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Where: Country Club
Go For: Tasteful home decor and all manner of sophisticated gifts.
Give One Year of 5280 for just $16.
5280 Pick: The faux cowhide acrylic rug pictured below. At $382, it screams Colorado and the American frontier.
“I’m a very visual person,” says Jill Livran, owner of The Lark. Take one step inside the shop and you’ll see her knack for aesthetics put to good use: The entire store is perfectly curated, striking a balance between a country-chic boutique and your most stylish friend’s living room. Although everything from the furniture to the wall art is for sale—making The Lark a one-stop decorating shop—Livran says its specialty will always be gifts, for children, clients, family, friends, and especially newlyweds. The Lark has been registering Denver brides for 45 years now, catering to a wide spectrum of tastes, from traditional to eccentric. We talked with Livran about the store’s history, industry trends, and a few of her favorite things.
The Lark owner Jill Livran
The Lark, 1970 to today
“The Lark was started in 1970, when a group of four very special ladies decided that Denver needed a gift shop. They were involved in a lot of fund-raising events, and through doing silent auctions and the like, they realized there was a need for a store that had some traditional lamps and pretty things. In 2003, I bought the store with a girlfriend. We knew it was a wonderful store, and we had a vision to give it some freshness but not change the core values of what the ladies started.”
Keeping with the times
“Trends in the industry are always changing, but we remain traditional. I’ve tried to bring a younger, little bit of fashion-forward feel to the store, keeping up with industry trends without being too modern or too new. What we try to do is to keep updating looks without going to the extreme of the trends. We try to appeal to a younger market, as well as our older, more established market.”
Saying “I do”
“I met a local author the other day; she’s been married for 20-plus years, and she registered at The Lark. The bridal registry has always been an important piece to The Lark. In a big store when you’re registering, you walk in and they hand you a scanner or point you to a computer or give you a list. In here, we help you go through the list. Also, for bridal registries, I don’t know anywhere that you can go and register for some tabletop items, a chair, a really special pillow, and a lamp—we have a lot of porcelain lamps that have been given as wedding gifts over the years. You can buy home accessories as well as tabletop items.”
Melamine tableware: looks like pottery, feels like plastic
What the brides like
“It’s interesting because not everyone knows about Simon Pierce’s hand-blown glass from Vermont, but it fits with so many styles. If you’re traditional or more modern, you can typically find something to go with your taste, and since it’s hand-blown glass rather than crystal, it won’t just sit in your cupboard. We still do very well with the polished aluminum pieces for entertaining too. And the melamine pieces are on almost every bridal registry. You see it more in the marketplace now, but the quality of our manufacturer is just top-notch. People are fooled—they really think it’s pottery from Portugal or France. It’s all about casual and outdoor entertaining, which is what’s really popular right now.”
Light up your life
“If you take a new lamp and put it in a space, you can plug it in and turn it on, and you’ve immediately made a room beautiful. Lighting is so important, and it’s such an easy thing for people to do or change to update a home, or start a home. You can add color or do something neutral, but it’s amazing what a lamp will do. When you have to paint a room, it’s overwhelming, but accessorizing a space can make all the difference.”
The Lark’s ideal customer
“I just love when someone new finds us. We are known, and people frequent us, but it’s so much fun when people discover The Lark. Yesterday, someone said, ‘It’s my first time in, and I have to come back.’ People want to come back! It’s fun to get a new customer that you hopefully can grow with.”
1219 E. Fourth Ave., 303-744-7464, thelarkdenver.com