Q&A with Vail’s Elizabeth Basso
With more than 25 years of experience in interior design, Elizabeth Basso, owner of Basso Interiors, brings her clients’ dreams to life. She has inspired her clients with all types of projects, from a one room remodel to new luxury homes over 10,000 square feet. She excels at customizing spaces to the passions and sensibilities of each client, ushering in a warm, colorful and inviting feel — not just through design, but also through her personality.
What made you start Basso Interiors?
I have always been self-driven and entrepreneurial. I started my own business when I was also ready to start a family. I figured working from home, I could do both. Although challenging, it was also very rewarding to see my two children grow from the start. Luckily, my husband is also self-employed, working from home, so we were both able to enjoy their early years together.
What’s the essence of your design philosophy?
I have a strong passion for color and pushing the envelope. Moving to the Colorado mountains from Pittsburgh, I was bred in strong traditional design but always loved to mix it up and introduce eclectic elements to my projects. I strive for a space to feel like we’ve been adding to it for years — that it’s not brand new.
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Where do you get your inspiration?
Travel inspires me the most. We have family and history in Italy, so when we visit, I am always taking in the architecture and landscape, as well as design sense. I love how the Italians live and value all aspects of daily life, and how they celebrate art and beauty.
How do you work with clients to ensure you meet their expectations?
It is such a personal business we are in. I tend to work as closely as a client wants to. It is very rare to have clients that do not want to have a hand in designing or remodeling their homes.
How do artistic vision and functionality/comfort merge in your projects?
Living in the mountains, life does need to be comfortable. I tend to work with a lot of local workrooms to make custom furnishings and tend to use a lot of fabrics rated for heavy use. The indoor/outdoor fabric industry has come a long way to provide extremely cozy fabrics for our way of living. I never feel we have to sacrifice style for comfort.
What’s your favorite personal style?
For my home, it’s eclectic and colorful with a sense of ease. And I love books. It’s an addiction. Like most designers: pillows and books!
What was one of your most challenging projects?
I once worked on a 1,400-square-foot condo in Vail Village that would be used by a family of seven, with five growing boys. The most challenging projects are usually the most fun and rewarding. Those clients loved that location, and now, 15 years later, have growing grandchildren, so we are working on our next venture together.
What are some things people don’t realize, in terms of interior design, that you bring to their attention?
A lot of times, designers will catch elements of a new build that needs to be addressed before they start building. Design is a process, and the reason we love what we do is because we love the process. Design evolves over time spent listening to clients’ needs. It’s great to bring a lifetime of industry knowledge to the table and create unique spaces for comfortable and stylish living.