From a 20-foot-tall steel screen with cutouts representing an aerial view of Denver to sweeping panoramas of Coors Field and the Rockies, it’s impossible to forget where you are inside Studio Como’s five-month-old RiNo showroom (designed by LIV Studio architecture and design firm). And although the longtime modern furniture purveyor’s move was motivated mostly by gaining space for its European manufacturers—it nearly quadrupled its square footage—the extra real estate also allows owner Brad Fentress and his team to play up the store’s oh-so-Colorado feel. “There are showrooms in SoHo, Miami, LA, and Chicago that sell the same products we sell here,” Fentress says, “but what people here are trying to achieve with their homes is pretty different than in those other regions.”
“RiNo is becoming the design destination in Denver. Being that we’ve been here for 10 years—and now that it’s gotten critical mass—we didn’t want to leave that behind.”—Studio Como owner Brad Fentress
This is why you’ll find touches like a locally made milk stool sitting next to a Minotti sofa in the light-drenched top floor, or an Italian Poliform cabinet refaced with local reclaimed wood by Norwood Cabinet Company (Fentress is a part-owner) in the expanded kitchen studio. “In Colorado, what we find is our clients want to purchase new furniture, but then they want old pieces integrated into their overall design because they’re part of what creates the story and the aesthetic that everyone really enjoys here,” Fentress says.
Nowhere is this commitment to localization more evident than in the Dock, a 1,200-square-foot space in the store that will house rotating exhibitions (with everything available for purchase). The first, with the theme “Alpine Modern,” launches in July and will pair designs from Studio Como’s manufacturers with pieces from Alpine Modern, a new modern home goods store in Boulder. “The Dock is our opportunity to focus on a particular designer or design trend, something we’re excited about,” Fentress says. “It’s kind of a design playground for us.”
—Inset photo by Tyler Hardie