches of color to bring the landscape indoors, Quattrone and Sanders also created an interior that feels as though it has been collected over time. “Our clients are very casual, and so is our look,” Sanders says. “Our design was about contrasting the strength of the architecture with livable yet interesting furnishings.” For example, two white-oak coffee tables designed by Gesa Hansen function separately or
fit together like puzzle pieces in the living room, which also features a pair of Hans J. Wegner iconic Circle chairs. A John Dickinson-style plaster table with animal leg-like supports lends great whimsy to the entry, and Tom Dixon glass sconces imported from England give the stairway a striking ethereal quality.
The designers also infused the spaces with one-off handpicked finds. “We love to go to flea markets,” Sanders says. “We have a vendor who sells French linens she hand-washes over and over again. We buy from her and use the fabric to make the softest throw pillow covers.” A variety of African textiles from NK Shop in Los Angeles were also repurposed for sofa pillows in the living room and the sitting area adjacent to the kitchen. “Our design approach is to get the client to trust in the things they love,” Sanders notes. “People shouldn’t think too much about putting things together in the right way. If you follow your instincts, your own taste will tie everything together in a beautiful way.”
When it came to selecting artwork for the home, the wife did follow her instincts. “She is adamant about only sourcing artwork from her friends or people she knows,” Quattrone says. During the design process, the wife took a trip to Marfa, Texas, where she purchased a minimalist sculpture by an artist she met there named Susan York. The piece is displayed in the living room, and an accompanying wall-size print of the sculpture leans in the entry. Also in the entry is a set of graphic black-and-white prints by Christopher Wool.
“Most things in the house have sort of a bold punch but are still simple and uncomplicated,” Quattrone explains. “We love that. Our clients do, too.” And for as much as they appreciate cool and comfortable design, Quattrone and Sanders might love the wonder of Telluride’s landscape a little bit more. “It became one of our favorite places,” Quattrone says. “We’ve worked on a lot of homes in different cities and towns and have never fallen in love with a location more.”