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The Fine Art of Maximalism

Evan Guy: A Carefully Curated, Extravagant Balance

Shiplap isn’t for everyone.

Chunky layered bangles and statement eyewear might not be for everyone. But for icon Iris Apfel they are foundational to her look. She takes joy in relaying the origins of each piece. She recounts the search that started in her adolescence to find pieces in antique stores that stood out and conveyed a feeling. It’s not just a fashion statement, it’s a memory, and it’s a conversation.

Coco Chanel is credited with stating “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”


Maximalism is in direct disobedience of Chanel's sentiment.

Maximalism is a world in which more is more. Where colors are not muted and accessorizing is not just encouraged, it is essential. Patterns are not just tossed in to create texture, they are layered to increase depth. And it is a world where quality is the main requirement. 

Maximalism is an exercise in full immersion.

Evan Guy is Colorado Springs' maximalist experience. 

Evan Guy

Drawing on 35 years of industry experience including interior design and high-end consignment, Richard Schell and partner Greg Wragge reimagined what was in order to create a new brand.  Evan Guy is this brainchild.

Schell was first hired at 13 to arrange and make things beautiful. He worked in a flower shop through high school, while also nurturing a musical background that allowed him to travel outside of his small Wyoming town after high school. His work history includes a short stint in the oil fields prior to being drawn back to design in 1985. Though he might breeze through this part of his career when he tells the story, it's subtly reflected in some of the more industrial elements of his design. Schell has designed for the illustrious Broadmoor Hotel and branched out in 1987 with Wragge to open Rich Designs Home, offering exclusive interior design for the Colorado maximalist.

Wragge is the strong silent to Schell’s charismatic nature.  He is observant and attentive with a discerning eye.  There is a sense of grounding in being in his presence.  Colorado-born, Wragge has a musical background as well having studied piano, clarinet and voice.  He has spent years collaborating and casting the vision of Rich Designs Home and maintaining the daily work of their shop “I Saw it First”, a high-end consignment store here in the Springs, through its closure.

Music was how these two met more than 40 years ago and they have been harmonizing ever since.

Four Decades

Evan Guy is an amalgamation of Schell and Wragge’s two middle names. It is the evolution of their 40 years together and 35 years in business into one entity and has been described by their long-time associate, Beth, as the apogee of their careers. Carefully curated in extravagant balance, the space comprises interior design, gallery art, high-end statement jewelry, and a haberdashery. 

Bandit and Finn, Schell and Wragge’s two dogs, might as well be part of the staff as they are staples in the shop. Greeted as an old friend upon entry and offered a beverage from the hospitality station in the back is gilded, old-world gentility. Then the wandering begins. 

There is just enough white space, but no more than just enough. 

Textures + Colors

The textures and colors blend walking through the shop, but looking back, there is a realization that each space has been curated individually as its own vignette and transitioned ever so eloquently from one to the next. The dichotomy of standing out and blending in is captured at its essence here. A hardline masculine space is graced with a bouquet of long-stem flowers or a colorful piece of artwork as juxtaposition. Perhaps a room with metal and leather is made warmer with a plush throw or a cozy rug. Another room with bright colors and loud artwork is made softer with a velvet patterned pillow depicting wood grain, drawing the natural back into the seemingly synthetic.

The second pass is even more impactful. 

In the second pass, one is free to let the lines draw the eye to the hidden gems that were missed on the first pass. The atmosphere of the room is encompassing and the mood is revealed. Other senses kick in and the wanderer notices there is a specific scent assigned to each space. There is age, there is culture, there is intention. The books in a space are not just to fill space, they are classics, they are vintage, they are early editions. The glassware is not just to hold items, it is its own item, curated to convey class.  All of these items have been collected to emphasize the soul of the space. 

Schell and Wragge hope their space illustrates that polished same-ness is not all that is out there. They hope that guests can leave the shop confidently with a new one-of-a-kind piece, or at least knowing the same feel can be achieved in their own environment. The careful placement of things loved and memories collected creates a curated space that speaks volumes. 

Facebook + Instagram: @evanguycoloradosprings