This Aspen Abode is Filled with Touches that Add Warmth and Texture


Fresh Outlook in Aspen

Staying true to its modernist roots, an Aspen residence is brought up to date.

Butterfly Art Wall Living Room with Asian Sculpture and Fireplace Mountain View

Designers Barbara Glass Mullen and Richard Mullen gave a 1960s Aspen home a modern update. For the living area, Glass Mullen positioned a sofa and swivel chairs—all custom-made by Mike Ragan/Rags in Los Angeles—around a Michael Berman Limited coffee table from John Brooks Incorporated. The custom rug is by Tai Ping.

Multi-Colored Artwork Dining Room with Modern Chairs and Vaulted Ceiling

In the dining space, Glass Mullen arranged A. Rudin chairs from Town around a sculptural table crafted by Andi-Le with a white-oak top and stainless-steel legs. The buffet from Carter Inc. is by J. Alexander, and the artwork is an existing piece from the residents’ collection.

Pyramid Ceiling Open Plan Kitchen and Dining Room With Sculptural Chandelier

Mullen recreated the pyramid ceiling, which was executed by the project’s builder, Max Filiss, above the open-plan living, dining and kitchen areas using Douglas fir from Diversified Lumber Products. The ceiling fixture, Circular Cumulus by Ted Abramczyk from Ralph Pucci International in Los Angeles, offers a counterpoint to the room’s linear elements.

Sculptural White Chandelier Pyramid Ceiling Kitchen with Black Cabinets and Marble

In the renovated kitchen, new white-oak cabinetry, which the designers collaborated on with Daniel R. Ellis of Ellis Design, was fabricated by Utah-based Cottonwood Fine Kitchen Furniture and features both light and dark stains. Bar chairs by Mark Albrecht Studio from John Brooks Incorporated pull up to the center island. White-oak floors by Ragged Mountain Floors flow throughout the space.

Red Pillow Outdoor Seating Area with Mountain Views and Trees

The clients’ existing furnishings appoint a covered outdoor sitting area and provide a spot for viewing the lush Aspen landscape, marked by mountain peaks and gold and green trees.

Framed Artwork Powder Room with Purple Tulip Decor and Asian Statue

A mix of textures adds interest to the powder bathroom, where a wood-framed mirror hangs above a marble countertop and sink. The sleek sconces are by Boyd Lighting, and the faucet and fittings are by Waterworks.

Peach Artwork Bedroom with Chicken Ceramic Piece and Green Pillows

In the guest bedroom, Glass Mullen dressed a daybed by RH with vibrant throw pillows and hung sconces by Barbara Barry for Circa Lighting on a wall. Just below the sconces, built-in cabinetry fabricated by Peach Valley Woodworks supplies the room with added storage.

Mirror Vanity Bathroom with Neutral Gray Chair and Neutral Cabinetry

A large vanity crafted with rift-cut white oak by Peach Valley Woodworks anchors a section of the master bathroom, where a pair of sconces by Ralph Lauren Home from Circa Lighting hang on the mirror. The chair is by Hickory Chair from Hoff Miller.

Large Parasol Chandelier Master Bedroom with Art Triptych and Stone Wall

An existing Fortuny light fixture adds a romantic note to the master bedroom, where Glass Mullen flanked a custom platform bed with nightstands by J. Alexander from Carter Inc. The table lamps are from Circa Lighting; the rug is from Aspen Carpet Services.

When a house has expansive windows that offer panoramic views of towering mountains, blue sky and miles of trees with green and gold leaves, it needs little else to be a sanctuary. Inspired by that idea, one Aspen couple decided to reevaluate the design of their 1960s home, which had been remodeled in an Arts and Crafts style in the 1990s. The structure’s look and feel needed to be simplified, so they called on designers Barbara Glass Mullen and Richard Mullen to reimagine the furnishings and the interior architecture. “The home hadn’t been remodeled for almost 20 years,” Glass Mullen says. Adds Mullen, “The clients wanted a more modern design, so we pointed them toward working with the architectural vocabulary of the original 1960s features.” 

Per their clients’ request, Glass Mullen and Mullen— who have since started separate firms, Barbara Glass and Demesne, respectively—worked together to update and brighten each part of the home. Mullen, who handled the interior architecture, began in the combined living, dining and kitchen area, where he transformed the aesthetic by recreating the original pyramid ceiling in the open-plan room. “The space had original wood beams that weren’t in good condition and had been covered with drywall,” he says. “A skylight had also been removed in a previous remodel and covered with drywall.” Mullen stripped every inch of drywall and then covered the beams and ceiling with new material. “We wrapped the ceiling as minimally as possible in new wood of the same species, which was Douglas Fir,” he says. “The idea was to feature the wood and restore the ceiling to what it was originally.” 

Although transformative for the structure, the ceiling was a challenge to execute. “We spent countless hours trying to figure out how to make the beams look the way Richard envisioned them,” says builder Max Filiss, who managed construction with rm president Dean Filiss and superintendent David Ice. “It was grueling but so worth it. That ceiling turned out to be a special feature of not only the room but the whole house.” The element now feels like an umbrella of warmth and texture from the expansive wood, which Mullen countered by refinishing the living area’s fire surround with steel and plaster. 

The updates continue in the kitchen, where Mullen and Glass Mullen collaborated with kitchen designer Daniel R. Ellis of Ellis Design to enlarge and reconfigure the space. “We relocated the appliances and the sink so the arrangement worked better for the homeowners’ lifestyle,” Mullen says. They then added luxurious materials—“The backsplash and the range hood are covered with Calacatta marble,” Glass Mullen says—and replaced the dated pine cabinetry with white oak finished with dark and light stains. “It’s very clean and acts as a foil to the marble, which has a lot of veining,” Mullen says. Floors throughout the house are now also a lighter white oak, as are the master bathroom’s new tub surround and the media room’s new built-in desk and cabinetry. 

Glass Mullen, who oversaw the furnishings, dressed the revised interior architecture with rich layers of texture and form. In the living area, she placed a pair of barrel chairs and a sinuous wood coffee table near a modernist sofa, all beneath a circular pendant. “The ceiling light fixture is from Ralph Pucci International and, like the coffee table, it has curves,” she says. “It balances the sharp geometry of the room. I like a softer approach to modern; it adds character and is more comfortable.” The designer covered the barrel chairs and sofa with different fabric blends, including cotton and linen, and customized a wool-and-silk rug for the space. “Using layers of different fibers creates dimension and richness,” she says. “You sit on these fabrics, so they should feel amazing.” 

When it came to selecting a color palette, Glass Mullen took a “wintry approach,” she explains about the mostly blue, gray and white hues used throughout. “The owners had a lot of existing art, and I didn’t want the furnishings to compete with that,” she says. A sculpture of golden butterflies by Paul Villinski, for instance, hangs above the living area fireplace and plays off the calming tones of the surrounding textiles. In the adjacent dining area, the designer countered the hefty silhouette of a white-oak-and-stainless-steel table with traditional-style chairs wearing a silvery linen-and-viscose blend. Continuing the subtle palette in the master bedroom, she covered one wall with a muted but textural grass cloth as an anchor for a custom bed upholstered with another linen blend. 

Though the exterior of the residence received a minor update with fresh paint, the interior displays a completely new experience. The clean lines, rich materials and sophisticated palette create the perfect backdrop for honoring the structure’s sweeping views. “Our clients asked for something much cleaner and lighter,” Mullen says. “We paid homage to the home’s modernist roots but also brought it into the 21st century.” 

Laura Mauk