Growing up, Kristin Dittmar was always a creative kid—in elementary school, she designed her own closet and pillows in her stepmother’s workroom. Later on, her experience working in a showroom during college led her to discover her love for textiles and creating furniture, ultimately cementing her desire to enter the professional world of interior design.
Now known in the décor scene for her “modern mountain” aesthetic, the Colorado native—who constantly strives to create designs that are contemporary, comfy, and unique—has a number of successful projects under her belt. After probing the young designer last January about her latest endeavor—which involved conceptualizing the interiors of the four-bedroom suites at The Residences Viceroy Snowmass—we decided to get to know the Aspen belle a little better.
Read on for a more personal Q&A with the stylish mountaineer, who talked to us about her “ski-town chic” style, unveiled the design project she’s most proud of, and divulged how she manages to marry the wants of her clients with her one-of-a-kind aesthetic.
You are one of the few designers who were born and raised in Aspen. How has your hometown influenced your designs?
Living in the mountains has really inspired my design. One of my greatest inspirations is the Aspen tree—I really feel that it has an overwhelming beauty. From its chalky bark to the perfectly shaped green leaves, I’m always trying to incorporate a piece of the special tree—or something that reminds me of it—into my design. One of my favorite examples is when I use a sheer textile and the pattern looks just like Aspen trees.
Define “ski-town chic” and discuss the strategies you use to seamlessly integrate the small town style into larger, more urban areas.
I feel that many mountain towns and their design styles have stopped evolving. Designers can’t seem to get away from the large tree beams, antlers, and taxidermied animal heads. In my projects, I like to lighten up walls, clean up lines, and add different finishes and textures. I’m not against using some of the old traditions, but I like to update them. I’m always using different types of natural products such as petrified wood and hair-on-hide rugs. You can select from so many different styles of hair-on hide rugs that would fit into the chicest Manhattan apartment.
To what extent does your own home reflect the same mountain-chic touch you are known for having?
I love to entertain and my house is the perfect, comfortable environment to have friends over and sit in front of the fireplace. Throughout my home, I have mixed tons of different textures and finishes including fur, wood, and chunky braided wool rugs into one cohesive design. My newest and favorite piece is an old antler mirror I had in storage—I re-painted the horns white to add a little funk. I also feel it’s important to collect art. Whenever I travel I always try to pick up something interesting—it’s a great conversation starter.
Kristin Dittmar Design – The Residences Viceroy Snowmass
Which of your interior design projects are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of a house I recently worked on in Aspen for a family that I have become really close with. I was able to work with the clients from start to finish, which was really great, as it helped the end product standout and flow more. We incorporated so many unique design elements including large hair-on-hide headboards, fur pillows, and textual wallpapers. The clients took my advice and brought some ideas back from their recent trip to Africa that we were able to use in the house. At the end of the day, the project felt like such a success because the clients were incredibly happy, and that’s what makes the job fun and rewarding.
Kristin Dittmar Design – Chateau
How do you ensure that your own aesthetic manages to shine through in your designs, while simultaneously catering to all of your clients’ needs/wants?
Again, this is one of the best parts of design—working with different types of people, learning about them, and mixing their styles with my own aesthetic. I feel that you have to be able to understand your clients and their desires and have fabulous style in order to be a good designer. You may not always see eye-to-eye with clients, but working though differences and having a happy client at the end of a project is always my goal.
If you could design any space in the universe without having to worry about any fathomable limitations such as cost, what would it be?
Oh my, I would like to design so many different spaces—it’s hard to pick just one. If I had to pick one place, however, it would be a small boutique hotel with a restaurant inside. I would get so into detail that each brick would have its own story.