When Ann Cook, a New York–based art adviser, asked Clive Lonstein to complete the interiors of her house in Aspen, Colorado, the designer knew he needed to create something far more elegant than a mountain lodge lined in rough-hewn wood and flagstone. “She has phenomenal taste and a very sophisticated eye,” Lonstein says. “I like to make things rich and textural but minimalistic, and given her background, I knew art was going to be a very important part of the project. We gelled very well.”
Cook and her husband had purchased the 1970s home to take maximum advantage of the area’s cultural offerings as much as its epic ski scene. “I love being close to the Aspen Institute, the music festival, and just being able to walk into town,” says Cook, who is also involved with the Aspen Art Museum and Anderson Ranch Arts Center.
The existing design clearly needed updating, so Cook first tapped Greg Tankersley of McAlpine, the same architect who had designed her house in Greenwich, Connecticut, to rework the bones of the space. Then she called in Lonstein, who has devised numerous homes in the area, to layer in comfort and soul. “Many times, contemporary interiors feel like they could be located just about anywhere, so I really wanted to give the house a sense of place through colors, materials, and texture,” says Lonstein.
Tactile elements abound in the great room, where Lonstein defined the main seating area with one long sofa and a pair of matching asymmetrical love seats in white alpaca velvet, centering them on a custom cocktail table topped with thick cast-glass slabs from John Lewis Glass.
In the dining area, he clad the wall around the fireplace in hand-chiseled black limestone and installed a hefty oak dining table with an end-grain border that’s long enough to host a crowd. Vintage Børge Mogensen chairs upholstered in nubby orange fabric bring cushy comfort for lingering dinner conversations beside a showstopping painting by Oscar Murillo. The whole expanse is illuminated by a custom linear chandelier of blackened metal beams suspended by hand-stitched saddle leather straps, which generates lighting for multiple zones.
“I really wanted to give the house a sense of place through colors, materials, and texture”CLIVE LONSTEIN
The library leading to the primary bedroom suite features a sand-based work by Jennifer Guidi inspired by Tibetan mandalas. The doorway to the bedroom beyond draws attention to a Nick Cave sculpture of a bronze cast of the artist’s hand dangling a tangle of flowers. Inside the bedroom itself, Lonstein created a more serene environment with a palette of off-whites and grays, including a bed finished in silvery mohair beneath a ’50s light fixture with a raised pattern of botanicals.
“I love the design, and the art just adds another layer,” says Cook, noting that the process was deeply collaborative and so satisfying that she is now working with Lonstein on her pied-à-terre in Miami and apartment in Manhattan. “This home is perfect for us.”
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2023 Winter Issue under the headline “Mountain Majesty.” Subscribe to the magazine.