Like most interior designers, Shandele Gumucio rarely gets to start from scratch. No matter the task—guiding clients through a full remodel or dreaming up the perfect custom built-in—the principal and founder of Boulder’s StudioVert usually finds herself entering a story already in progress. “In every project, I look for the original intention of the architect, imagining what he or she would do with today’s technology, materials, and clients,” Gumucio says.

This collaborative and holistic process considers more than just throw pillows and paint colors. “It’s about solving spatial issues and creating an environment in which the clients are very comfortable,” Gumucio says. “I love working with clients to realize the whole story.” With Gumucio’s help, it’s sure to have a happy ending.

1. Best Shopping Secret

“Cedar & Hyde [in Boulder] is beautifully curated and has a handful of functional, unique, beautiful objects for the home. It’s my go-to shop for gifts.” —Photo by Rebecca Stumpf

2. Go-To Design Move

“My designs are never one-size-fits-all—but I can’t seem to do a house without a George Nelson Bubble lamp!” —Photo courtesy of Modernica

3. Decorating Tip

“I’m crazy about mixing raw materials with something luxurious. Something beautiful happens when nature and polish meet. A great example would be a live-edge wood table surrounded by Brno chairs [pictured above] in a velvet textile.” —Photo courtesy of Jens Moretensen for Knoll, Inc.

4. Most Beloved Artists

“I don’t believe in buying artwork because it matches the sofa. My favorite artists to collect are Horst Trave [untitled abstract pictured above], Alexander Calder, and Carlos Jaurena.” —Photo courtesy of Horst Trave

Lately Loving

“Living finishes—materials that shift with age and human touch. Raw brass, bronzes, and steel can have ever-evolving patinas.”

Top Trend

“Heated floors. Warm feet, warm hearts.”

Favorite Space

“Recently, I did a collaboration with designer Petra Richards for [Boulder architecture firm] Arch11. Our client envisioned an asymmetrical display space; she also required a Murphy bed and pull-down desk. Fine-tuning the design, lighting, and mechanics was a thrill.” —Photo by Emily Minton Redfield