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Longtime Roaring Fork Valley Luxury Designer Anne Grice Dishes on Ambiance, Creating Space and Mountain Function

Lisa Blake | August 27, 2019 | Home & Real Estate

Anne Grice sits in The Edge, the Snowmass restaurant for which she won an award for her interior design renovation.

Denver couple Anne Grice and her husband were already spending all of their free time in the mountains when they decided, in 1994, to pitch résumés around Aspen and see who bit. She landed a lead interior design spot at CCA Interiors (a former division of Charles Cunniffe Architects). He gladly accepted a teaching job at Colorado Rocky Mountain School.

It didn’t take long for them to call Aspen home. In 1996, she founded Anne Grice Interiors and has spent the last 20-plus years carving an award-winning name for her luxurious, functional residential and commercial design.

Here, Grice shares what it takes to shine in the restaurant design biz. 408 Aspen Business Center

What are the biggest distinctions between designing home versus restaurant space?
A restaurant space not only has to function well for the guests and the staff, but it also needs to comfortably accommodate as many as possible and serve as a marketing tool.

What elements make for successful, welcoming restaurant design?
Durability, great circulation, consideration of sound transmission and something “different.” Restaurants are spaces that provide atmosphere. I go to a restaurant as much for atmosphere as for the food.

How do you create ambiance and pull in mountain function in a way that stands out among Aspen commercial spaces?
Lighting, finishes, color and sound transmission. Something that says Aspen or the mountains can be a great draw, especially in Snowmass Village.

You won the Colorado Award for Remodeling Excellence for your work on The Edge Restaurant and Bar in Snowmass. What went into this project?
We incorporated Aspen tree trunks, which added a fun element to the space. It was important to have a true ‘bar’ with an area for live music during après ski that felt separate from the dining area. We incorporated frosted and textured Plexiglas at the top of the low walls for some privacy without too much separation.

The lighting was carefully planned. Black track lighting disappears into the dark ceiling but provides lighting just where we wanted it. The pendant lighting looks like pierced leather and almost mimics the design on the bark of the tree trunks. We painted the fireplace walls off-white, lined the interior with sheets of mica and added faux candles to get that candlelight effect. The mica reflects the candlelight in subtle ways with golden, slightly iridescent tones.

Forecast for Aspen restaurant design trends?
I love that more restaurants are seeking to be a little different. I like the trend toward more unique spaces and more comfortable spaces.

Photography by: Luca Piazzi