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Denver designer Megan Kane reveals the budget-friendly tricks that turned a ’70s relic into a handsome family home.

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Keeping It Simple
Designer Megan Kane and kitchen designer Chris Awadalla created a big, bright kitchen and eating nook that function for family time and entertaining. The team improved the flow of the kitchen by shuffling appliances and adding a substantial island crowned by an E.F. Chapman light fixture. The breakfast nook is visible from the front door and needed to make a smart statement: Kane chose chairs from Horchow and paired them with banquettes from Ballard Designs. “The place where you eat with your family every day should be as comfortable as possible, but it should also be special,” Kane says. “Make it a place where everyone wants to spend time.”

Love the look of Carrera marble?
Take a cue from this kitchen and use Super White Quartzite, a natural stone that looks like marble but performs like granite.


When designer Megan Kane first walked into this brick Georgian, built in 1979 in Denver’s Polo Club neighborhood, she was transported to the late ’70s: “The house was a total throwback: forest green carpet, brass fixtures everywhere,” she says. Thankfully, Kane was undeterred. “It was actually a dream for a designer because I wasn’t working with someone’s previous attempts at a renovation,” Kane says. “We started from scratch.” Her clients, a couple with two young daughters, loved the home’s classic architecture and ample space. And they trusted Kane, principal of Megan Kane Interiors in Denver, to recast the layout and decor to make the home a modern interpretation of traditional style.
The home’s classic blueprint needed little tweaking, but Kane did make two simple changes to modernize the space: On the main level, she opened up the kitchen to the family room, creating one expansive, light-filled space. Upstairs, she designed an en-suite master bath and large closet by claiming square footage from a library adjacent to the master bedroom. “It broke my heart a little to take down all that gorgeous wood paneling in the study,” Kane says. “But we had to make a choice for the sake of the home’s function.”
Once Kane and Chris Awadalla of Interior Intuitions transformed the kitchen, the rest of the home’s makeover was cosmetic. On the main floor, Kane created a light, neutral palette of white, gray, and a pale shade of robin’s-egg blue to tie the rooms together. She repurposed some of the family’s original furniture and helped them decide which new pieces should be splurges and where they could buy off-the-shelf items to achieve their design ideals. “It was all about creating this custom mix, so their home is both functional for their family and full of the things they find beautiful.” Here, Kane lifts the curtain on how she pulled it off.

The New Classics
The hefty leather sofa (top)—a perfect anchor for the pretty, kid-friendly family room—came from the family’s previous home. “The girls can jump on the couch, and it will be fine,” Kane says. Geometric fabric by Kravet frames the French doors, and built-in cabinets hide toys. A Hickory Chair dining table and Hinkley Lighting fixture give the dining room (left) an elegant feel, and the home’s Georgian architecture (above) satisfied the family’s desire for traditional bones and materials.

Keeping It Simple
Designer Megan Kane and kitchen designer Chris Awadalla created a big, bright kitchen and eating nook that function for family time and entertaining. The team improved the flow of the kitchen by shuffling appliances and adding a substantial island crowned by an E.F. Chapman light fixture. The breakfast nook is visible from the front door and needed to make a smart statement: Kane chose chairs from Horchow and paired them with banquettes from Ballard Designs. “The place where you eat with your family every day should be as comfortable as possible, but it should also be special,” Kane says. “Make it a place where everyone wants to spend time.”

Suite Dreams
The master suite is a study in serenity. The bedroom (page 81 and above left) walls—Glacier Lake from Benjamin Moore—are a gentle contrast to the beige linen tufted bed from Ballard Designs. Kane chose mismatched side tables: a mirrored chest from Horchow “for the spouse who has more to store” and a skirted table “to add extra texture and pattern into a room at an affordable cost,” she says. In the bathroom (facing page), a claw-foot tub and herringbone-patterned floor make for a classic pairing, and a built-in cabinet on the double vanity provides storage.

Girl Power
Feminine style without too much frill: Light, grassy green acts as a fresh neutral in this bedroom (left), where Caroline bedding from Serena & Lily tops beds scored on sale from Pottery Barn Kids. Blackout sailcloth panels from Pottery Barn Kids add a splash of pink, and the chandelier will last through the girls’ growing-up years.

Re-cover old chairs to give them new life. The pair of chairs in the master bedroom’s reading area (above left) came out of Kane’s garage—she’s a self-described “chair hoarder”—and are upholstered in Pindler gingham fabric.

Splurge on good window hardware, and save by buying draperies from a ready-made retailer. The hardware ensures easy opening and closing, which is especially helpful in kids’ rooms.


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