Robert Singer & Associates: Morningstar Residence, Aspen


Nestled in a valley, the warm incandescent quality of this luxurious yet rustic home in Aspen, Colo., shines through the large windows overlooking the river. The design goal for this mountain residence was to combine traditional architecture with modern lines and rustic finishes to create a stunning home that complements the surrounding environment.

Robert Singer & Associates Morningstar Residence
Recessed downlights were specified for this SOURCE Award-winning mountain retreat to avoid impeding the view provided by Mother Nature.

Eaton’s Cooper SOURCE Award-winning lighting designer Robert Singer, of the eponymous design firm in nearby Basalt, knew just how he and his associates were going to illuminate the project. They specified minimal exterior lighting with shielded fixtures to ensure low visual impact on the outdoor environment and the night sky. Mounting unobtrusive fixtures to the exposed structure under the outdoor decks helps create an area of general light without the light pollution of a decorative fixture.

Morningstar Residence, Aspen, Colorado
Multiple lighting techniques are used in the office/media room. A linear LED wall grazer highlights the stone wall behind the desk. IRiS housings are used throughout, with E3AA trims for highlighting artwork and E3MR trims for the desk and seating areas.

Inside, the warm lighting effects continue without detracting from the incredible views or compromising the function or design of the lighting. The choices the team made throughout the home were designed to highlight the architectural forms with minimal impact from the source. For example, a stone wall anchors the rusted steel fireplace in the Great Room. The lighting design team installed vertically placed LEDs hidden behind the steel, floating the fireplace to reinforce the transition.

between the wood and stone materials. The master bedroom’s wood-clad fireplace is similarly accented from above with adjustable recessed fixtures that accommodate the high angle needed to throw light back onto the fireplace’s face. Meanwhile, linear LED fixtures are hidden within the wooded beams to highlight the vaulted ceiling.

In fact, specifying three-inch P3MR housings for some of the vaulted ceiling spaces (such as the living room) allow for the use of E3SA and E3AA trims for general downlighting as well as to show off artwork. Additional recessed fixtures were used in the flat ceilings to maintain a consistent feel with the black Alzak finish while providing good adjustability and keeping fixture costs down.

Another technique that brings drama without overwhelming the main rooms is accomplished by using LED accent lighting to highlight the ceilings and walls. Implementing a house-wide dimming system with customized scenes provides pre-determined balanced light levels so the homeowners can create a comfortable environment regardless of how they are utilizing the space. With this dimming system, employing the multiple layers of light designated for each room is simplified by the use of buttons that are easily accessible from each room’s entryway.  The dimming system also helps save energy by keeping maximum lighting levels down.

Robert Singer & Associates Inc., Basalt, Colorado
Res_Project_06.jpg: The master bedroom’s wood-clad fireplace is enhanced from above by IRiS recessed lights. Linear LED fixtures are hidden within the wooded beams to draw attention to the vaulted ceiling.

 Unobtrusive illumination is the secret to this home’s relaxing atmosphere. In the kitchen, the island is lit by narrow spots from above, with additional undercabinet lighting for task areas. All of the hallways feature subtle path lights that can be dimmed to a low level for safe navigation at night.

The consistency of design, the emphasis on architectural forms and materials, and the ease of use for the homeowners made this project a stand-out with the judges of the SOURCE Awards. 

 Project: Morningstar Residence, Aspen, Colorado

Design Team: Robert Singer & Associates Inc., Basalt, Colorado; Robert Singer, IALD, IES; Kim Quint, LEED AP, Senior LD; and Chase Carter, Senior LD

Primary Lighting Products: IRiS, io, Halo, Lumark, Lumière — all from Eaton’s Cooper Lighting

Photography: Steve Mundinger Photography

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