Creating Unique Spaces

For most, painting a home involves a can of paint, a brush and something to cover up what you don’t want to get covered with errant drips of paint. For me, it involves a whole lot more.

I have painted many four-walled rooms in one color, with clean lines and every drip of paint caught by a drop cloth. But, what I most enjoy about my profession is when I am painting anything other than a four-walled room. Specializing in the luxury market, I have the opportunity to create unique spaces in a variety of settings from interior and exterior, residential to commercial.

Aside from getting dialed in on exactly what the customer wants, the biggest challenge is remodel projects. Working with dissimilar materials or a portion of a whole, merging old with new, is a craft in itself. Painting is easy; it’s the matching and melding that require patience and skill.

The greatest reward is the people I meet. As you can imagine, creating a Tuscan finish, perfecting high gloss panels or applying an epoxy treatment to an outdoor hockey rink introduces me to some of the most interesting people in Colorado.

Many projects today look for painted woodwork versus the past trend of stained wood. Smooth finishes, and clean, light colors are also a common thread in today’s design. What never goes out of fashion? Good breaks and clean tape lines.

Matt Poskochil
Fine Line Painting

Bringing Tile to the Architecture & Design Community

My first job out of college was in sales for a phone and data systems provider. Since then, I have made sales my professional track, but have changed industries to one much more colorful and creative than data technology.

I was recruited away from my first sales position by family business man Jerry Hall. He liked my sales presentation when I sold him data equipment for his Indianapolis business, Custom Floors. We worked together for four years and in that time, more than doubled the company’s revenue by selling and installing tile, hardwood, carpet and vinyl flooring. I learned about working with builders, estimating for plans, site measurements, ordering materials and scheduling appropriately for new home building.

After moving to Colorado in 2008, it was a natural progression to start working at ANN SACKS, and since March of this year, Bedrosians. The transition from working with residential homeowners to high end, luxury custom projects was a challenge, in a good way. All the skills I had developed working directly with vendors, home builders and home owners parlayed into creating a substantial book of architecture and design (A & D) business at ANN SACKS.

Having the opportunity to learn about and then help create the vision of the A & D community has been an aspect of selling I hadn’t anticipated, and I really enjoy it. Continuing those relationships in my new role as regional manager for Bedrosians, a family-owned business celebrating its 70th year, I look forward to bringing the A & D community along with me on this journey.

Travis Daugherty

The Design of an Architectural Design

Sitting at a drafting board with a sharp pencil and T-square in hand may be what most people envision when picturing a new home being drawn up by an architect. Whereas this may be true for a portion of the process, it is but one stage in architectural design.

When starting on a new architectural project, there are five phases. Understanding these phases will help you have a better experience when you engage with an architect to design your custom space.

Schematic Design: This phase will take anywhere from two to four weeks, requiring a predetermined number of meetings between you and your architect. During this time, you will create a list of project objectives, and discuss size and budget considerations. The architect will work with you on initial development of the concept, design and style, resulting in a hand drawn site plan, floor plans and elevations.

Design Development: The project will be further refined with more detailed drawings that incorporate any changes from the schematic design phase. At the end of four or so weeks and a few more meetings with your architect, you will have an interactive computer-generated 3D model of the project.  At this point, computerized floor plans, elevations and sections of the building are generated.  At the end of this phase the design is considered final, yet still flexible.

Construction Documents: There shouldn’t be a need for any more meetings, but in the three to six weeks of this phase, complete computerized documentation of the final design will be provided, including interior architectural details such as ceiling treatments and millwork to be included. This is also when construction documents will be issued for permit submittal, general contractor pricing and construction of the project.

Permit Submittal & Contractor Negotiation: During the six to eight-week period that permits are under review at the Building Department, the architect will provide the owner with support and guidance in negotiating with a general contractor, from a competitive bid to deciding upon a general contractor. The architect will also work with the selected general contractor on procuring the required building permits and approvals from the Building Department.

Construction Administration: The architectural design comes to life during this phase, with the architect visiting the site during construction to ensure follow through of design intent and compliance with construction documents.

And, voila! Your new home, office space or other built structure is complete!

Steven Vujeva, RA, NCARB
Mandil Inc.

