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Art in Residence

High-country designer Tracie Schumacher on the inspiration behind her signature style. 

—Old and New— In this Avon living room, thrift-store finds (the twiggy lamp and reupholstered orange chair) mix well with a bold rug from Horchow and svelte sofa by Michael Berman Limited

Mixed-media masterpieces. Custom-designed art installations. DIY projects completed with a nail gun and sushi boats. None of it is off-limits to Tracie Schumacher, founder of Eagle’s Studio80 Interior Architecture & Design. “I have a bachelor’s of fine arts, so the artist in me always jumps out first and I think, What can we do that’s fun?

Schumacher snaps up distinctive objects for her clients everywhere—from local art fairs to European furniture studios to thrift stores. And this time of year, in her own home, she wows her children and guests with elaborate, immersive holiday decor. “When the holidays come, I don’t just change out the pillows,” she says. “I make snowflakes and hang them all over the house, so we’re living in art.” Here, her go-tos for inspiration in any season.

< Art Crush “[Parisian artist] Arik Levy is inspiring to me these days. His work is exceptional and hits a deep chord. It’s earthy and organic.”

< Far-Flung Inspiration “Last spring, I went to Moooi’s warehouse in Milan and felt like I was on a different planet, as far as coolness is concerned. The lighting, the furniture, the styling—it was so random and eclectic and hip; I’d never seen anything like it.”

< Finest DIY Moment “Whether or not you have a big budget, you can get creative with some rocks and superglue. We did Sato Sushi in Edwards, and we made art out of chopsticks and discarded sushi boats, nailing them up in a pattern on the wall to create a 3-D installation.”

< Local Love “Eagle-based Mike Crabtree is my favorite mountain artist. He is a photographer whose work always leaves my mind wandering in a most pleasant direction.”

Favorite Find: “I just got chairs from a Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $30 each, and I can’t tell you how many people want to buy them from me. They’re mid-mod, with wooden arms and lime green leather upholstery, and they tilt back when you sit in them. They’re so awesome, and I won’t let them go.”

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Art in Residence

A look at a revitalized factory.

There’s a poetic wholeness to the building Ivar and Karen Zeile chose for the new location of Plus Gallery (2501 Larimer St., Not only does the red brick warehouse sit at the entrance to RiNo, Denver’s burgeoning arts district, but it also once housed, in part, the Benjamin Moore paint factory. A historic factory turned contemporary art gallery? It’s hard to come more full circle than that.

The two-year renovation took the existing cube-shaped building and transformed part of it into a minimalist loft-like residence where the Zeiles live with their three-year-old son Udo. In another wing, a two-story gallery space was built in an area with an existing flue structure that had, at one time, stored vats of paint. The two wings are connected by an outdoor courtyard that is used for both gallery and Zeile-family functions. Today, the new and improved Plus Gallery serves as a flagship of the RiNo district, and Karen and Ivar have become the growing neighborhood’s unofficial ambassadors.

This article was originally published in 5280 October 2010.
Cheryl Meyers
Cheryl Meyers
Cheryl Meyers is a contributing writer to 5280 Home, which means she gets to spend her days writing about Colorado’s most beautiful indoor spaces.