"Taking the mid-century stuff and fixing it up is really big on the coasts," says Heather Mourer, owner of One Home, at 1036 Speer Boulevard. "I think that the furniture and accessories were built better than furniture is now. People took a lot more pride in their craftsmanship. I love finding things that have design integrity -- maybe they're kind of battered -- and then giving them some respect."
Featuring vintage Danish modern pieces as well as original works by designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Warren Platner and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, One Home also showcases other lesser-known objects from the 1950s, '60s and '70s. "I like to have some pieces that you really identify with the mid-century modernists," Mourer says. "But I also love to have no-name pieces that are just beautiful -- great lines. The thing that's really great is, I can do whatever I want to do here, and I can redo it over and over again."
Born and raised in Denver, Mourer lived in New York City and studied interior design at Parsons School of Design before returning to Colorado three years ago. She was inspired to open One Home last winter after discovering that the majority of her friends all owned the same furniture. "I looked around and realized that all of our friends have the same sofa," she says laughing. "You want your home to be unique; you don't want to have the same stuff that everybody else has. I thought it was a niche in the Denver market that needed to be filled. This is the kind of store that I wanted to shop at."
Mourer discovers most of the furniture, like the classic Eames lounge chair or sleek chrome-and-glass dining-room sets, at estate sales; each piece is then completely restored. "I found most of this locally," she says. "I thought I would have to look further, but there is so much here in Denver." She opened the shop in early May in the Golden Triangle, hoping to capitalize on the area's up-and-coming artsy vibe. "I think this neighborhood is becoming really hip," she says. "Some of my clients live in Cherry Hills Village and some live in Five Points, so it's the perfect central location. And I've always loved this building; the big curved windows are really fun."
When she's not out finding furniture, Mourer teaches at the Art Institute of Colorado. Her design students intern in the store, which also offers interior design services. "I display all of the pieces in vignettes to help you visualize a little bit better how it would look in your own space," she says. "I think it brings more life to the furniture."
The store is an art gallery, too, with original local paintings, photographs and sculptures hanging on the walls. "I loved the idea of having an art gallery that has furniture in it," Mourer says. "I like eclectic design, mixing old and new."
One Home holds gallery openings about once a month (the store currently features seven local artists). "All of the people who step through my door are just the coolest people, and the store is the perfect party house, because you have all these little living rooms to sit in," Mourer says. "I want to be an outlet for Denver artists. I think that Denver doesn't really realize how much potential there is here. Maybe we're a little shy about who we are."
But there is nothing bashful about Mourer or One Home's bright rugs, glass and light fixtures. "I'm really having a lot of fun. What I'm doing feels concrete," she says. "I'm making my own little reality in Denver. I think that now is a really good time to be artistic and creative here."