Polo Club Residence


Working on this project is one of the many times I have truly felt the effects of working closely with others at the top of their craft to create something magnificent. As I said in a feature about this Polo Club home in Colorado Homes & Lifestyles magazine, “The goal was to make it look like it was the first house on the street, and we all worked together and created a sort of guild. We became a true collaborative force, and because the homeowners were so open to our ideas, we were able to create an exceptional piece of architecture.”

Built from the ground up with architect Don Ruggles, AIA, NCARB, ICAA, founder and president of Ruggles Mabe Studio, this home embodies the 1920s era – the time when Denver’s Polo Club neighborhood began to develop. Alongside Jeremy Larson, Troy Shimp, Ann Wolf and Ed Taylor, we worked nearly three years to create this authentic, timeless home. Keep reading to learn more about this project from Troy, Jeremy, Ann and Ed’s unique perspectives.

Eric Mandil, AIA, NCARB, ICAA, Mandil Inc.
interior designer on residence


Troy Shimp, Lifescape Colorado
landscape architecture

What is your favorite part about this project?

My favorite part about this project was the opportunity to work with such a creative and collaborative team that was allowed a long leash due to the open mindedness of the client. They had complete trust in the team they had tasked with creating their home, which I think was a rare opportunity for all involved.

What challenged you most with this project?

The most challenging piece of this project from my perspective was dealing with the existing spruce trees along the north end of the property. The trees had to be retained, however a new driveway was also necessary in the area. The challenge was finding a way to not only to save the trees, but still allow for a driveway that cars would be able to maneuver through. We devised a system that not only allows for water to drain, but also allows for water to get to the remaining root systems of the spruce trees below the driveway.

Who has had the most influence on your career?

There are many who have influenced my career. Pouring over gardening and design books over the past 25 years has certainly helped shape my style and approach. My college professors and old landscape architecture history books, and many industry professionals that I have had the fortune of working with over the years have all had a lasting impression in how I think through a garden, reminding me to design for today as well as far into the future. However, if I had to pick one of my favorite local inspirations it would be Colorado landscape designer Lauren Springer Odgen. As a teenager I watched her transform the landscape in my hometown of Windsor. It was the first time I had been exposed to her style of landscaping and it amazed me. To this day, I still find pieces of her influence in many of the gardens I design.

Jeremy Larson, Montare Builders
custom home builder

What is your favorite part about this project?

Working with the entire team and the subcontractors to create a truly timeless home that will last in Denver for many centuries.

 What challenged you most with this project?

The 2,700 individually hand carved pieces of Mexican travertine and the hours of shop drawings needed to review each piece. In the end, only six came out flawed due to fabrication issues.

 Who has had the most influence on your career?

My father, Rick Larson, who is by far the best builder in Colorado.

Ann Wolff, Ann Wolff Glass Design
custom leaded glass highlights and windows

What is your favorite part about this project?

My favorite part of the project was researching the glass. I really enjoyed making the tall cabinet doors out of exquisite, imported, hand blown German restoration glass, which is made to imitate older wavy glass. It elegantly softens the clear look.

 What challenged you most with this project?

The biggest challenge is always correctly and aesthetically interpreting the needs of the design team.

 Who has had the most influence on your career?

The biggest influence on my career was the Austrian master craftsman, Michael Ohnmacht, who trained me. I also worked for a German-owned studio on Long Island with master craftsman Helmut Schardt.

Ed Taylor, Taylored Iron
exterior fence, window well covers and interior rails

What is your favorite part about this project?

Working on the exterior fence.

 What challenged you most with this project?

While working on the exterior fence, it was challenging to keep it on the property line, while also working around several trees we wanted to keep in place.

Who has had the most influence on your career?

My brother-in-law, Ray, who is my mentor.



The Evolution of Iron Work Spanning Old World to Modern Day

When I first began in the iron working business 17 years ago, everything was hammered or had a very traditional Old World feel (heavy, large pieces). From there, iron work moved into styles evoking Tuscany (a lot of scrolls) and then Cape Cod (smooth, uniform designs).

Today, modern design has taken over, which is something I really enjoy because it often means there’s more metal involved and more architectural elements. From total steel staircases to glass shelving systems suspended in metal casing, the demand for handcrafted metal work is at a high point.

