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Distinctive in Denver: With Designer Jeffrey P. Elliott
Walking into a space designed by Jeff Elliott is like viewing an exceptional piece of art for the first time. It is beautiful. It is captivating and inspiring. His medium of choice communicates an emotional awareness beyond what decoratively meets the eye.
Jeff is a true artist. Whether he’s designing a sexy, color-infused dining and lounge experience or a neutral and calming residential retreat, he will approach it with fresh and unexpected creativity that is seamlessly executed with an eye toward simplicity and detail.
For more than a decade, Jeff has built a reputation as one of Denver’s most talented residential and commercial interior designers. His work has won the acclaim of clients and peers, as well as consistent coverage and honors at the local and national level.
Join us, as we learn more about his intriguing career and his approach to creating distinctive interiors.
Jeffrey P. Elliott, Jeffery P. Elliott Interior Design
C: We are infatuated with your work. It’s bold. It’s modern. It’s fearless and original — almost as if a world-renowned artist has landed in Denver. Are you originally from the area?
JE: Wow, thank you. Yes, I grew up South Pueblo but have been here most of my adult life. Since 1989, in fact.
C: Your bio says you have an extensive background in the history of furniture. Tell us about that.
JE: Well, it dates back to my childhood, really. My dad owned a sign and monument company. I used to tag along with him into these buildings that were filled with all kinds of old things — furniture, Art Deco-era signs, piles of junk…I loved all of it. But I was always fascinated with antiques. This stuck with me into my teen years, where it spawned into looking at design magazines. I found myself particularly fond of Biedermeier style furniture. So I studied furniture and furniture history at the Institute of Denver which, luckily, was a FIDER-accredited design school, and started my early career as an antique curator.
C: The clean and simple lines of Biedermeier definitely speak to your streamlined style. Tell us about starting your firm, Jeffery P. Elliott Interior Design.
JE: It all started when I got my first big job in the mid-90’s with a co-worker who was opening a restaurant. The project was a great success, and it led to a lot of other small restaurant interiors. And as you know, it takes time to establish yourself in the industry. For me, the timing was right and after about 5 years, I opened my business.
C: You work with our local showroom in Denver. Tell us about your experience with Carlisle.
JE: My first introduction to the product was in 2009. I was in search of a luxury dark Pine wood floor for a residential client. We went with a prefinished wide plank with a mild sheen. Compared to the competition, the pricing was great and the product superior. I am attracted to the use of American wood, the unlimited options of customization and, in recent years, the engineered floors. Everyone needs an engineered floor. Needless to say, it’s been on the top of my list of showrooms ever since.
C: There are two elements that are striking in each of your projects: your use of color and light. You must have a school of thought on both.
JE: Both have a profound effect on the overall aesthetic. When it comes to color, the client really determines what appeals to them and how much should be incorporated into the space. Some of my projects, like my high-end lounges or restaurants, are saturated with color. Others might feel more earthy or organic, with pops of color used throughout.
The final product is my interpretation of their vision. And as I’m growing and learning more, it’s ultimately the relationship of color and how it works with other colors to convey a feeling within the space.
And as for lighting, it is paramount that it be done right. To do this, there are many things to consider. But for me, most importantly is to envision how the room would look with nothing in it but light. I look at it like the foundation of my design. I carefully determine how much light and what type is needed to create a mood. And I work with every type and style of lighting out there: recessed, decorative, glamorous, theatrical, and even vintage. It’s not uncommon for me to refurbish mid-century fixtures if I’m going for a historical vibe.
C: It looks like you work equally on residential and commercial projects, each unique but offering that signature clean yet artful Jeff vibe. Would you agree?
JE: Thank you, and yes — that was the case up until about four years ago. I’d say it’s about 80/20 now, heavier on the residential side, mostly due to the fact that I can be more selective with my work. Early on, I was heavily focused on restaurant design. Now my commercial projects have shifted toward lobbies and offices.
C: We can’t help but notice that you stay away from trends. What if a client came to you with 500 pictures pinned from Pottery Barn and RH?
JE: Oh, this is so prevalent. It happens all the time. I take it all in, and analyze the core of what’s common or find the originator of that trend and go with that.
C: Would you say you work differently with your clients in today’s day and age of accessible design online?
JE: Absolutely. Fifteen years ago, all they had were magazines and I played a large role in introducing them to design trends and ideas. Now, they literally have designed their project before we meet. So my job now is to partner with and guide them through the process.
C: What are your clients asking for right now that might be a change from a few years ago?
JE: Patterns on everything. Wallpaper. Wood paneling on walls. As markets change and budgets are bigger, my clients want the next level of design. So the trend is to upgrade every surface in the home for a more luxurious experience.
C: If someone wants to pull off a sleek modern mountain design, what type of Carlisle floor would you specify?
JE: (Without hesitation) I would go one of two ways: either an all dark-black Oak plank with a high sheen, or a taupy Oak with a low sheen. The sheen will make or break the look, so that’s very important. The black option would be beautiful for a more polished and formal design, and the taupe would be perfect for a casual space.
C: Oooooh, we love the thought of both! We have one more question. You’ve mastered the art of just about every space imaginable. What type of project is on your wish list?
JE: I would be drawn to take on a real challenge. Like a retail clothing store would be new for me. I’m intrigued by the idea of merchandising, aesthetics, and what attracts the clientele.
C: Jeff, there is not a doubt in our mind that you could pull off an incredible retail environment. As you know, we’ve made floors for retail spaces across the country, and will surely be ready to craft the perfect plank for the job when you do. Thank you for your time.
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