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Photography by Adam Larkey

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Colorado Couple Transforms Fisherman's Cabin into Whimsical Oasis

The design combines functionality with ski town fun

Pam and Richard Rosenfeld's cabin may be just minutes from downtown Basalt, Colorado, but it seems miles away. Maybe it's the towering trees or the sound of the Frying Pan River, but the former fishing cabin is a quiet retreat from the bustle of Aspen's Roaring Fork Valley. And that's just how the Rosenfelds (and their pet, Lil' Kitty) like it. But while the couple love the home's mountain location, that doesn't mean they've opted for taxidermy and cliched alpine design. Instead, the Rosenfeld home is full of unique and playful pieces that speak to who they are: a travel-hungry, outdoorsy couple who thrive on fun, practical design.

When Richard Rosenfeld — the founder of the Basalt-based organic tea company Two Leaves and a Bud — bought the cabin 15 years ago, its scenic location was the selling point for the property's otherwise dysfunctional design. Although Rosenfeld didn't change the the home's footprint, everything else has been overhauled, including moving the staircase, redesigning the layout, and even changing the cabin's entryway.

The result is a free-flowing 2-bedroom, 2-bath home that measures around 1,700 square feet. The main floor houses one of the bedrooms and a bathroom, while a lofted area encompasses a master suite and sitting room. As to their design aesthetic, the Rosenfelds don't abide by one type of design, instead preferring to blend a mix of modern and antique pieces collected from their extensive travels.

The couple boasts an impressive list of antiques passed down from family members, ranging from the purses displayed in the master bedroom to a rum bottle lamp currently living downstairs. And while they lean towards a midcentury look, "Not everything has to be so matchy-matchy, or so designed" Pam comments. "We're not afraid to be amused by our furniture or fabric choices."

And there's amusement aplenty. As an interior designer, Pam is no stranger to top-notch pieces, like the unique sofa she found in Beaufort, North Carolina. But a desire to keep things bright and whimsical meant that when Pam finally managed to get the piece reupholstered after the sofa's long trek across the country, she opted for a bold, colorful tulip pattern.

Other highlights in the home include an intricate bird chandelier the couple originally saw in London at the Conran Shop.

Made in France by Mathieu Challières, the hand-crafted chandelier weaves copper wire and hand-dyed birds into an elegant statement piece.

Nearby in the living room, a set of Russian nesting dolls show political leaders like Vladimir Putin (dressed in a crocheted hat). And in the hallway, a gorgeous "map dress" designed by Elisabeth Lecourt was custom made for the couple out of Colorado maps.

Whether they are in Italy or elsewhere, the Rosenfelds stumble across unique, whimsical pieces and "just have to have them." The mud room, for example, pays homage to their Mexico marriage location with rustic wooden sculptures, Mexican tin art, and dioramas.

While the Rosenfelds insist that "you need fun things in your house," they don't sacrifice livability for design. The main floor contains heated cement floors, allowing for easy clean up and a place to dry out wet clothes. The mud room is full of jackets, like any good ski town local, and you'll often find ski boots hanging out on the floor. Like almost everyone in ski country, Richard and Pam "ski, bike, hike...and just love to live in the mountains. But we need a place to come back to and drop all the gear." Fortunately, from they've created a "sweet spot" of functionality and fun in this "quiet oasis" by the river.