This change in trends has pushed my craft into new designs and different methods of doing my work. As we have progressed into the modern look, we’ve had to improve our techniques, as well as develop new ways to hide, or grind, the welds to produce a more polished look. Back when the style was more traditional, an “unfinished” look that may show the welded joints was welcome, if not highlighted.

Along with the shift to more modern designs, there has also been a greater interest in creating metal architectural items for the outside of a home. Metal fans, trellises, chimney caps…this is a completely new area of design, especially over the last four or five years. With these outdoor products, there is new interest in Corten steel, which has a natural rust patina that develops after several years of exposure to weather.

Another trend that more and more people are asking for is to have a patina or blackened steel finish, whereas it used to be more of a powder coat. These newer finishes are done by hand, as opposed to the powder coat that is mechanically applied.

The evolution of iron work has kept the work challenging, interesting and it continues to be my passion. I look forward to what the next iteration of hand crafted iron work will be.

Ed Taylor

The Taylored Iron


“Defining Design” Fundraiser, May 10

Please join us for the third annual “Defining Design” event at The Brass Bed in Cherry Creek. It’s a special evening, featuring bedding ensembles meticulously composed by several of the Rocky Mountain region’s top interior designers, including Guild member, Sean Hughes, senior interior designer at Mandil Inc.

From hundreds of options down to the last exquisite detail, Sean has crafted a gorgeous vision of slumber, expressing his own trademark approach to living a beautiful life.

During the three-hour event, The Brass Bed is extending a 20 percent discount on all sales. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. The foundation is at the forefront of research, medical care, education and advocacy dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome. They are committed to helping people with down syndrome realize their fullest potential and lead healthy, productive lives. To learn more, please visit

Hors d’oeuvres, a selection of fine wines and local micro-brew beers will be served.

Date: Thursday, May 10, 2018
Time: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Place: 3113 East Third Ave, Denver, CO 80206

Please email your RSVP to

Going Back to the Source

I’m honored to be part of the Elati Design Guild and as a photographer, I get to fully appreciate the end result of all the hard work the builders, craftsmen and design team put into a project. I recently had an experience seeing the opposite end of the process I want to share.

This past March, my girlfriend and I went to Breckenridge and stumbled upon the Breckenridge Sawmill Museum. It was a beautiful snowy day and a great context to take photos.

“The historic homes, stores, and mines still standing in Breckenridge today could not have existed without the sawmills that processed trees cleared from local hillsides. One of our newest attractions, the sawmill museum offers a self-guided tour of the equipment used by the frontiersmen to cut and prepare timbers for construction.”

It made me think about the Guild – the start of a chain of workers and craftsmen who built historic mountain towns like Breckenridge. I also felt an appreciation of the conditions these frontiersmen must have worked in during the cold winter months.

I hope you enjoyed viewing this intriguing museum through my camera lens. Next time you’re in Breck, have a look in person!

David Lauer

David Lauer Photography

More Than a Window

A touch of color here.

A modern tone there.

And, hand crafted beauty everywhere.

For nearly 50 years, Ann Wolff has worked to meet the needs of the architect, the designer and the homeowner while operating her custom leaded glass studio in Denver. “It is important to bring forth good design in multiple forms and applications,” said Ann. “Bringing that about requires the interaction between all parties involved and a thorough knowledge of the many glasses and techniques available in making a successful leaded glass window.”

Ann Wolff

Ann Wolff Glass Design

Old Design Is a Must for New Design

Today’s home design conjures many images – modern, traditional, sleek, shabby chic and on and on. Old, however, is generally not one of those images, but it should be.

Antiques – the old – add warmth and history to a home. Just as you carry treasured items from one home to another, it is the same inclination to include a mixture of old and new when completing your living space. Interiors with historic character, be it from a Louis XIV armchair or a Tiffany glass table lamp, act as a balancing counterpoint to streamlined contemporary objects.

Now, imagine a French Rococo revival gilt bronze chandelier or an Indian painted stone figure available at the tip of your fingertips. It could not be any easier to finish or revitalize your home with a bit of the old.

