Create the Perfect Space: How Interior Design has Evolved in Denver
Denver, Colorado isn’t a forerunner when it comes to interior design trends. In fact, the Mile High City has earned its reputation as a hip, cool community despite a noted lack of signature culture. What used to be known as the biggest Cowtown in the West has morphed into a melting pot of sorts, blending historical western simplicity with new ideas brought in on the heels of the millions of transplants moving to Colorado from California, Texas, and the East Coast. And while it still seems at times like Coloradoans are more concerned with their camping gear than their living spaces, interior designers like Laura Medicus, owner of Laura Medicus Interiors, are doing their best to bring a little sophistication to Front Range interior design.
Born to Design in Denver
Medicus has been doing interior design for over 17 years, originally working as a commercial designer before shifting to high-end residential design in New York City and finding her niche. She moved to Denver in 2005, opened her own design firm, and has been putting her stamp on Front Range interiors ever since. Looking back, she says that she’s been wired for interior design from the beginning. “They tell you to look at what you liked to do as a kid,” she says, referring to the path that led her to choose interior design as a profession. “For me, I was literally drawing floor plans when I was 8, 10 years old. Looking at pictures in my Mom’s magazines and books. It’s just always been something that I’ve enjoyed.”
Laura Medicus Interiors Puts Clients First
Now, as a veteran Denver interior designer, Laura centers her design on her clients rather than a specific philosophy or design trend. “I have a client-centered approach,” she says. “I sit and talk, walk around and move through the space with the client, and talk to them about how they use the space, how they want to use the space, what they love about it, and what their lifestyle is. It’s really centered around them.” It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that Medicus cites good communication as one of the first things homeowners should look for when they are seeking out the services of an interior designer.
“The number one thing is communication,” she says when asked for advice on what qualities are most important. “Ask yourself, is this somebody that I can communicate well with – are they going to return my calls and my e-mails in a timely fashion. People need somebody that listens to them, somebody that respects their time and what they’re going to say. It’s important to really listen to what the client has to say. You know, you also need someone that you can feel really comfortable with and say ‘no, that’s not me.’”
Finding that Special Something . . .
Of course, just because Medicus firm is client-centered, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have her own ideas about what makes for strong interior design in Denver. She likes open spaces and clean lines, and is always looking for accents that set a space apart and give it a unique feel. “I encourage my clients to buy local art and find local artists,” she says, noting that her art background also has a strong influence on the advice she provides clients (she has a degree in art history as well as interior design). “And I like mixing it up with a few antiques and vintage things. Just finding something that’s a little bit different to fit into the space so it’s not like a big box store,” she says.
Localism is Alive and Well in Denver, Colorado
Keeping it local is another priority for Medicus, and not just when it comes to art. “Local is important to me,” she says, emphasizing that she chooses to go local whenever possible, be it using reclaimed lumber from local barns, Colorado sourced beetle kill pine, or utilizing local craftspeople to do her work. And she’s not alone when it comes to focusing on the community: keeping it Colorado is important to her customers, as well. “It’s also that I’m driven by clients,” she says, “and my clients are really into keeping things local.”
Transplants Bring New Ideas to Front Range Interior Design
In fact, it’s that desire of Coloradoans, even ones who are relatively new to the area, to combine their own design ideas with the Colorado mystique, that keeps Laura Medicus on her toes. “Denver, when I first moved here, was very different than what it is now,” she says, noting how laid back Coloradoans were back then when it came to designing their indoor spaces. But she’s seen that begin to change. “A lot of my clients today are from other parts of the country and are shaping Denver design now. Bringing in more cutting edge designs from the coast. And they also come in with their own ideas about the west,” she says. These are ideas that they want Medicus to incorporate into their homes alongside the interior design trends from back home. “It’s kind of an exciting time right now,” she says about the blossoming design scene in Denver, a scene Laura Medicus Interiors is quick to embrace.
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