Every parent looks forward to A certain sweet spot when it comes to raising kids: Homeowner Jill Keogh describes this time as “no teens yet, and no toddlers anymore.” On the brink of these golden years, Jill and her husband, Brendan, came into their brand-new Broomfield home on a mission to make it work—and actually look good—for the complex day-to-day routine of two adults, three kids, and one rescue dog.
“I was at a point in my life when I wanted to be fearless and make choices that other people might think were a little crazy,” Jill says. “Color makes me happy—and I don’t do brown.” Add to this bright-palette desire a wish for high function (in particular, a place for sports gear, backpacks, and other stuff), and the Keoghs had an ambitious vision. For backup, Jill called on designer Jodi Feinhor-Dennis of Boulder’s Nesting Home Design. The designer, who shares Jill’s cheery, modern aesthetic, had helped remodel the family’s former home in Fort Collins. “From the get-go, their [new] home was always about the family,” Feinhor-Dennis says, “so the whole house is built around making things functional—but with a cool twist.”
Serving as design director, Feinhor-Dennis recruited Keira Ritter of Keira Ritter Design Company to help with the space-planning and architecture. Together, the women formed a creative power trio, inventing a space that reflects the rhythms of the Keoghs’ life. The layout offers places for family members to hang out together and to retreat for some time alone; storage keeps all of the skis, basketballs, and soccer equipment in check; and bright interiors match the Keoghs’ fun-loving personality. Here, their best advice for style-loving families everywhere.
Pack Function Into the Kitchen: Homeowner Jill Keogh wanted to have a place for everything in the kitchen, so the design team came up with creative solutions such as tucking the microwave into a lower cabinet the kids can reach and adding fits-like-a-glove storage for plates, spices, and Tupperware. An array of flexible seating options, which include bar stools at the island and a banquette in the adjacent eating nook, make space for everyone to be in the kitchen but out of the cook’s way.
View the Outdoors as an Overflow of Your Living Space: In the open kitchen, a glass garage door opens to connect the eating nook with an outdoor bar. The front porch and second-level balcony also offer quiet spaces to linger over coffee and views, and the backyard keeps the kids’ trampoline and play area to the rear of the house.
Take Cues From Your Daily Regimen: To create a floor plan that would stand up to everyday life, Feinhor-Dennis and architectural designer Keira Ritter worked with Jill to understand her family’s rhythm and needs. “We considered the way the family moves from point A to point B,” Ritter says, “from school to dinnertime to bedtime.” The finished layout is a thoughtful arrangement of open living spaces supported by smaller private spaces (such as reading nooks and patios).
Play Up Color and Pattern to Make Modern Feel Warm: While the floor plan is simple and clean, ample color and playful patterns keep the space from feeling stark. “Jill loves mixing vintage and modern,” says Feinhor-Dennis, who worked with Jill to find new ways to arrange the family’s existing furniture. Bold walls in saturated shades of blue, gray, and green, along with the texture of faux-wood tile flooring and durable carpet, add to the modern-cozy style. “The layering of materials and furnishings really helped bring the whole composition together,” Ritter says.
Plan Storage: The Keoghs wanted their home to feel open and free-flowing, but with three very active kids, that meant corralling lots of stuff. So Feinhor-Dennis and Ritter worked to disperse storage throughout the home. A laundry room with cabinets for household and personal items (such as suitcases) hides behind a sliding door. The kitchen and nearby pantry offer a mix of open and closed shelving in a range of sizes to fit the family’s essentials. And an almighty mudroom includes lockers for each family member, baskets for shoes, and a chalkboard wall to display the master family schedule.
Know Your Priorities to Guard Against EBS (Expanding Budget Syndrome): The Keoghs knew they wanted to invest in a smart layout, so to balance the budget, the design team chose creative, affordable finishes throughout the home. For the cabinetry, Feinhor-Dennis chose paint (rather than stained wood) to make an impact, alternating the hues of the cabinet fronts to create a color-blocking effect. The bathrooms make use of affordable subway tile (with accent tiles to elevate the look), and the basement kitchen features cost-saving laminate countertops.
“In an open kitchen, you really don’t want your counters to be cluttered,” designer Jodi Feinhor-Dennis says—so she designed an extensive pantry, as well as a system of open and closed shelving, to organize all the Keoghs’ kitchen essentials. Custom cabinets by Canyon Creek Cabinet Company, porcelain flooring tile (which mimics the look of hardwood) by Mediterranea, and bar stools from AllModern finish the room.
Left: A slide-up window by Garage Door Systems connects the eating nook off the kitchen with an outdoor bar on the other side. A custom banquette is upholstered in kid-friendly faux leather by Kravet Contract, and a hanging light from Pottery Barn crowns the space with a modern-industrial touch. Right: Finn, 10, strums a tune in one of the home’s many semiprivate sitting areas, where a light fixture from Colorado Antique Gallery and bright, patterned textiles make a cheerful statement.
Left: A collection of beloved artwork in a hallway reflects some of the Keoghs’ memories. Among them are Maasai beads and a photograph from Tanzania, which are nods to Jill’s time as a teacher on Mt. Kilimanjaro; a pair of photos Jill took during a trip with Brendan to the Rajasthan region of India; and a trio of small paintings from San Francisco. Right: Colorful maximalist style reigns in this sitting area. The trick? The playful palette uses blues and greens, which are soothing even in their richest hues. Jill scored the rug and coffee table at AllModern and added the IKEA sofa and Crate & Barrel side chairs. Artwork from Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams completes the scene.
Left: Nothing says “kid space” like bright, punchy colors and no-fuss furnishings. Stain-resistant carpet from Dixie Home, an IKEA sofa, and colorful walls combine to create a haven for the family’s youngest members (including Luca, 12). Right: In the mudroom—the most forgiving and functional of all spaces—custom cabinets by Canyon Creek Cabinet Company offer locker space for each family member (a parent’s dream!) and a chalkboard wall keeps the family schedule.
With the help of a sliding door, utilitarian features such as the laundry area and storage cabinets are kept out of sight (and mind) when not in use.
A quirky vintage sign against a bright wall (Benjamin Moore’s New Lime) fits in perfectly amid the home’s playful approach to design.
Designer: Jodi Feinhor-Dennis, Nesting Home Design, 720-313-5453.
Interior Architecture: Keira Ritter, Keira Ritter Design Company, 303-485-8939
Mudroom: Custom cabinetry, Canyon Creek Cabinet Company
—Photography by David Lauer; Styling by Elaine St Louis