2020 Project Of The Year: Shift Workspaces Littleton
As this roller coaster ride of a year comes to an end, we’re reflecting on one of the high points for the Clutch Design Studio team.
In July, we unveiled the third location of Shift Workspaces, a Denver-born leader in hospitality-driven collaborative workspaces. Situated on Main Street in Littleton—just 20 minutes south of downtown Denver—the newest location features a thoughtful curation of contemporary furniture and art, as well as materials that pay homage to the town’s agricultural roots. Designed to think outside the minimalist box and neutral color palette so often found in coworking spaces, Shift Littleton lives up to the company’s maximalist design mantra of “unapologetically edgy yet luxurious and inviting.”
“We were interested in the idea of discovery, letting the space unfold and reveal itself to the guest the more they use it,” Kristen Tonsager, Clutch’s head of interior design, noted in a recent article for the Colorado Real Estate Journal.
Tonsager worked with a host of top-tier brands to bring the eclectic vision to life. Here, we highlight a few of the vendors whose furnishings, decor, lighting and expert installation made this knockout project such a bright spot during an ominous year.
This Scottish collection includes commanding wallcoverings, fabrics and rugs in a cornucopia of hues and patterns. Clutch used four different wallpapers from Timorous Beasties, including the Totem Damask and Thistle patterns, throughout Shift to create vibrant vignettes.
“Both Totem Damask and Thistle lend a sense of movement to a place,” says Steven Richardson, showroom manager at Timorous Beasties. “The irony is that we’ve taken a lot of disorder—a habit of ours!—and, through pattern and repetition, created something calmer and more rhythmic.”
Tonsager was captivated by this forward-thinking approach: “What drew me to the TB wallcoverings was their classic textile-pattern aesthetic turned on edge with bold color combinations that feel very sophisticated and luxurious. And I love that they hand-print their wallcoverings and textiles; it feels very personal and rich.”
Moooi (via Studio Como)
How do you make a statement while simultaneously providing function? “Two words: Horse Lamp,” Tonsager says of the life-size equine floor lamp dreamed up by the Dutch design company Moooi (pronounced “moy”; the Dutch word for beautiful.) “With this drive to create unexpected environments and moments within the space, the Horse Lamp was begging to be used. Sure, one might expect it in the main lounge area, but did anyone expect it in the library? It was a wonderful piece to use in a way that really created a buzz in the community.”
The Smoke armchairs in the entry area and the Hana armchair in the coworking lounge are also from Moooi and provide intriguing shapes and a sense of moodiness to the overall design concept. Each piece was selected with the help of Studio Como, a local showroom that carries the Moooi collection.
“We love Moooi because their designs are so unique and memorable. In every environment, they leave a lasting impression of whimsy and creativity,” says Studio Como owner Brad Fentress.
Holtz Custom and Rare Finds
To give Shift Workspaces a sense of place, we scoured antique shops and searched for elements to acknowledge Littleton’s agricultural past. Enter: Holtz Custom and Rare Finds Warehouse, two local companies that specialize in custom millwork and secondhand furnishings, respectively.
Tonsager incorporated a bevy of unique items from Rare Finds’ Denver warehouse, including the perfect old farm tools to display in Shift’s second-floor lounge and library; giant wrenches that became the conference room door handles; weathered, ornate cast-iron bases with white-marble tops for the entry and third-floor lounge seating areas; and an antique tractor carcass for the island in the member break room.
Holtz Custom was integral in making these industrial items become functional. They welded the attachments for the wrenches so they could become door handles; they cleaned up and reworked the tractor carcass and attached the stone top so it could become the rolling island we imagined; and they provided all of the metal signage in a custom paint finish for each office, to boot. “No task was too small for us to reach out to Holtz and they were as intrigued as we were at giving these old industrial items a place to contrast the luxury of the new,” Tonsager says.
Bloom and Flourish
No work or home space is complete without greenery, so we collaborated with the top-notch talent at Bloom and Flourish, a Littleton–based plant designer. We were looking for plants with a modern aesthetic that matched the furnishings and art throughout Shift. “Rebecca [Blake, of Bloom & Flourish] was a joy to work with and the ideas she brought to the table were invaluable to the success of the project from inside to out,” Tonsager says.
Blake chose a mix of Philodendron, Fiddle Leaf Fig, Bird of Paradise, and what she calls the “Dr. Seuss-like” Dracaena Compacta to play off some of the quirky design elements.
“What made the plant design process so interesting is that Shift is made up of many small vignettes and each nook and cranny has its own character,” Blake says. “When designing a grouping of plants in a vignette, I try to mix up leaf texture, size and color to add interest, and we added further dimension with planters. For example, hardy Cast Iron plants were placed in wheeled rectangular planters that can be moved as the space evolves and delineate low lounge space from the counter height coworking tables. Currently, the planters create barriers for social distancing purposes while also visually breaking up the room.”
Securing the perfect slab of a natural material like marble is tricky business. Thankfully, our friends at Stone Source were up for the challenge of locating the perfect lot of Calacatta Viola marble for Shift’s third-floor bar area. “I first saw the marble in The Siren Hotel project and instantly fell in love with it,” Tonsager says. “We worked closely with Stone Source to keep our finger on the pulse of availability of the stone, and unfortunately one lot did slip through our fingers! Luckily the new lot that followed couldn’t have been more perfect.” Sourced from one of Italy’s oldest quarries, the Calacatta Viola is striking, luxurious, and has the right balance of white, red and burgundy hues.
“A great design requires impeccable execution, and without the master craftsmen at Performance, our design vision may have never left the page,” Tonsager says. Northglenn’s Performance Woodworking installed every timber, cut every wood slat to fit the perfect angle, precisely fit each piece of steel, and built beautiful custom cabinetry for Shift Workspaces Littleton. Our complicated vision was carried out without compromise, and the Performance team was up for any and every challenge thrown their way.
Explore the full Shift Workspaces project on our portfolio.