2013-14 Furnishing Our Condo in the Four Seasons Private Residences Vail

Dimitri and Audre had never furnished a house together before when they "invested" in a condo in Vail. Click here to read about buying a condo together. When we met in 1989 we each had our own house. We started living together in a rental house in Washington, DC in 1990 and just moved all of our furniture into it. Click here to see snaps of us and of the rooms of our rental house in DC.

It turned out that our taste in furnishings was remarkably similar. The process would have been a delight had it not been for our use of an interior design firm. We had a time schedule we wanted to meet and we had a budget that we did not want to exceed. Our designer seemed unwilling or unable to stay within our budget or keep to our schedule. In addition, our experience using a design firm was the opposite of transparent. We hate not knowing what things cost and how long it would take to receive orders. Our designer would "pull" fabrics and show us pictures of items. We might like something and ask the price. It would take the designer days to find out from the manufacturer what the item would cost. We would then have lost days only to find out that the item was way over our budget. The designer assigned to us never really "got" what we wanted. We parted company with the designer and the firm after about two thirds of the furniture had been ordered (for delivery by the end of January 2014). 

The balance of the ordering of the furniture was much more pleasant--just the two of us and the Internet. The space of our condo flowed easily and we wanted to keep the space flowing after it was furnished. We wanted the opposite of clutter; as our friend Alan advised: "less is more". Click here to see the floor plan of our condo.

The designer did have one good suggestion: a signature item. Click here to read about our custom made signature dining room table.

Dimitri had a very good idea about eliminating the view of the I-70. He thought that top-down, bottom up shades would work. We found motorized Hunter Douglas shades and chose a color. They work just as Dimitri envisioned and in the apartment we were unaware of the I-70 just under our windows. (Look at the pictures in this post to see how the shades and the furniture looks.)

To order our window shades, drapes and window treatments we used Vail Trappings Co. (0210 Edwards Village Blvd., Unit C101, Edwards, CO 81632, tel. 970-926-8727, www.vailtrappingsco.com). Andres Garza was easy to work with and met his estimates and our schedule. Audre loves draperies and we put them on the window wall in the living room that opened onto our balcony. Under the drapes were shears that we actually never opened during our first two and a half months living in the apartment.

Another very good idea that Dimitri had was our dining room chairs. He suggested that they be on wheels and serve as desk chairs, living room chairs and, when needed, dining room chairs. Ordinarily we would have 4 around the table and the others would be deployed in the living room and at our desks. We ordered barrel chairs on wheels and fabric and hoped for the best. They turned out to work very well indeed. You can see them in the pictures in this post.

We had Xssentials (formerly Thul, 730 Nottingham Road, Avon, CO 81620, tel (970) 949-4638) work with us on the TV and sound system as well as the Lutron Lighting System. It took many visits but we believe that we have both the way we wanted them.

One thing we did not have to buy was art. Audre had bought art for her condo in Santa Monica and Jan, her sister, had stored it for us in her garage since 1998! We were worried about the condition it would be in. It had been packed in Washington, DC in 1993 by Security Storage when we put all of our furniture in storage there. When we sold everything out of storage and moved the mahogany dining room set to Jan we included the art in the shipment. We had an art shipping company transport it to Vail and we were the first to open the boxes in 20 years. It was in remarkably good condition and we are extremely pleased with how it looks in our new condo. You can see some of the pieces in this post, including a glimpse of a six foot lithograph by Arthur Secunda that we hung in the entry hall.

By the time we moved in on February 1st, all of the furniture had arrived or we had loaners from the design firm. We were happy with everything except for the custom furniture that the design firm had been in charge of. We hated the media unit so much that we learned what the design firm meant when it said that their work was "guaranteed". The design firm agreed to take the piece away and give us our money back. 

Of course, we jumped at their offer and asked for a couple of bids, including one from our signature dining room table maker, Jonathan Gerspach.

See: http://www.custommade.com/by/gerspach-handcraftedwoodworksllc/
https://www.etsy.com/shop/GerspachHandcrafted?ref=l2-shopheader-name and Jonathan's Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/GerspachHandcraftedWoodworks).

We decided to give Jonathan all summer to make the new media unit and the design firm agreed that we could return the hideous one in November when we got back from our summer travels. Click here to read about the resumption of our traveling lifestyle.