Bringing Up Bungalow
How two local Realtors made their historic house on Seventh Avenue perfect for today
Still, even with contemporary furnishings like Ted Boerner bar stools and a Berman Rosetti sofa upholstered with Donghia fabric, Dinner and Armijo weren't about to turn their back on the home's history. The steam heat radiators on the first floor stayed. A set of French doors was salvaged, re-stained, and set on a door track to save valuable floor space. When Dinner suggested they use Douglas fir (which has gotten a bad rap as being "cheap") for the kitchen cabinets, the architects were taken aback. "At first they thought we were a little crazy," says Dinner. "But it's very Denver to me. I grew up here, and I see a lot of old homes here. It's a natural material here."
For the home's staircase, Dinner and Armijo drew upon the early 20th century designs of architects Charles and Henry Greene—the brother design duo whose "ultimate bungalows," like the Gamble House in Pasadena, defined American Arts and Crafts style. The design team created the staircase with a complex cherry banister that connects each level of the house. "The actual design is not something we took verbatim from [the Greenes], but it is definitely a reference to our research into their design—a nod to them," says Dinner.
The finished remodel is a fusion of style and design that fits both Bachelder and Freyer's specific tastes. It's also a home that fits their lifestyle. Today, Eli's crib is nestled in that expanded second-floor bedroom. Lucy and Otis (the dogs) watch passersby from the new back porch. Amy takes long runs through the neighborhood. And Carol hangs out with the baby in her favorite part of the house, the new downstairs media room. "We found this great blank canvas," says Bachelder. "I think the process is what made the house perfect. When we went into it we didn't know what was perfect, but as soon as we were given the options, we knew."