Denver Shops: Sanctuary on Platte Street

It’s a cold, gray day in Denver, and I’m feeling in need of comfort as I write this.

Luckily, there is a shop in Denver called Sanctuary, on Platte Street near 16th Street. It’s next door to Salvagetti Bike Workshop and half a block down Platte from Colt and Gray.

Sanctuary is the jumping-off point for Wade Richards’s interior design business. One thing he likes to do is to take old furniture and make it lovely and new again. When I visited Sanctuary last Sunday, I saw, kittycorner to the greeting cards, half a wall of fabric swatches and a table holding design books.

I couldn’t help but notice this chair, reupholstered with Argentinian cowhides that have been stenciled to look like wild animal skins. It sits in front of a display of framed sayings and another of barware. To the right, on the shelves on the wall, you’ll find some R&Y Augousti accessories and a small card that reads: “It is a privilege for us to carry this unique French line of handmade accessories.”

Everything about the store, including the clerk, was gracious like that.

(Though I’m not sure I approve entirely of R&Y Augousti, since they use materials like python and stingray skin and exotic shells. I would need to learn more about where they get their materials. Also, their website requested my address before it would allow me to look at their collections. I guess the website wasn’t kidding when it called the husband-and-wife team “self-confessed control freaks.”)

Sanctuary also carries Zents body care products, made in Denver of natural ingredients and, apparently, beloved of celebrities.

It was the little touches that I liked most about Sanctuary: the frogs everywhere, black glass skull candleholders by Two’s Company, these candelabra, Denver shops graphicwire bowls, fair trade scarves in bright patterns, Vita Moda Italian purses, and Table Topics games, which pose questions to start conversations to relieve that awkward silence at your very first dinner party. And this piggy bank.

My favorite item was the book 365 Ways to Save the Earth by Philippe Bourseiller, an outsize coffee table book with stunning photographs. At $30, it’s cheaper than most of the items at the store, but if you check the website, you’ll notice tabs for “under $30” and “under $70.”

Sanctuary reminded me of Bouquets on 15th Street in LoDo, but I think I am more likely to buy something at Sanctuary. Not because one store is better than the other; it’s just a matter of personal taste.