My lifelong passion that started in high school and eventually transformed into Eron Johnson Antiques in Denver six years ago is transforming yet again, taking all that is old into the digital age. We’ve closed our grand showroom and are in the process of building out a smaller space, next door to our original location, that will offer a more select and curated collection. While we obviously place value on old, we are not so deeply rooted in it as to not move forward with technology.

Our entire collection is available in our online catalog. And, because we will be housing so much less in our new space, we are holding an on-site auction with more than 2,000 antique furniture and architectural pieces on April 21st and 22nd. You can attend in person at our old showroom (389 S. Lipan) or bid online at LiveAuctioneers.
We hope to see you at our grand re-opening this June at 377 S. Lipan Street or visit us online!

Eron Johnson, Eron Johnson Antiques

Cherry Hills Residence


Beautiful architecture made a stunning backdrop for this Cherry Hills home featured in Luxe magazine. Creating a grand entrance, the front door is encased in limestone to make it more proportionate with the rest of the house. Limestone adds detail to the home’s multiple fireplaces as well. Each room is filled with subtle details enhanced by pops of color, with the family room as the centerpiece of the home offering views to the pool and mountains beyond. Maintaining the contemporary corner floor-to-ceiling window element, this feature was accentuated by adding classic lacquered paneling to the room with a banded tone-on-tone color palette. The custom stair railing is contemporary, yet timeless, adding an element of surprise to the foyer.

Eric Mandil, AIA, NCARB, ICAA, Mandil Inc.
remodel architect and interior designer on residence


Travis Daugherty, Bedrosians (formerly with Ann Sacks)
master bath vanity wall

What is your favorite part about this project?
I really enjoyed working with Sean Hughes on this project, as his design ability and creativity are unmatched in the design community. Working with him to make the marble stone selections and finish was important to make sure it coordinated with the defined color palette within this space. We selected Ann Sacks’ Beau Monde Raku Flower custom tile. The flowers are water jet cut White Thassos and Nero Marquina marble.

What challenged you most with this project?
This particular mosaic is custom-made-to-order.  Communication with contractors, tile sub-contractors and the entire design team was important to make sure the material is ordered and delivered within the timeframe allotted for the project.

Who has had the most influence on your career?
My clients!  I have been lucky enough to collaborate with some of the most talented architects and interior designers in the industry. It is their creativity and vision that keep me inspired, and their confidence in my abilities and the products I represent that have made me successful in my career.

Matt Poskochil, Fine Line Painting
family room wall panels

What is your favorite part about this project?
The team of craftsman we worked with to make this house a home.

What challenged you most with this project?
Making the lacquered paneling in the family room look like glass was challenging. Putting a high gloss finish on wood-covered walls and making the panels look like the top of a grand piano made it a very time intensive effort. It also required a lot of Bondo!

 Who has had the most influence on your career?
My family.

Ed Taylor, Taylored Iron
metal/glass kitchen cabinet

What is your favorite part about this project?
We created a hanging metal and glass cabinet that is installed over the kitchen sink. It was designed by Mandil Inc., and is very unique.

 What challenged you most with this project?
Marrying the glass and metal, while staying true to the design.

 Who has had the most influence on your career?
My brother-in-law “Ray” who was my mentor in both welding and thinking outside of the box when solving problems.

Eron Johnson, Eron Johnson Antiques
antique garden decorative objects

What is your favorite part about this project?
I enjoy working with designers who have the vision to restore and work with antique objects, and incorporate them into a modern home.

 What challenged you most with this project?
It can be a challenge to work with architectural objects over 100 years old and install them to fit into a modern home. I think the results are worth it though. These designers did a wonderful job creating a working wall fountain with a 19th century limestone, elephant head fountain basin that I found India. A pair of large scale, 19th century American garden cast iron urns were beautifully refinished and now flank the front entrance gate of this home. These originally came from a now demolished Victorian mansion here in Denver.

 Who has had the most influence on your career?
With the encouragement of my art teacher, my career buying and selling antiques started back in high school. At that time, many old houses and buildings were being torn down in Denver, so I started to try and save some of the 19th century, architectural fragments and stained glass before they were demolished. My high school teacher encouraged me to learn more about stained glass and architecture, which started a lifelong love and career of collecting antiques and restoring old buildings.