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Mountain Living Takes on a New Meaning with Margaret Selzer

River + Lime modern mountain interior design firm

Whitney Kamman / CCY Architects / Ulery's Lake Townhome

Margaret Selzer, founder of River and Lime interior design firm, spills the secrets to creating the perfect space for mountain living.

With roots firmly planted in Denver, Colorado, River and Lime couldn’t be in a better spot. The interior design firm, spearheaded by founder and principal designer Margaret Selzer, is known for its stunning spaces that are both a complement to and a reflection of some of the top wilderness destinations in the U.S.—including Telluride, Colorado; Breckenridge, Colorado; and Big Sky, Montana.

When working with clients, Margaret Selzer starts with three key elements: feeling, function and location.

Selzer, who brings more than 15 years of experience to the table, recently sat down with us to discuss designing mountain living-approved spaces fitted for their unparalleled surroundings.

“Our interior design firm’s approach to our work is to complement, not compete, with the natural environment,” she says. “Given this, you’ll see that we’re drawn to organic materials and layering of textures to create warmth and interest. While we let the unique aspects of each project inform our design, we tend to gravitate towards textural and minimal palettes that complement the uncomplicated beauty of the location.”

Specializing in mountain resorts and residences, hospitality and vacation destinations, River and Lime has worked with some of Colorado’s most prominent residential resort development firms, as well as preeminent architecture firms including CCY Architects, 4240 Architecture, East West Partners and Meriwether Companies.

Margaret Seltzer founder of interior design firm River + Lime
River + Lime modern mountain interior design

Whitney Kamman / CCY Architects / Ulery's Lake Townhome

“Through this work, we’re part of large consultant teams that coordinate everything from the technical aspects of a project down to the selection and installation of the furniture, artwork and accessories,” says Selzer. “With our capabilities, we develop an intimate knowledge of a project and can bring our passion from start to finish.”

When working with clients, Margaret Selzer starts with three key elements: feeling, function and location.

She adds, “What feeling are we trying to create? What functions should we take into consideration? What makes the location unique, and how do we respond appropriately to the environment? When those three elements are explored, the story of the design begins to take shape to create a meaningful project.”

Naturally, with the recent rise in remote work, River and Lime has seen an increase in business, thanks to more and more clients heading for the mountains.

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River + Lime interior design firm in Colorado

Kimberly Gavin / Greystone Residence

“If you can work from anywhere, why not the mountain town you love that only seemed like a dream to move to?” says Selzer. “With this, we’re thinking about incorporating workspaces into each project and even creating dedicated ‘Zoom rooms’.”

Connection, she adds, has also been key.

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“I love that through design, we get to connect with our clients in a way that no one else does. We learn about families, routines and hobbies. With this intimate information, we get to create spaces that reflect their unique qualities.”

modern mountain kitchen design by River + Lime

Draper White / CCY Architects / Fir Street Penthouse

“I love that through design, we get to connect with our clients in a way that no one else does. We learn about families, routines and hobbies. With this intimate information, we get to create spaces that reflect their unique qualities.”

Not only has the need for these spaces changed, but so have the trends. Traditional rustic cabins have been replaced with modern chateaux, complete with layered design that is both functional as well as warm and meaningful.

modern mountain bedroom design by River + Lime

Whitney Kamman / CCY Architects / Ulery's Lake Townhome

“The days of embroidered bear pillows are over!” says Selzer. “Mountain architecture and design has evolved to be a reflection of the location—a more harmonious response to the environment and how our clients are interacting with nature.

There are many functional aspects we’re responding to—durability of materials or the process of coming off the mountain and into the home. More than ever, our clients are looking to simplify things. We want to design beautiful spaces that effortlessly support their interaction with the home and the environment.”

MARGARET SELZER’S TOP TIPS FOR MOUNTAIN LIVING
Colorado interior design firm River + Lime

Kimberly Gavin / Greystone Residence

• Layer up textures. Because we tend to gravitate towards neutral palettes, we love layering textural materials to create cozy and inviting spaces.
 
• Explore contrast. I love pairing something really minimal and sleek with an item that’s really organic and raw. For example, in an entryway, hanging a tree root wall sculpture over a Lucite console. I love a dramatic contrast of materials and the way it highlights the beauty of each piece.
 
• It’s always about the view! I can’t think of a project that hasn’t had several swivel chairs. In every space, we’re considering the specific function of the space, like intimate gathering in a living room, but always thinking about how we also accommodate the view.

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