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When Susan Weiss travels across Europe each year in search of the luxurious home goods, timeworn antiques, and architectural elements (think: patinaed doors, beams, even pretty limestone gravel) she sells to her clientele of homeowners and design pros, she rarely braves the crowds in the bustling shopping districts. Instead, the founder of Emerson Bailey Collection in Cherry Hills Village prefers to meet with sellers and makers in their private homes and studios. And when she returns to the States, treasures in tow, she invites her clients to discover them in much the same way.
Weiss displays her finds in a 1,230-square-foot carriage house studio—designed with Houston-based architect Kirby Mears and situated behind her Cherry Hills Village home—that looks like a Belgian farmhouse with a contemporary twist. Its handmade, glass-and-steel French entry doors open onto a combined living, dining, and cooking space where limestone floors and white plaster walls provide a striking backdrop for furnishings, accessories, hardware, lighting, and artwork, all displayed just as they would be in a home—except that here, every piece is for sale.
In the kitchen, band-sawn white-oak cabinets sport solid-brass Belgian hardware—“someone can feel it and understand how it’s different, as opposed to just having it on a shelf,” Weiss says. On the nearby dining table—a Swedish antique from the 1700s—clients can design the perfect place setting by mixing and matching delicate handmade ceramics, Spanish glassware, and Belgian linens from Weiss’ shelves. (If Weiss doesn’t have enough on site for a complete set, she can pull more from her warehouse just a few miles down the road, or order direct from Europe). And in the living room—where antiques mingle with contemporary pieces from Verellen, Rose Tarlow, and Apparatus—there are old saddle forms and vintage Kuba textiles, cuddly throws made from the lustrous curls of Gotland sheep, and minimalist lanterns that double as portable wireless speakers.
It’s this mix of old and new that makes Weiss’ aesthetic so appealing. “I’ll have a piece that is very envelope-pushing next to an original, Arne Jacobsen–designed Egg chair,” a pairing that might be difficult to imagine, she says. “But when you see that combination, [you know] it works.” This mixing of styles often inspires some serious purchases, though Weiss says that’s just icing: “[The experience here] is not just about shopping. Instead, you’re sitting with someone and you learn about their lifestyle and what makes them happy. You make a connection—and then they might buy a few things, too.” Appointments recommended