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For a couple of New York City transplants accustomed to cramped apartment life, the prospect of moving into a house with any dining room sounded downright delightful. But when the pair first entered this light-filled entertaining space—part of the LoHi house they now call home—they found much more than coveted square footage: The home’s previous owners had commissioned local street artists Pedro Barrios, Jaime Molina, and Joseph Martinez to cover the room’s only wall with an eye-catching mural depicting a musical calaca (the colloquial Mexican Spanish name for a human skeleton). When the owners showed the artwork to their interior designer, Julee Wray of Truss Interiors, along with a Pinterest board depicting the zen vibe they envisioned for their new home’s decor (think: soothing green and white hues; lots of plants), though, Wray called foul. “I said, ‘Guys, to pull off this serene look, you’ve got to get rid of that mural,’” she recalls. “When they resisted, I said, ‘Then we need to take a leap and do the entire house based on that art.’”
The homeowners agreed, and Wray began gathering a lively mix of colors and patterns inspired by the mural’s bold shapes and hues. A geometric Loloi rug pulls shades of turquoise down onto the wood floors, while curvy Arteriors chairs upholstered in burgundy chenille complement the artwork’s warmer tones. Above the wood-and-concrete table, a linear Craftmade chandelier makes a statement without obstructing views of the mural‚ “which is the first thing you see upon entering the house,” Wray says. To soften the room’s other focal point—a three-story window wall—she added sheer draperies, a wood buffet by Four Hands, and a sculptural Visual Comfort floor lamp, “which adds some homeyness in a really funky, cool manner,” she says. That calaca wouldn’t have it any other way.
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Known as the Worst Crew, artists Pedro Barrios and Jaime Molina have collaborated on vibrant, large-scale murals all over Denver. Spot their work inside Meow Wolf and on the exteriors of the Dylan Apartments and the Hub buildings in RiNo. @the.worst.crew