A husband-and-wife team is hoping to put Denver more on the map when it comes to furniture design.
After a decade of custom-making furniture for residential and commercial spaces around Denver, Donnie Criswell and his wife Lindsey this year founded Denver Modern, a furniture brand inspired by the Mile High City.
The couple saw a gap in the market for a “strong, local furniture company,” Donnie said, and wanted to shift to a more scalable approach to furniture design than his previous custom pieces.
“We take seriously representing Denver in design and furniture,” Lindsey said. “Other cities are notable for culture and style, and we’re trying to emulate a Denver-inspired aesthetic in our furniture.”
Lindsey said the company’s name was inspired by the city’s evolving culture.
“There’s a much more cosmopolitan nature to Denver that the outside world may not recognize,” Lindsey said. “That’s why we named it Denver Modern.”
Donnie added that Colorado as a whole also plays a large part in the company’s ethos and style.
“When we looked at the things that inspired us, a few things stood out that really aligned with living in Colorado: strength, durability and authenticity,” he said. “The beauty around here is incredibly inspiring. We can leave the city and drive into the mountains to get inspiration.”
Donnie designed the company’s inaugural collection in collaboration with Joel Edmondson, a Denver-based furniture designer. The collection ranges in price from $400 for a firewood holder to $5,000 for a dining room table, and is sold through the company’s website.
The couple also is leasing a pop-up space at Modern Nomad, a home design collective in RiNo. Early next year, Denver Modern will open a 3,000-square-foot showroom at 3857 N. Steel St. in Clayton, part of a site for which developers Ken Wolf and Ari Stutz recently assembled the final pieces.
“The location is currently very industrial, which makes it really cool,” Donnie said. “The building has traditionally been used for light manufacturing, so it has a wide-open floor plan and 20-foot-tall ceilings with concrete floors and brick walls. The space will go great with our furniture.”
While customizable furniture is the “heart of what we do,” Donnie said he and Lindsey hope to determine the brand’s staples and keep those products in stock at more affordable prices. The couple teamed up with local suppliers to produce the company’s initial collection, but they plan to eventually source their products abroad to keep prices low.
“We didn’t start the business to be too expensive for the mass markets,” Donnie said. “Price point is an obvious challenge in the industry, especially as more competition pops up. We work every day to keep our quality standards aligned with a price point people can afford to pay.”