The very hip Mod Livin' in Denver has recently signed on as a retailer of Rapson-Inc. designs. Mod Livin' was started by husband and wife team, Erick & Jill, with the intent to provide the Rocky Mountain area with a resource of modern design. Their selection ranges from things within reach to the college student to the high-end pieces that would appeal to the avid collector. I have such a fun time browsing their website, which sells all the classics and great new pieces by up-and-coming designers. Store Manager, Amanda Lezan, was kind enough to fill out a short Q & A with thoughtful replies that reflect the personable nature of their company. We are absolutely thrilled to be working with them!
1. I see you opened your doors in 2001. Congratulations on over 10 years in the business! What initially drove Erick & Jill to open Mod Livin'?
Jill first started out over 20 years ago entirely because she’s loved furniture and home design for as long as she can remember. The first iteration was with a small shop on the other side of Denver selling vintage exclusively, this seemed like a nice side project and a great excuse for both she & Erick to get out of town regularly on their scouting trips to & fro across the country. They were received amazingly well by Denver and saw the opportunity to parlay the small operation into something bigger. Not a pair to walk away from a good thing (it also helps that they are two of the hardest working people you will ever meet), they began the search for a bigger piece of real estate. Mod Livin’ opened its doors on East Colfax in 2001 with the ‘infant’ version (as Erick likes to call it) of the website first launching in 2002.
2. Mod Livin' has such a wonderful selection of home accessories. How do you keep up with all the new designers? Do you have your eye on anyone new to the scene?
Thank you! It can be tricky (which I realize is a lovely complaint to have). I recently returned from a trip to NYC & Brooklyn with a laundry list of addresses to call on in my pocket; for five days I couldn’t quit smiling. There are some fantastic minds out there adding to the foundation which greats like Ralph Rapson established. I also think there’s been a revival in people calibrating their lives and patterns around modern design, once again we’re embracing that less is more and it’s plain to see that thinking is funneling energy into the design community.
Aside from that, I think we probably do what everyone else does; try to get to both ICFF and the Milan Furniture Show and lurk around online (Design*Sponge, Apartment Therapy, and MoCo Loco are permanently bookmarked).
As for new to the scene, we’re thrilled we get to be a part of the reintroduction of Rapson. It’s a beautiful thing when you can introduce a classic to a new generation.
3. Being surrounded by beautiful objects day in and day out, I imagine it would be tough to pick a favourite, but if you had to pick a favourite designer, who would it be and why?
This question is why my answers are late to you. It is impossible to choose one. Of course everyone at Mod Livin’ loves the legends who initially introduced modern to America in a way that made it entirely accessible, and in a way, friendly. The names we all know, Eero Saarinen, George Nelson, Harry Bertoia, Charles & Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, Russel Wright, and of course Ralph Rapson. I wouldn’t have this job if it weren’t for those names, they’re our Rushmore.
Personally, the last year or so I’ve wanted to buy every piece of Adrianne Pearsall that comes within arm’s length. I love the exaggerated lines. The designs are simultaneously whimsical and elegant.
4. The Rapson Greenbelt line of lounge chairs is a fairly new addition to your inventory. If I may ask a leading question, what is it you like about the collection?
I think Rason Inc’s description of the line summed up my feelings perfectly, “…heirloom quality built with a conscience.” That’s what we’re all after today. We want heirloom pieces and we refuse to turn a blind eye to the materials and the hands that create them.
Amanda, Cinder & the Rapson Rocker
5. Lastly, what do you enjoy most about your career with Mod Livin'?
The amazing people I get to work with. I respect & appreciate everyone here more than I can explain. Being in an environment that revolves around creativity, design, art, & history while constantly learning from people who have seen all of the ins & outs of this industry is absolutely as good as it gets in my book. I learn something (usually several things) every single day.
Caroline Engel for Rapson-Inc.