Midcentury metal kitchen cabinets salvaged at a Washington Park home demolition. A vintage skee-ball machine scored at an Estes Park arcade vendor’s going-out-of-business sale. A six-burner range (with a 24-inch griddle!) that came from a restaurant equipment auction. When it comes to outfitting their home in Denver’s Barnum neighborhood, Christy Kruzick and Danny Newman take an everything-old-is-new-again approach.
“I think there is something romantic about all this old stuff,” Kruzick says.
Which can be said for the actual structure, too. The 3,200-square-foot, circa-1910 building was, at various times, a community church, a Masonic lodge, a Mexican restaurant, and a burrito factory (yes, you read that right) before Newman found, bought, and began renovations on it 11 years ago. “It was just outer brick walls,” he says. “The windows and roof had collapsed inward, and the floor had inches of caked dirt and dead things.”
But the story of the home is what intrigued him. And Newman, a tech entrepreneur and hipster-about-town (he’s the founder of the Denver Zombie Crawl), seemingly has DIY know-how in his DNA. The loftlike layout he dreamed up features a roomy kitchen with a glowing, polycarbonate soffit that sets the stage for entertaining. Orange electrical cords with filament bulbs create an artful light fixture above the “island” (fashioned from a door he and Kruzick found in the alley). And a sliding door, which is made out of an old, painted “Hot Tamale” sign he found on the roof of the building, is a leftover from the home’s burrito-factory days.
Although Newman didn’t meet Kruzick until after he’d rescued the building and made it habitable, they both agree theirs is a match made in collector heaven. Vignettes of found objects decorate the space and serve as quirky conversation-starters for the couple’s frequent guests: a Lite-Bright station and a display of Super 8 cameras, for example. “Our friends often call up and ask to host parties here,” Newman laughs. We just hope we get invited.
Danny Newman and Christy Kruzick’s guide to Denver’s Art World:
Metro State’s Center for Visual Arts
“They showcase work from established artists (there’s a Shepard Fairey mural on the building), but they also feature MSU students and staff.” msudenver.edu/cva
“We find it impossible to choose just one!” But they are especially drawn to Calistro, whose paintings evoke Margaret Keane’s “big eyes” art from the ’60s. sandicalistroart.com
“When we saw her graphite-on-wood pieces, we fell in love. Also, they fit perfectly on our bookshelf.” sarafordphotography.com