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Sister Parish prints in every conceivable pattern and color hang at the ready for client meetings and general inspiration. Photography by Emily Minton Redfield

The Prettiest “Home” Office In Denver

Decorating lesson number one learned from interior designer Ramey Caulkins' charming North Washington Park studio: More is more, especially when it comes to fabric, pattern, and color.

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Turns out, being unceremoniously fired can be a ticket to glory. So it was for Buffalo, New York–born and –bred Ramey Caulkins, who got the axe at an internship in public relations—her first gig after college. “I was fired from a job I wasn’t even getting paid for!” she laughs. Caulkins quickly re-routed after finding her passion for interior design and rose to the top brass at Ann Sacks in Chicago and Kohler in Denver before opening her own firm, Griffin Design Source, in 2004.

Now, Caulkins boomerangs between projects in glitterati meccas (Nantucket! Aspen! Palm Springs!) and her style-forward HQ, which is housed in an 1890s cottage next to her own home in North Washington Park.

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The office’s charming exterior. Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

Caulkins cozied up the 1,350-square-foot “home office” in maximalist style. There is a wall upholstered in Sister Parish’s Cecil Stripe pattern; a sitting area composed of a rotating collection of re-covered chairs and sofas from the resale site Chairish; and built-in bookshelves brimming with sisal baskets for corralling fabric samples. “I love the way the Los Angeles showrooms have their fabrics laid out with samples super accessible,” Caulkins says of the inspiration for the Instagrammable display—which is, by the way, as organized as it looks. “I really do work at it. I re-fold fabrics; the act of putting them away is cathartic for me!”

Pups Minnie (left) and Donzi hang out in designer Ramey Caulkins’ office, which shows off leafy wallpaper from Wallshoppe, a pair of vintage Baker chairs, and a custom daybed from Griffin Design Source. Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

Pale-pink walls—the pretty hue is Oriental Lily from Sydney Harbour—provide an effervescent and unexpected backdrop for a space that doubles as a design laboratory and meeting place. “It’s so nice to invite people to my office to have coffee and catch up—or to have a commiserating session in an industry that can be very isolating,” Caulkins says. Clients stop by to brainstorm or admire samples: The designer is the sole Denver rep for textile company Sister Parish Design (see sidebar) and Creative Metal and Wood Furniture, a line of grasscloth-covered tables finished in a 12-step process. (“If you spill something, it doesn’t come close to getting on the grasscloth!” Caulkins promises.)

An on-site storage space holds a cache of treasures Caulkins has collected during her travels, including 18th-century linens she buys in Maine and chunky Peruvian blankets and pillows. The stash often yields the perfect finishing touches for her residential designs, but we’re guessing it also offers this designer a lovely reminder of the adventure her true calling has turned out to be.

Caulkins pulls a sample from her resource library—her curated collection of fabrics, tile, and stone samples. The Dunes and Duchess Tiki lamp is topped with a custom lampshade (in a Christopher Farr fabric) by Griffin Design Source. Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

Sister Parish Design

Who (or what) is Sister Parish?

She was a socialite and decorator for dignitaries and is perhaps best known for revamping the interior design of the Kennedy White House. Parish died in 1994, but the patterns she designed for her clients live on in a namesake fabric and wallpaper company, Sister Parish Design.

What’s the Denver connection?

Designer Ramey Caulkins—who vacations with her husband, Max, and their family on the same Maine island where Sister Parish’s clan has summered for generations—is now Sister Parish Design’s regional rep and brand ambassador. “I love the brand and the history,” she says. “They were such pioneers!”

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Ramey’s Sister Parish Fabric Picks

1. Tuckerman in Ocean

Tuckerman in Ocean. Image courtesy of Sister Parish Design

“While ethereal in color, the pattern reads a bit masculine, in a good way,” says Caulkins, who recommends this fabric for dining room seats. The subtle motif “will hide any mishaps quite well!”

2. Ogden in Espresso

Ogden in Espresso. Image courtesy of Sister Parish Design

“To me, Ogden is a timeless animal print that could be used for upholstery, curtains, and pillows all at the same time,” Caulkins says. Bonus: It’s ideal in both modern and traditional spaces.

3. Sunswick in Blue With Dots

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Sunswick in Blue With Dots. Image courtesy of Sister Parish Design

“If you’re on the hunt for a fabric that will play well outdoors, look no further than this classic English print,” Caulkins says. It’s “lovely in scale,” and “the dots read as a neutral ground that is far from boring.”

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