It’s been just five years since Alexandra Gove and her husband, Koen van Renswoude, brought some seriously cozy design vibes to Colorado with the debut of their Vail Valley shop, Hygge Life. But in that time, the boutique has become a mecca for fans of handcrafted ceramics, shearlings, candles, and classic Scandinavian design—and its charming onsite café has become the spot to stop for a coffee and locally made pastry during journeys along I-70. A recent expansion of the showroom coincided with a shift toward more furnishings, lighting, and home-décor items (just try not to sit in the sheep-fleece-upholstered Tired Man lounge chair designed by Danish design legend Flemming Lassen, pictured at top), plus, the long-awaited addition of interior-styling services.
With its serene plaster walls and soft lighting—including constant candlelight, no matter the time of year—the shop feels like an inviting residential space, which is just what Gove had in mind. “We wanted to make it feel like a home,” she says. “A retail store is, in a way, an artist’s vision; a personal curation of products they love. And a lot of times, because we’re all individuals, it comes out as something that’s special and unique.”
We wondered where Gove—who has set the retail bar so high—likes to shop when she’s not sourcing products for her own shelves. So we asked, and she shared the three high-country home-goods boutiques that are her go-tos.
“In this day and age, when we can access shops around the world just by visiting their Instagram feeds, it’s common to see repeats of the same products. What’s special is when you find something really unique and artistic. When you walk into Vintage Magnolia—one of the most popular floral studios in the valley—it’s like eye candy. There are beautiful flowers everywhere, plus a warm, bohemian home décor and gift assortment that’s really fun. Think: lots of pillows and blankets and planters and textures. I love the floral designs, which have a loose, organic style. And the most unexpected detail is that right there in the room is a massive worktable where all the florists are putting together arrangements—nothing is really behind the scenes.” 128 Main St., Unit C-3, Edwards; 970-926-5000
“This eye-catching showroom is a mecca of ‘mountain-modern’ design. Many people are moving away from a more traditional mountain aesthetic, and Collective provides the pieces and resources that can help transition to that fresher—but still warm and inviting—look. The showroom is a gorgeous, large space with beautifully displayed furnishings and accessories for every room in the house. And best of all, there’s a super-talented, full-service design team at the ready to help you put it all together.” 114 Basecamp Way, Frisco; 970-251-7373
R|D Home, Steamboat Springs
“I was so surprised and delighted when I first discovered this shop [affiliated with local design firm Rumor Design + ReDesign] during a stroll along Steamboat’s main street. It’s big and beautiful, with a chic coffee bar and round community table—I think incorporating a spot to just slow down and take in the space is really nice. But what amazed me most was the amount of furniture, lighting, and decor on display. There are so many unique and playful pieces, from sculptural lounge chairs to decorative objects to special upholstery fabrics. Koen and I ended up finding a fun roll of Kelly Wearstler wallpaper, which we hung in our powder room, and we also bought an antique dresser. I love the mix of old with new, which makes it fun to hunt around—and easy to find something to fall in love with.” 912 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat; 970-819-9721
(Read More: Hygge Life Café Is the Coziest Coffee Nook Off I-70)