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When homeowner Frances Harjeet and her husband moved in, they were pleased to find that the home’s previous owners had left a carved-wood four-poster bed behind. “It’s so big and heavy, I think they just didn’t want to move it,” she says. She softened the massive frame with gold-flecked curtains purchased in India. Photograph by Kimberly Gavin

A Victorian Home Goes Chic

Surrounded by downtown Denver's bright lights and busy streets, a 19th-century townhouse is a colorful reminder of the city's past—and of its owner's rich personal history.

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“I’m a Victorian girl in a modern world,” confesses floral designer Frances Harjeet as she curls up on a vintage blue-velvet chair, arms clasping a lavishly embroidered pillow. “I’m a maximalist all the way. I can’t do minimal even when I try.”

The same is true of Harjeet’s restored Denver home, which she shares with her husband, Thaddeus. Located just a few blocks northeast of the state Capitol, the brightly painted Queen Anne Victorian is one of the six Kingston Row townhouses in the Clements Historic District, an island of late-19th-century homes surrounded by parking lots, office buildings, and modern residential towers.

Harjeet has filled her bright, airy living spaces with an eclectic mix of family heirlooms, antique and vintage finds, and fine art and textiles acquired during her travels throughout Asia and around the world. “I feel like the house is my calling card,” says Harjeet, who owns the Denver-based floral design and event-styling company Prema. “My floral design style is very Victorian and very old-fashioned, with this wild lushness to it, and our home’s decor is a little more formal than most of our peers’ in the same way.”

Flower Power

Floral designer Frances Harjeet just made flower arranging simpler—and more beautiful.

Forage. “Drive around with a pair of clippers in your car and look for flowers or greenery that are growing naturally. My floral designs almost always include one foraged element.” (Check local ordinances before trimming anything from parks or other public spaces.)

Cut. “I think it’s a shame to have a flower garden and not cut from it. So cut that perfect daffodil and bring it into the kitchen.”

Simplify. “A floral arrangement doesn’t need to be elaborate. I love the simplicity of one perfect bloom in a bud vase, and you can never go wrong with an arrangement made from one kind of flower, like a little vessel filled with sprigs of waxflower.”

Enjoy. “Don’t think of flowers as an extravagance; think of them as part of having a beautiful home and bringing joy into your life.”


Color Tip!

“To create a sophisticated color palette for a floral arrangement or a room, zero in on one shade that you really like, then choose a shade to the left and a shade to the right. I might start with a mauve, then add a dusty rose and a deep burgundy-pink. The goal is a subtle gradation of color rather than strong contrasts.”


Kitchen TBT
Custom shelves hold a collection of Harjeet’s favorite floral vessels: cloisonné and chinois vases, blue and green glass vessels, ceramic and glass pitchers, and a Portuguese five-finger vase from the early 1800s that she found at Maison Faurie Antiquités in Taos, New Mexico. Photograph by Kimberly Gavin; Styling by Erica McNeish

Love This Look?

Try Harjeet’s Most reliable local sources for delightful antique and vintage finds.

“Antique Exchange is amazing because they represent somany different sellers. The front of the 10,000-square-foot store showcases fine antiques, while the back is a little more mixed.” 1500 S. Broadway, 303-777-7871

“The Annex Antiques is right next-door, and they have great pieces for outdoor living spaces, including arbors and benches.” 1534 S. Broadway, 303-733-9008

“Everything But the House hosts online estate sales in nearly 30 cities, including Denver. There are some fantastic finds, the prices are unbelievable, and it’s so much nicer to use than eBay.” ebth.com

“Sarkisian’s Oriental Rugs & Fine Art is a Denver institution, with gallerylike displays of Far Eastern rugs, antiques, and artifacts.” 693 E. Speer Boulevard, 303-733-2623, sarkisian.com

“Art District Antiques has an insane amount of inventory and some awesome finds—if you’re willing to dig around.” 800 Santa Fe Drive, 720-275-5212, artdistrictantiques.weebly.com

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