Watch the HGTV House Hunters episode “Wanting Wow in Colorado,” and you’ll meet singer/songwriter Denise Rosier and healthcare executive Christy Dueck, who left their Southern California home for a fresh start in Colorado Springs. In the made-for-TV version of the search for their dream home, the couple tours a handful of properties before falling for a midcentury-modern gem designed in 1962 by renowned local architect Don Price. In reality, however, purchasing the home marked the end of a year spent visiting more than 50 listings—and the beginning of an extensive renovation that would strip back many of the structure’s dated and distracting finishes, letting its lovely bones shine.
“When you walk in the front doors, it’s completely wide open,” Rosier says of the 5,500-square-foot structure’s most appealing characteristic. “Our living and dining space is probably 1,500 square feet with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto a 750-square-foot deck with a clear view of the city lights below.” In addition to unexpected angles, soaring ceiling beams, and massive stone walls, Price had also incorporated Philippine mahogany millwork, a built-in Japanese wall clock, and frosted-glass front doors adorned with an intricate pattern of circular bamboo slices.
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“When the first designer we interviewed came to see the house, the first thing they said was, ‘Look at those front doors! We have to take those off!’” Dueck recalls. “But when [Denver-based interior designer Megan Moore] walked in, she said, ‘There’s so much soul to this home. If you want me to really change it, I’m not your person. But if you want me to bring that soul to life again, I’m definitely your person.’”
The couple had no intention of removing the home’s rich character, but they were ready to part with its Band-Aid-pink wood exterior, a sea of flesh-colored floor tile, and expanses of shag carpeting. They also hoped to add a basement recording studio for Denise, turn two bedrooms into one spacious main-floor bedroom suite, and incorporate furnishings that honor their taste for clean-lined design. And Moore, they decided, was just the designer to do it.
Moore’s first goal was simply “to bring the house back to zero,” she says, which entailed replacing the mishmash of finishes with a simpler palette of natural materials, including hardwood and Brazilian black slate flooring. Next, she set about emphasizing some of the home’s most prominent architectural features, painting the exterior walls and interior beams a dramatic black hue, adding new hardware to the kitchen’s mahogany cabinetry, cleaning up the entryway’s original green slate flooring, and incorporating recessed and decorative light fixtures for layers of illumination at night.
To balance the home’s hard surfaces and angles, Moore turned to velvet and mohair fabrics, shaggy rugs, and sheepskin throws. And while “there’s nothing that insults the natural color palette you see outside the house,” Dueck notes, the neutral scheme feels fresh, thanks to a heavy dose of black. “I’m a big fan of black,” Moore says. “I believe it should be in every room.”
In the dining room, the dark hue pops up in Hans Wegner’s iconic Wishbone chairs. In the adjacent living room, it appears on the original steel fireplace and a pair of lounge chairs. “Because Denise is a musician, they wanted pieces with some soul, some rock ’n’ roll,” Moore says of the eye-catching perches. “The webbed seats feel relaxed, but there’s still a bit of an edge to them. It’s not full-on motorcycle, but it’s kinda sexy.”
Though Moore’s design honors her clients’ 21st-century tastes, it also considers the architect’s intents. “You have to let the house tell you what it wants,” she says. “As you spend time there, it sends you in a direction.”
“Don Price left a ton of cues back in the 1960s,” Dueck agrees, “and it was so cool to watch this young designer pick up on them and bring them to life.” If only this home’s real, 60-year story could be condensed into 26 minutes, we’d have the makings of one riveting television show.