Kim and Dustin Nyhus were about to sign a lease for a space on Broadway when Kim went to visit one last potential home for the couple’s three-year-old business, DENY Designs. “Dustin had kind of given up,” says Kim. “I think we looked at every available building in Denver. But I wanted to go out one last time.”
The petite brunette showed up to tour the second-story space at Lawrence and 20th in a dress—and was promptly directed toward a 20-foot ladder. Undaunted, she climbed up and stepped into the raw, 6,000-square-foot single-room area. The hardwood floors, which served as a dance floor for a studio in the ’80s and ’90s, were obscured by thick dust. Sunlight struggled to make its way through grime-covered windows.
“This is it,” Kim said. “This is the one.”
A year later, the space overflows with industrial-chic charm. New windows framed in crisp white look out onto the trending-up Ballpark neighborhood; insulation made from recycled blue jeans covers the ceiling above exposed pipes; and brick walls and a gleaming wood floor provide the perfect backdrop for DENY’s colorful printed wares. There’s even a staircase (and an elevator).
It’s that kind of vision that has shaped DENY into a nationally beloved online retailer of custom-made home goods—pillows, trays, shower curtains, coasters, mirrors, outdoor cushions, magnet boards—that are printed with your choice of more than 7,000 hand-selected designs by artists from across the country. In addition to selling directly to consumers via its website, DENY works with brick-and-mortar retailers such as Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom.
The new headquarters on Lawrence will primarily serve as office space for 12 DENY employees and as a studio for photographing products. But the showroom up front is a locals-only perk where Denverites can see and touch items before they order; get inspiration from creative director Lenay Snyder’s ever-changing displays, some of which will soon be sold as full, specially priced sets (see examples of her print-pairing genius in the slideshow above); and even score returned items at deep discounts. Eventually, the Nyhuses hope to offer product pickup on-site as well.
DENY’s doors will be open to the public weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., starting today. We suggest beginning downstairs with a pint of Peak Bagger white IPA from Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery to get the creative juices flowing; then, head up to the second floor with your paint swatches and photos and have the DENY team help you choose the perfect accessory for whatever room needs a little reinventing.