According to a recent study, Colorado’s favorite interior design style is “farmhouse.” This makes sense given that Colorado was previously considered a “flyover state” and a “cow town.”
The National Western Stock Show still celebrates the time when Colorado was mostly inhabited by farmers and ranchers. For those who aren’t familiar, cows are literally herded down the streets of Denver for a parade – it’s quite a site to see.
While this is a nice nod to our farming heritage, we know farmhouse isn’t the only interior design style Coloradans love. You may prefer a chic mountain cabin in Vail or a modern-industrial condo in Rhino. Many residents are drawn to the sprawling new builds on the outskirts of Colorado Springs, Boulder, Denver, or Fort Collins.
Regardless of your interior design style, and cowboy influence, here are five Colorado interior design mistakes to avoid at all costs.
#1: Using Materials from Warm, Humid Climates
Colorado is a dry climate with fluctuating temperatures. It’s not uncommon to go from 90 degrees to 50 degrees on the same day. Materials from warm, humid climates can’t withstand the drop in temperature and rely on humidity to stay strong and flexible.
Look for locally sourced materials to ensure your home doesn’t require constant maintenance, or frustrating upkeep. While we love the look of bamboo, it’s known to crack in our dry weather so other sustainable flooring options should be considered.
#2: Too Many Mountain Vibe Cliches
We’re here for anyone who wants to design the perfect mountain chalet or create a restful hideaway cabin in the woods. But when you start adding any and all mountain range decor to your space, it seems less like an extension of your region and more like a themed hotel.
A sign that states “the mountains are calling” in your Scandinavian modern living room will look out of place. Your Colorado flag is also likely a better fit outside than inside.
To avoid looking like a mountain-themed decor shop, pick one or two interior design styles and add only the mountain pieces that fit that style. Set out a Colorado landscape coffee table book or focus on a color pallet inspired by your favorite hike.
We love purchasing art from local Colorado artists. Local art is a subtle nod to the region and a great conversation piece when you have guests over.
Can’t find an artist you love? We’ve got a list of dozens of Colorado artists we can introduce you to. It’s one of the many perks of working with us!
#3: Leaving Too Little Storage for Your Outdoor Items
Coloradans are known for being active. In fact, we have the lowest obesity rate compared to any other state. We’re lucky to have sunshine that lets us get outside almost every day, but this also means a lot of gear for our outdoor activities.
Don’t let your active lifestyle add piles of gear to your space. Nothing ruins a great interior design style like clutter.
Whether you only wear hiking boots and snowshoes for the occasional adventure or spend every weekend in the woods climbing, fishing, camping, and skiing, you need a space to store your gear. Make space in your garage, mudroom, guest room, or gym to keep it accessible, but out of the way.
It will be easier to find and stay in good condition giving you more time to enjoy everything Colorado has to offer – including your home!
#4: Not Making Sustainable Investments for Our Climate
Did you know Denver has more sunny days than San Diego and Miami? Thanks to June gloom they have long stretches of overcast days we don’t have to deal with here. Since you’re fortunate enough to live in a state that has 300 days of sunshine every year, why wouldn’t you have solar panels? They’ll reduce carbon emissions and can save you an average of $880 per year!
Energy-efficient windows are the perfect way to enjoy the changing Colorado seasons. Choose large windows that let in a lot of natural light and are easy to open (especially for cool nights to save on AC). Add light filtering or light-blocking window treatments for when you want to limit sunlight. These are especially vital for those prone to migraines or who need total darkness to sleep.
While we love the sunshine Colorado brings, most of the front range is a high alpine desert which means we need to be mindful of drought conditions. Colorado is at pace to run out of water due to climate change and population booms, so it’s important to do our part to conserve water.
Some unique ways to decrease your water use include:
- Switching to low-flow appliances including your washer, dishwasher, shower, toilet and sink.
- Investing in greywater recycling systems to reuse washing machine water to flush toilets or water trees or perennials where permitted by local jurisdictions.
- Xeriscaping, or planting drought-resistant, native plants. Grass requires a lot of water. Do you really need a traditional grass front yard if you never spend time in it? Find some pollinator friendly, low-water plants instead!
#5: Don’t Forget About Your Pets
Almost half of Coloradoans own some kind of pet and 27% of people in Colorado have dogs. Keep these furry family members in mind or you may end up with random pet supplies interrupting your well-designed space.
Incorporate a specific spot for food and water bowls and choose kitty condos that fit your design style. If you’re more of a fish person, create a space for them to shine where you can enjoy them most of the day.
Large windows are perfect to frame the field your horses graze in and can bring a sense of nature into your Colorado interior design. Our beloved animals are usually considered family so their needs should be on your list when making interior design decisions.
Bonus Interior Design Mistake: Boring Commercial Workspaces
If you’re designing a commercial space in Colorado, remember Coloradans are active and social all year.
Include comfortable indoor lounging areas along with outdoor spaces to enjoy the sun and fresh air. Dog owners would love to bring their dogs to work so this is a perfect place to make a dog-friendly patio. Design your break area with storage for healthy food options and consider kegs with local craft beer if your organization allows it.
A well-designed workspace that considers the wellness of employees is often the most productive.
The Biggest Mistake in Colorado Interior Design is Not Working with an Interior Designer
While the best design choices are those that make you happy, there are some design mistakes that can ruin your space or be costly to fix. Save yourself the frustration by working with a professional interior design firm in Colorado.
Spark Interiors knows how to create a chic, practical, and sustainable space for commercial and residential clients. We’ll incorporate Colorado charm into your unique design style. Your space will stand out while blending seamlessly into the Rocky Mountain lifestyle you love.
Contact us today for help making your interior design vision a reality.