Urban Oasis

This year's Denver Magazine Designer Showhouse has it all: a gourmet kitchen, gorgeous master suite, generous patios, party-ready lower floor, and (to top it off) a get-away-from-it-all loft.

How We Chose the Art

Mirada Fine Art’s Steve Sonnen helped the designers find the perfect pieces for every room in the house.

Mirada Fine Art
Courtesy Mirada Fine Art

You may feel a strange sense of continuity throughout the rooms of this year’s Designer Showhouse, and not without good reason. Mirada Fine Art in Indian Hills—consistently named one of the top 25 galleries in the nation by the American Art Awards—provided every painting you’ll find in the space, from the basement bar and living area all the way up to the top-floor loft. Gallery owner Steve Sonnen sat down with us to discuss the process of working with so many different designers on the same project, and the excitement of seeing real collective creativity in action.

What drew you to this ambitious project, supplying all the art for the Showhouse?
We work with designers a lot, but we’ve never been on a project with so many different designers all bringing different visions to the space. It’s been fun and challenging. It’s also been a great opportunity for the gallery. Mirada is slightly outside of town—close to Red Rocks—and sometimes when people see that we’re not located downtown it scares them off. For that reason, we thought it would be great to have a little presence inside the city for something like this. With all these different designers looking for different types of art, it gives us a chance to show the breadth of work that we have here.

What excites you about this year’s Showhouse?
The location and the contemporary interior of the home are particularly exciting. Our gallery is housed in an old log trading post—a funky, traditional building. We chose the space because we want to show people how contemporary art can look in different types of places. The Showhouse is another opportunity to do that, but in a much different way.

How did you begin working with the designers?
We walked through the house months ago, when it was still being framed, just to get a sense of the space. As things progressed, we encouraged the designers to come into the gallery to see what they liked. That gave us a general sense of their vision and helped us make recommendations.

What did you enjoy most about the process?
We really enjoyed meeting the designers and seeing how they worked. All of them were so wonderful to collaborate with. They all have their own unique visions, and it was fun to see how they incorporated our art into their themes in various ways. Each room has a distinct look, of course, and it’s fascinating to observe the diversity in the different approaches. It’s a great cross-section of the creative process.

Mirada Fine Art
5490 Parmalee Gulch Rd, Indian Hills