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Modern Nomad: The Birth of a Design Mecca

How Becky Miller's Design Collective is Changing the Way Denver Shops

Over the past few years, Denver’s RiNo District has been on fire, and from the blaze, a unique new culture has begun to take shape. Taking its place within this creative revival, nestled among RiNo’s bevy of distinctive new eateries, galleries and hot spots, is Becky Miller’s Design Collective, Modern Nomad. Modern Nomad is redefining the shopping experience, bringing together a carefully curated collection of unique shops that function, “like a three-dimensional living magazine with retailers displaying their product cohesively in an open-air market.”

The term “modern nomad,” Miller explains, comes from the intersection between her lust for traveling and her love of coming home. Miller’s fiery passion of exploring was stoked as a child going on trips with her family, but alongside this passion grew an affinity for home, which Miller translated into a successful decades-long real estate career, and then, more recently, a thriving interior design business: Modern Nomad Design. Even as her businesses flourished, Miller harbored a dream to expand the brand in an entirely new direction; to create a design mecca where people could come to feel inspired and to discover one-of-a-kind pieces from around the globe.

In the fall of 2017, Miller’s chance to bring her dream to life suddenly arrived: a piece of real estate she and her partners had long owned and leased out — a 5,500 square foot warehouse in Denver’s rapidly up-and-coming RiNo district — became available, and Miller decided the time had come to put the building to her own use. Inspired by ABC Carpet & Home, a famous New York City home warehouse, Miller transformed her space into an incredible design collective that boasts “new and vintage furniture, textiles, lighting, rugs and accessories for the home.” Hand-picked to feature “the latest in art and design, with an emphasis on supporting local businesses,” says Miller. 

Modern Nomad currently features five vendors: Mod Livin’, La Lovely Vintage, Homefill, Ora et Labora and Miller’s home design store, Modern Nomad Home. Miller’s goal is to lock down a core group of long-term tenants and complement them with a consistent rotation of pop-up shops that move in and out of space, keeping the shopping experience perpetually new and unique. Miller describes Modern Nomad’s collective style as an intersection of modern design and global decor, with each business imbuing the space with a highly unique style, even as they create a stunningly cohesive whole.

Beyond her pursuit of providing Denver with a new way to access decor and design, Miller’s underlying goal is to help small business owners grow and thrive. For those that don’t have the presence or the money to afford a long-term lease, Modern Nomad provides the opportunity for shops to get the exposure they need to make a true start.

Though brand new to the Denver shopping scene, Miller and Modern Nomad are already making an undeniable impact, shaking up Denver’s shopping scene and capturing the attention of design aficionados across the country — all while pushing hard to put down firm roots in their local community and help other small businesses do the same. Though Modern Nomad’s journey has just begun, their future — and that of Denver’s revamped retail culture — is unquestionably bright.

Meet Becky Miller @modernnomadhome 

  1. What is one of the most meaningful pieces you’ve picked up in your travels? 

    ​​​​​​​A gold chain mail bracelet from Ubud, Bali embellished with rutilated quartz and moonstones that I bought on my honeymoon.
  2. How would you describe the style of your own home?  

    La vie Boheme meets Palm Springs. Then throw in the South of France and some animal print!
  3. What is the most inspiring place you’ve ever visited?

    Nepal. I traveled there for work in 1998, and it was hauntingly beautiful and profound.
  4. What is your favorite item currently on sale at Modern Nomad Home?

    A gorgeous vintage burlwood and brass mirror. It's so sexy. If only I had a place for it in my home...
  5. Any particular item you’ve currently got your eye on?

    I would fancy myself a piece from Denver artist Derrick Velasquez (@transformingmilkintomilk).
  6. What book is currently on your bedside table?

    I rotate between several...currently Tribe of Mentors, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and MR Architecture + Decor.